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Showing posts from December, 2012

Open your eyes and look at the day.

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"If you wake up and don't want to smile If it take just a little while Open your eyes and look at the day You'll see things in a different way Don't stop thinking about tomorrow" The year is drawing to a close and like many I am casting my eye back and reflecting. As I made plans with my family for the year ahead I mentioned "I won't be having surgery this year" and I realise how this has punctuated my year-and the previous one. In a year where I faced major surgery and had times when I was investigated for lung and bone secondaries it's such a relief to say that. My recent visit to the clinic and negative mammogram means I now have a clear run for another year till my next appointment. This is partly because I have declined further treatment but I have done this with knowledge and its my decision which I can change at any time. My decision not to have further surgery is to protect my wider health and perhaps because for 18 years I

A heartful Christmas

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It's been all quiet on the blogging front for me. A combination of rushing around, seeing family and a rotten virus. My creatives juices are in a hanky and my cough is frightening the puppy.....and me. My pre Christmas preparations have been fueled by paracetamol.And I have greeted friends with air kisses! But there has still been lovely times with family and colleagues; I even managed to get some dancing in! Cheesy Christmas tunes in a venue overlooking the winter fair in Edinburgh sealed the deal. I loved it even if the evening may have secured me a new nickname following a comment from a dancer who chose to join our merry band. No ,not telling you, I was unwise enough to tell the family and am suffering the consequences! And the week when ancient calendars predicted the end of the world , for some people their own world did end. I am thinking especially of the shooting of the children and teachers in Connecticut. I cant watch the news coverage of the town prepa

A true partnership...or time to boogie?

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Yes its beginning to look a lot like Christmas. The lights are on around town, the mulled wine is flowing and families tempted by excess, lured by snowmen to show love through their gifts, look in equal measure exited and stressed. Or is that just me? The juxtaposition of the Christmas pressures and the deepening economic challenges in the country make this a hard time for so many. And if you factor in serious illness or loss it’s a potent mix. Every nurse can tell you of a patient who hung on against the odds to get to Christmas, to wait till a child arrives from Australia, to see a child perform a Christmas play…you get the drift. The poignancy of these occasions is without comparison. And people in the main do cling to life, their definition of quality shifting as illness advances ,but time with those we love are always top of the list. And its this that drives much of the access to medicines discussion. But let me say this isn’t just about medicine. We know that surgery and

Nice to tweet you! Info about a new tweet chat...do join

I wanted to share with you something really special that is happening  tomorrow evening . We have learned from our friends in the US the benefit of tweet chats to disseminate information and build community in the way that only social media can. The immediacy  and connection so powerful. And I have often read the conversations after the event but never had the stamina to join it ( it would be  2 am  in the UK and Ireland). Consequently we are keen to try to connect across Europe and create the space and opportunity to explore the important issues you share with us. As my blog and others have highlighted many times breast cancer has an impact on so many aspects of life. But perhaps parenting and parenthood can be one of the most emotive impacts. Consequently this is the subject of the first BCCEU. Here is more about the context. http://breastcancerchateu.wordpress.com/2012/11/27/parenting-with-breast-cancer So please join us for this on line experiment and also let us know what you woul

"You have to find joy where you can".

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And so it begins, the beginning of the endings......and the hankies have been out. Although the week started with a Geordie style celebration of the amazing efforts of two men. Robbie Elliot and Phil Gray who had completed a 3,500 mile cycle ride in aid of the Sir Bobby Robson foundation and Breakthrough Breast Cancer. Newcastle had come out in style and I even got to sit next to the legendary Jackie Charlton.Any football fans I mentioned this to since have been very excited. I managed to spend an evening talking about managing Ireland football team and fishing as well as defending my family from Sunderland! It's an eclectic skill set for this job, you see? I did a short talk about why our work is so important. And I mentioned Angie who is much in my mind just now as the anniversary of her death approaches. The cold Edinburgh December evoking that sad day as we said our goodbye. And what I repeated was her reply to the question...are you scared of dying? "No