Thursday, 12 April 2012

Trying not to do a Sarah Lund!

I broke free from self imposed house arrest yesterday and went out. The sun was making an appearance and we went to the Botanic Gardens in Edinburgh. It's one of my very favourite places and it's close by. There is a wonderful restful quality about the gardens, even when they are full of people.  The views across Edinburgh are inspiring and an amazing showcase of its ancient beauty. I am still struggling with headaches and so thought the fresh air would be helpful. But I had untamed hair and (almost) no makeup. We only recently moved back to Edinburgh so I still think I won't see people I know when I am out out. Wrong! I met one of our fab research scientists and also a great friend of our team at Breakthrough Breast Cancer in Scotland. It was great to see them both. Now I have been trying hard not to do a Sarah Lund re work!( if you haven't seen the Killing don't worry all will become clear...but not till the last episode!). I know I am off the case to fully recover so I have no desire to keep stalking the perp, honest. But trawling twitter for interesting news, blogs etc does mean I do see the odd relevant material. So I may at most retweet something I see as important. Still finding concentrating on a book too tiring , means social media is a welcome distraction.  This week I also watched the BBC Horizon programme called, Defeating Cancer. It's was from the ICR and the Royal Marsden hospital, world leaders in research and treatment of cancer. What an amazing documentary it was. The brave pioneers, both patients and clinicians, allowing us to join them on a journey of discovery and hope. Also I know the impressive ICR , as our breast cancer research centre in London is based there. I hope that the watching public had the sense of the excitement and awe we experience on visiting our research centre and units. The hope that translational research offers is such a strong motivator for the work we do in Breakthrough Breast Cancer. The documentary also showed the power of an NHS free at the point of need. The patients weren't afraid of affording treatment, they could concentrate on all the other impacts and make the right decisions for them. How grateful I feel for the ability to have world leading treatment at no direct cost to me or my family. Of course we contribute to the cost over our working lives and that feels right to me. Perhaps we also need to acknowledge that as healthcare increases in cost we may need to contribute more. Our system at the moment is cost effective, the evidence is there for that, so let's invest in it properly. I am also thankful that my organisation is supporting me to properly convalesce, not everyone gets that chance. Sick leave and benefits can affect people's choices at great cost to their long term health. A holistic approach that recognises this will provide a system that enables a healthy workforce. Let's not forget that  has an economic and social gain......simples! So if I am walking through the Botanics and I spot the very perp ( prevention of  or cure for cancer?!!) , we are looking for I can't promise I won't whip out my gun and drag it in for questioning...it's too important to me to ignore......but mostly I will be reading books( I hope) and watching some of the fine array of DVDs shared with me by my lovely friends. And as if that's not enough my other reasons to be cheerful are my daughter arrives tomorrow and we have an extended family weekend planned. The pinnacle of which is a shared birthday gift of a trip for the ladies to see South Pacific. I will of course have to establish a no hug zone( ouch!) but very much looking forward to some "happy talk". If only this damn headache would go.....

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