Reasons to be grateful.

Well it's nearly Friday and I am still standing!Mid winter this far North can be a challenge but the sun has shone this week and those clear skies seemed to herald spring. And the media has shown daffodils blooming as far north as Aberdeenshire. But it's still early so keep the shorts in the wardrobe still, it's Scotland after all.

And don't we know it's Scotland with the Independence debate kicking off in dramatic style? Each side claiming points and my head is spinning already. I am sure I am not alone. What is most important is that the key issues get discussed in this debate, like health, welfare, housing, jobs and so on , all the things that ,when the chips are down , really matter. And that when we vote, we understand in what context would we be a healthier and happier nation, taking account of all the things that contribute to that.

And this week has brought sharply into focus for me what truly matters. A family I am very close to have suffered an awful  loss through a road traffic accident. No time to say  the good bye's or I love you's. All the unsaids going round in their head instead. That is always so hard for those left behind.

When I wrote of Angie's loss ,I described how she had organised her funeral down to the exact detail. But the price she paid for that was many years of knowing that her time was limited and of harsh,and exhausting treatment. Not much of a trade off really but at least you can leave messages for those you love behind. And lets face it the loss of a precious  life before their rightful time is always a tragedy.

It made me think that I haven't thought of my funeral or really my bucket list-ever the optimist you see. I guess the music would be a bit of Lenoard Cohen ( "If it be your Will" maybe?) perhaps some Robert Burns and I have regularly said I want Robert Plant's "Addicted to Love". A rather eclectic mix-something for everyone I like to think ;-)

But honestly my bucket list is simply spending more time with the people I care about. If that's never further than my dining room table I won't complain. I remember reading a quote from a GP a few years ago that said "I have never met anyone on their death bed who prayed for more hours in the office". Maybe that's the one I need to remember as jobs like mine will never be complete-but on the other hand they offer huge compensation knowing the difference you have the potential to make.

So this week I have contributed to discussions on detecting cancer early and on utilising the Breakthrough Service Pledge to improve not only breast cancer services but also in a wider health care context in Scotland. I also worked with a great group of women who want to get together to raise serious money for Breakthrough Breast Cancer, especially for our research. I love my job! I meet such committed people who understand the impact breast cancer has on so many woman, men and their families. It's an honour to work with such commitment.

So its reasons to be grateful this week, i think. It's been an emotional week to see people I care about hurting so much. We shared happier times with them too and I'm grateful for that, the price of the tears after all. So I wish you all happy times this week and also to reflect and value how precious they are. I certainly will.


  1. Nothing like the big things in life for shining a light on what really matters - and friends and family must come top of the list.


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