Wednesday, 29 August 2012

Tales of the ordinary and pink castles!

It's wiser person who listens to advice than gives it.....I read that today and it made me think. How receptive am I to advice? The honest answer would be not always. I respond better when given choices . And challenge on my blinds spots , I do welcome....on a good day with the wind behind me! Am I tempted rather too often to give advice like Moses delivering the ten commandments? I hope not but I guess I need to check that out! So why did that resonate just now? Because I am trying at the moment to get the balance right on how to recover and get stronger and give my best to a busy job....and the realisation that the only person who can get that right is me.

We are all individuals and it's just as true when it comes to our healthcare.
A meeting I was part of recently explored the importance of holistic assessment as part of care. And as someone who trained as a nurse 30 years ago ( yes it's true, I had to count it on  my fingers to check if that could really be true!) I see the value of a holistic nursing assessment to inform treatment and care.  Not only do people with cancer  have other conditions like asthma or diabetes for example but also what is their social circumstance, what would be the best outcome for them? There is such an important role for nurses enabling person centred care, acting as advocates and sign posting for ongoing support. We have been talking about this for a long time...let's hope the focus on person centred care in the quality strategy in Scotland might actually help this became the bigger priority it needs to be. Care centred around the individual is the safest and most effective surely? 

 Earlier in the week I  attended a dinner for voluntary sector leaders on social media and the role of the CEO. It was a great presentation by Louise MacDonald CEO of Young Scot (@louisemac), encouraging others to get involved with twitter. Like i need persuaded! But i was keen to learn more.The aim is to be accessible and authentic she said and it struck me that that was also true of being a leader in any setting. And social media definitely enables that. Through my blog I have connected to people locally I couldn't have done in other ways i suspect. And I have connected with an amazing community across the world too. I love that. I am inspired and moved by all of you who I connect with.

Marie in her blog Journeying through Breast Cancer (@JBBC) has invited us to celebrate the ordinary each day this week. My energy and workload has stopped me doing anything other that enjoying others contributions, but they have been insightful, thought provoking and creative. Impressive indeed.

Reasons to be cheerful are in part celebrating the ordinary but also the special too. The ordinary is that in order to manage my energies I have allowed myself some pink dressing gown time and as regular readers will know, this makes Koshka very happy as you can see:-)
And the special is I attended the Edinburgh Military Tattoo. Now I am by instinct a pacifist but I  can't help but be moved by bands of pipers not just from Scotland but across the world too,  fabulous highland dancers, drummers from Switzerland and many more .The special moment for me was as the massed bands played Highland Cathedral, the castle was lit up pink, as the above photo shows. It triggered a memory of a very special evening when  breast cancer awareness month was launched from that very castle two years earlier. As I sat with my good friend who  has also had breast cancer , I reflected how important it is we continue to raise that awareness at Breakthrough Breast Cancer, so more of us are here in the future to share special times.


  1. I really enjoyed reading this thoughful piece Audrey - I would say there's a week's worth of writing here :-)

  2. I suspect that may be cheating but thank you! Loving your challenge.

  3. Holistic health is so important, Audrey. Thanks for highlighting this oft-overlooked aspect of health care. I agree with Marie: you packed a week's worth of material into one post. I'm so impressed! xox

  4. I usually have several themes I want to write about and no time! You have been prolific in your own writing, mining a rich seam I think,


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