At risk of sounding like a visit Scotland advert?
I will admit this week did not start all that well. I was easily moved to tears and all too in touch with my vulnerabilities. Having explored what was on my mind the previous week,the words" I don't want to go back to feeling like that "kept recurring. What I recognise is the feeling of struggling with tiredness that I wanted to avoid. For what felt like a long time after my first diagnosis I would start the week worrying about having the energy to get through each day. My recent diagnosis was at an early stage so I have generally been optimistic about recovery from the cancer but I have worried about "going back there again". Clearly "there" remains a scary place for me. And I have felt angry that this new diagnosis could take me back there potentially. So feeling stronger is an important goal of this recovery time for me. I have also slowly realised that some of the reconstructive work has been less successful than I hoped. I have tried to measure normality in this situation but that's hard to do. I need to wait till my follow up, but I am trying to adjust my expectations. And having mostly been at home I have had too much time to think about it. Going out is great but I have tended to pay a price for it too. Consequently i was looking forward to our planned break in the Western Highlands but also nervous of how i would manage. But a few days in I am calling it my therapy! It has been absolutely fabulous. Good company, the sun a constant companion and the scenery ....just wonderful. What a marvellous country we live in. The trip north passed snow capped mountains and meadows peppered with spring flowers. We arrived first of all at Kyle of Lochalsh, with the craggy outline of Skye a defining presence. I managed to stay upright all day but crashed and slept like a log and frankly it's been sleep therapy since then. This should be available on prescription! Since then we have done a boat trip from Plockton and meandered along some amazing viewpoints. Yesterday the drive over the highest mountain pass in the UK to Applecross was spectacular and the sea food for supper more than lived up to its promise. So I may have to stop before others and be the last to waken but I am coping better than I thought and I am loving every moment. As I write this I am sitting outside, listening to the waves lapping,the sun is sparkling on the water and the Cullins of Skye are dominating the skyline. A Visit Scotland video couldn't do it justice, I promise you. I have shared some photos on twitter and I know many of you share my love of this area. My son and his girlfriend joked with me that the only reason I was going away was to get some material for the blog....I won't say what I replied but to be honest, they aren't wrong. It would have been one line that read "I am bored" other wise. And we have not only felt part of a tourist board advert but also met some true British eccentrics! At the top of the pass yesterday we saw some bikers dressed in monks and nuns outfits. And then met them later in the pub when they were dressed in Sherlock Homes outfits. It's true I promise you! Its a regular trip i believe.....Another couple we met had a few days off, looked at the weather forecast and travelled 14 hours to spend a few days here to enjoy some Wild Camping. They have not regretted it. Reasons to be cheerful.....well it's obvious isn't it? This trip is so good in so many ways. Good company, good food, amazing weather, perfect settings and good opportunities to build the stamina. I am so lucky to have this time and it feels like this has helped me turn an important corner, physically and psychologically. So do visit Scotland ( or get out and about in it if like me you live here) if you can. We have had sunshine and no midgies and I am assured its always like that in the Western Highlands;-))