Showing posts from June, 2012

Seize the day?

I started the week in London, visited Glasgow twice and now I'm back in Edinburgh.Phew! I am feeling quite relieved my stamina has held up. It's not all been easy and I am done each evening, tearfully tired would be the expression that comes to mind, but I recover. There's been a laughter filled evening with family and friends and touching moments between my mother and my daughter, the precious times in life in one week, no less. Our One Day campaign continues to gain attention, with Stephen Fry tweeting about it. The twitterati indeed! And at the end of the week we had an great photo call at Hampden ( national football stadium , don't you know) launching a partnership with Scottish Women's Football. Nicola Sturgeon the Cabinet Secretary for Health and Wellbeing loaned us her support, knowing such partnerships are great ways to get messages out about detecting cancer early. We were both awed by the young footballer who joined us. She looked fab with mag

"Strumming my pain with his fingers?"

"For most people going back to work is a welcome distraction....the thing is its not for you", the words of my doctor when I saw her last week. So we then talked about how I could look after myself, given the complexity of my situation. Pace myself, knowing when I may be vulnerable and stepping back and so on. Well rehearsed plans to put into place. And in many ways it has been a great distraction. Anyone who visits our office recognises its bright welcoming dynamic and the warmth and friendliness of the team. It's great being there. We have laughed too.......not least during the discussion about the new Irn Bru ad. I really can't repeat it ( no really i cant!) but suffice to say it made  me laugh so much I coughed and wheezed! Great therapy.   And it's been in many ways a hugely successful week in which a new Breakthrough Breast Cancer campaign we launched received great plaudits , capturing the hearts and minds of not only supporters but leading peers in ot

One Day?

Hi ho, hi ho.......yes it's official, back to work on Wednesday. So I am, 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 t

Good people , good support ,new sandals and a hair cut!

There are lots of paradoxes in this cancer game I keep finding. One of them is just when you are feeling fine is the point you are reminded you aren't! And there is a paradox too that when you most need to quiet the mind, it's hardest to do it. Recently I have found it harder again to meditate and to sleep. Looking back to last year I realise I thought because the cancer was found early and I kind of know the drill , I could therefore pick and choose the impact . Wrong! And what's more having a recurrence isn't the same impact of a first diagnosis. I am slowly accepting that.  There is no doubt though, that having this time to recover from surgery has helped me do some of the emotional trauma recovery as well as the physical one too, its just that its not a smooth line, there are bumps along the way. It's a reminder again of the importance of support not just during treatment but afterwards too, often when you least expect it. Its so important to ask for support, it

What do the Queen and Kylie have in common?

I found myself thinking about two women and their lives this week. One was the Queen....well how could you not if you turned on the TV in the UK ? The other one was Kylie, seeing her in the concert as part of the Jubilee celebrations. I have to say the Queen had the same look on her face that my Mum would have listening to the concert and twitter entertained me hugely during the event. So I will say no more on the concert other than, Tom you rock! And London looked wonderful..... So why the Queen and Kylie ? Any 86 year old who coped with that schedule and has handled their role for 60 years gains  my respect. And note the contrast to how older women are seen in our society and particularly our media, hidden away, patronised, ignored. Why is this? Its not the same for older men. The changes we have seen in her time as Monarch are huge but the progress in equality for women is  so much slower. What about breast cancer in those 60 years? Well the incidence has increased year on year but

The gift of time and love in all it's forms.

The reason today was looming it was the day I made the decision with my GP on when to return to work. I started the week thinking maybe an additional week would clinch it for me. But my trip to see my daughter in Ireland taught me that may be a bit early. I loved our time with her. We discovered beautiful beaches to walk her dogs. I even walked barefoot in the sand and sea, collecting shells and laughing at the dogs antics. But each walk knocked me sideways. Sleeping flat out in the car as soon as we drove home again. Maybe what most illustrated my fragility was how upset I was to leave her. The tears still ever present as I write. So I have two more weeks off and that sounds right, I am confident  it's the time I need to be fully strong. I think maybe this time off, convalescing, has connected me to the impact of this my second diagnosis of breast cancer. Until now I have been busy saying this won't kill me, it's early, I can do this,  but giving little space to the emoti