I am not one so much for New Year Resolutions. However, I have this sense that the start of the year sets the tone for the coming year. I always try to make sure I am doing something which reflects how I see or hope the coming year will be.
How ironic then that last year I decided on a health focus for 2009. J was working in the jungle, and I had been working in northern Sri Lanka over Christmas. With a heavy year behind me, and a big milestone birthday coming in the summer, I felt a prompt to enter the new phase with a healthier outlook and self. So my New Year was spent quietly, tippling on green tea!
This year we’ll be sitting in Bangkok on the countdown to the next chemo 2 days later, rather than the countdown to the bells. However, I have something I do want to do for the New Year. I have been humbled and overwhelmed by support, prayers (of every faith), messages and gifts – you cannot imagine how much this has boosted and helped us, especially in the lower days. There is something small I can offer in response. Whether you are thinking of a New Year Resolution or not I have something to share. And surprise, surprise, it’s breast cancer related!
Since my diagnosis, it’s not a surprise that many of my conversations these days relate to the BC experience. One thing that really struck me is that although most women (friends, family, colleagues…) know very well the importance of self examination as one form of screening, many say that they are not fully sure when and exactly how to do a breast examination. On my journey with Google, I have discovered a couple of really good articles setting out how this should be done, as well as other important diagnostic and screening measures and things to look out for. I have to stress that screening varies from country to country along with health services and policies. There is also currently a considerable and lively debate about mammograms for women between 40 and 50 years old. My aim is to share what I feel is useful and helpful information on what we can all do ourselves, as well as raising awareness. The debates are for another day or another place.
So whether you are interested in making a New Year Resolution that is easy to keep, or to share with the women in your life (as appropriate of course), this is for you. Firstly, a helpful How to Check your Breasts which appeared in the press here, by my Dr W. He outlines in clear and helpful way, how and when to carry out a self examination. The second piece is Time for a Breast Examination from the hospital. Both are intended as a prompt and enabler.
And it means that I will be able to start my own New Year in the way which sets the tone for the coming year – proactive, drawing something positive from this breast cancer encounter and looking towards a year of recovery, creativity and productivity
And don’t forget……………
“Life is not about waiting for the storms to end, but learning to dance in the rain!”
I also wish u a year of recovery, creativity and productivity…nice write …Best wishes & gud luck 🙂
Thanks and all the best to you too for 2010
What a lovely post – you are an inspiration.
I lost a very good friend to breast cancer this Autumn, a highly qualified nurse educator as it happens. In her memory I will be taking part in the Edinburgh moonwalk in June and also paying attention to my own health.
But I also have two very good friends who are very well and healthy having had breast cancer, and who have used the experience to enhance their lives, as you are doing!
I wish you all the best as the old year closes. Lang may yer lum reek! Thank you for this post! My good wishes are with you across the miles.
Thanks so much for your kind words, Jane – I am sorry to hear about your friend, though it is good to hear of your actions. It is also so good to hear of your friends who have lived through breast cancer. Yes, I think it is important to turn the experience round and use it in a positive way.
Who knows, if all goes well my treatment might be over in June and I could get back to Scotland for a break in time for the Moonwalk!
Take care and thanks
I am sure all WILL go well. Your positive personality radiates from the page. And if you are in Edinburgh, look me up! I’ll probably be panting away at the end…..
Good wishes to you!
Your blog is very good and our thoughts are with you, hope you have a speedy recovery un 2010.
Love Naill & Lauren xx
Lovely to hear from you Naill, and thanks so much for your message. And huge congratulations to you both – I have seen some of your pics. Keep in touch.
Love and warm hugs