Showing posts from December, 2011

For Angie

I wanted to do a special blog today for a fabulous woman who died peacefully  just before Christmas. She was diagnosed 13 years ago with breast cancer and her last few years were a marathon of cruel symptoms, frightening diagnostic tests, worrying waits for results and ,lets be honest, awful treatments. She faced all of that with positivity, immense courage and  startling lack of self pity. We first met her when she indicated her desire to support our work in life saving research and in campaigning for a better future for people like her. She met with the team in Breakthrough Breast Cancer in Scotland and told her story. They were deeply moved by her courage in the face of such a devastating experience and uncertain future. She agreed to talk at our first Changing Breast Cancer event. She told her story calmly and bravely, catching with emotion especially when talking of her children, but never inviting our sympathy-just wanting us all present to understand why it's so important

Auld Lang Syne me dear

I would say laughter has been the thing that has characterised this week for me.. How therapeutic that has been. A heady mix of time with my wonderful children, my wider family and good friends too. Throw in a great Firebugs gig ,several very competitive board games and time to chew the fat..creating new memories as well as revisiting some precious ones too ,it's been wonderful. As a result you find a much brighter Audrey writing this piece. I know the quiet house to follow will be hard but there is also the anticipation of more good times to plan in the year ahead to fill the gap. Of course my decision to have further surgery this year will have to be factored in so some plans need to be on hold till I know what will happen and when to proceed with it. I see the plastic surgeon next month and I recognise I now need to get on with it...whatever it is! Time off has taken me to a more reflective space which has been helpful ( while peeling sprouts you understand!). It's given m

Santa Clause is coming to town...but do I have enough food in?

I have been making a list, checking twice, three times and adding stuff to it constantly. I have fretted about whether it's enough, I have forgotten essential ingredients and not sourced others ( today it is silky tofu....)and completely exhausted myself at the shops. Yes you are right my Christmas break has started! Just one more sleep till my daughter arrives and to the FiREBUGS (my sons band) Christmas concert too.  I am like so many of us, I find the task of writing cards overwhelming and plan to write witty inserts but generally fail to do it. But I do love getting them. And all the little catch up notes inside are really welcome. One of my friends of many years has just started to work as a breast care nurse and I know she will have great empathy. Her mother has had breast cancer and her sister died far to young in life too after a late diagnosis. What an impact on her family....she will have much to offer. I also heard that the daughter of my friend who died ten years ago

Its beginning to look a lot like Christmas.......gulp!

As I sit on a train heading south for the second time this month I am thinking of the pre Christmas madness that affects us. Or is that just me? I am determined to enjoy my festive season but need to survive to the end of the week first. And its feeling like a significant challenge right now. Several years ago I needed a fairly urgent operation on an ovarian cyst which they thought could perhaps be malignant. It wasn't I am glad to say but factoring that in in the run up to Christmas was no fun. As I was awaiting theatre I was dozing off on the trolley. The nurse said to me , a little puzzled, have you had your pre med already? No no its just the first time I have  been able to stop in weeks and I am making the most of it! Sad but true you see. A working mothers Christmas story.... I found out later that having been on tamoxifen I was at higher risk of ovarian cysts. This week some research in the US has shown how many women stop treatment like tamoxifen. As someone who was on

Feisty and fabulous? Really?

Last  week I was mainly in Edinburgh and I was all the better for it. It’s meant I was in my own bed every night! I also spent more time in the office with the team and I managed to catch up with colleagues more widely in my network. All good. The other thing is I have found several excuses to visit the Christmas market…I told you I like cheese. I have also fitted in a zumba class and   walked to work several days this week. By yesterday I crashed but it had been good till then. I do need to shut of my overdo things button! Any suggestions welcome… One highlight of the week was a session on happiness at work and how often the value and importance of that can be missed and neglected. The four key qualities described are trust, positive relationships, progress and meaning for happiness to thrive at work. Good learning and reminders and food for thought really. And working in a great organisation like Breakthrough offers such opportunities to see progress and gives our working lives r