Showing posts from October, 2014

Dont die wondering

I learned to nurse in Edinburgh. There is nothing quite like the education you receive in life when you work with people at different stages in their lives. Whilst there are many sad times you witness at a very tender age as a student nurse, there is always laughter too. Perhaps it's a human need to find laughter in the face of so much? But I do think when people connect together in times of stress and illness, bonds are quickly formed that allow an honesty to emerge if we let it. In those points of connection be they through tears or laughter, there is a kind of healing. It was some of the older Edinburgh folk I remember so well. They were an age group when I was young nurse, who had survived so much. Two world wars had robbed them of family, friends and potential life partners. We frequently met elderly unmarried women who lived alone in tenement flats that became their prisons. But many were made of stern stuff, I used to think it was something in the water here th

A change of age unfolds....1000 women find their voice.

“ Never underestimate the power of a small group of committed people to change the world. In fact, it is the only thing that ever has. ” Margaret Mead   Elaine C Smith in Perth Women for Independence Event I came to blogging through my experience of breast cancer while working as a Director for Scotland of Breakthrough Breast Cancer. I set up the organisation in Scotland for Breakthrough and as I had been diagnosed with breast cancer in my thirties and knew for all the change in attitudes towards breast cancer, there was still much to do. When I started in that role I was aware of the power of the breast cancer sisterhood. The shared stories that connected us, the warmth of that bond, the empathy that meant words need not always be spoken to be heard. The power is immense, it's a special kind of healing that emerges as a consequence. When I was diagnosed a second time when I was with Breakthrough I knew secrecy was impossible and that perhaps sharing m

You got a friend this October?

  Join the Breakthrough Bake Off , Im with dog here! I've been planning my week ahead and knew that its coming; breast cancer awareness month that is. No longer do I have to dress in pink, to go about my work but nonetheless the reality is that October is still very pink. My careful packaging away of my own history, to be pulled out when I approach my review appointment in December, is no longer intact. It's insidious at first; some articles appear in women's magazines. Stories of survival abound. The ones who don't are less spoken of this month it seems. There are the others too of course, who wouldn't describe themselves as survivors, living with metastatic cancer who can feel   in the shadow of the pink hued October time. But for many of them their daily life has become survival, their personal marathons to live with pain, fatigue and more. Somehow that pink ribbon just doesn't really seem cut it for them. Of course breast awareness is im