Tuesday, 19 June 2012

One Day?

Hi ho, hi ho.......yes it's official, back to work on Wednesday. So I am terri.....no, no ....delighted! Oh well maybe a bit of both if honest. So I have been doing a bit of preparation in anticipation of returning to work. Given the "summer" weather i have been in search of a raincoat and successfully chose one that matches the new sandals.....a Scottish summer outfit! But honestly I have been thinking about other things other than haircuts and outfits.

I have also been thinking about the campaigns we are going to be working on shortly.  In particular our "One Day" campaign is at the forefront of my mind. We are asking our supporters to choose a day that is significant to them and to support our work by raising the money to fund the research unit for one day, a significant sum of £2,200.

Yes that's a challenge but we know that many people hold a day that's so significant to them , maybe a birthday of someone special, an anniversary of treatment finishing, a day they were diagnosed; and they relate to being able to commemorating it in this way.

So the question for me is, what would be my one day? With breast cancer playing a significant role in my life for almost 18 years which day would stand out? When I was diagnosed initially it more of a process than a day, with a slowly dawning acceptance of the diagnosis. I can't put a date to it....just an emerging, growing fear over a very scary summer. The end of my active treatment was followed shortly by the death of my father. To be honest that is not a time I want to recall. It was such a sad time that the relief of finishing radiotherapy  was overshadowed by grief and also a fear that my own future lay the same way. There is the date I finished tamoxifen. Perhaps not a stand out day but certainly one I met with glee. The remaining tablets were smashed by a rolling pin and thrown into the bin with relish. Yes a small celebration but it did feel good to be free of its side effects and to enjoy the significance of the five year survival.

Another date that stands out for me was the death of my friend who had supported me after my first diagnosis, she herself having travelled the same journey with breast cancer a couple of years before me, also just in her 30s. My daughter in her teens by then was first to hear that she had gone on to develop lung cancer and understanding how upset I would be, even tried to protect me from that information initially.  I remember vividly the shock, the sadness, the fear for her and her family. And when she died it was devastating .... I remember that day well.

And I could go on as there are many more dates when breast cancer has impacted on my life, but you get my drift , these dates aren't ones I want to commemorate. But the one that is , is the day I first started working at Breakthrough Breast Cancer. Sept 1st 2008. That day I came into post and set up the organisation in Scotland. It allowed me to use my professional experience to date to set up an organisation I admired greatly in my own country.; a fantastic and exciting challenge. And perhaps equally importantly for me it's the day I was able to change all of the impact breast cancer has had on my life and my families life too, to a huge positive. To work with the great team I am part of to campaign for prevention, earlier diagnosis ,improved care and treatment and support the first and only dedicated breast cancer research unit here in Scotland is an honour for me and hugely important for our community.

And it's that that keeps me going with my latest diagnosis ( Easter 2011). I guess breast cancer will always play a significant role in my life, I am accepting that now and also that is maybe not finished either. But Sept 1st 2008 was the day I was able to fight back and believe me I haven't finished with that fight yet! A fellow breast cancer blogger shared the Emile Zola quote " if you asked me what I came in this world to do, I will tell you ; I came to live out loud". Oh yes, I love that quote.

Reasons to be cheerful. We have great supporters and also we hope this new campaign will attract more people keen to support and champion the great work we do. We can't do our work without that support so please share this campaign. I would love to hear about your One Day too.And if you can at all please  do think about your "day" and join with us in the campaign to support our life saving work at Breakthrough Breast Cancer. I know I will be. My real hope is that "one day" I will be out of a job........now that would be the best day to celebrate , the day that no-one dies before their time and the future is free from the fear of breast cancer.For more information and how to sign up your own day, look at the website on. 

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