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A Skinny Fairtrade Latte in the Food Court of Life - Page 6

  • Pancakes APlenty

    Shrove Tuesday or Pancake Day or evening Mardi Gras, whatever name you give it, it was nice to be able treat myself to some pancakes/crepes for breakfast.

    Lots of batter left over, so I am thinking about making a (veggie) toad in the hole for tea!

    Lent begins tomorrow, and I return to work after a few days rest.  It is more than a tad strange preparing for a second digital Lent, but we have some good things planned. I am hoping to post a bit more regularly, based on my Lenten reading. 

  • Tamoxifen - the Final Countdown!

    This morning I phoned my GP practice to order a prescription - something I always do at least a week ahead of time.  For the first time since I began having to do this, I didn't order Tamoxifen, and it felt weird!  I have eleven more days to go (not that I am counting or anything) and then that's it.

    Some people feel strangely liberated to reach the end of their 'hormone therapy', especially if the side effects have been significant (and mine certainly have). 

    Some people feel anxious, as if a safety net has been snatched away (at the moment I certainly do not)

    Some people stop taking the drug early, for all sorts of reasons, and a very small number take it for life. Most take it for five years (low risk) or ten years (high risk). I am grateful to my consultant whose advice and guidance have informed my decision to stick with it, despite multiple and complex side effects.

    It has been a bit of a love-hate relationship, but common sense has always prevailed, and as I often say, 'I am here to moan about it.'

    I am hoping that in a few weeks the side effects will wear off, and am reassured by the science that suggests the benefit of the drug should last another five years or so.

    In other times, tomorrow would have been my final visit to the breast clinic, but in these times, that appointment was cancelled six months ago.  Looking back over the ten and a half years since my diagnosis, I know just how fortunate I am - in recent weeks, a friend has had a second primary diagnosis, someone I supported a few years back has had a secondary diagnosis, and another friend has news of further progression of her stage 4 disease.

    Yes, it's the final countdown for Tamoxifen, but the vigilence and residual 0.1% niggle will remain for the rest of my life.

    So, if you are offered screening, please take it; if you have worrying symptoms, please report them.  Cancer caught early is almost always treatable and sometimes curable... 122 boxes of Tamoxifen later, I am proof that long term remission, and a fulfilled life, are possible and achievable.

  • New Challenges...

    This little selection of books is the core texts for a course I have enrolled on, to train as a Pastoral Supervisor.  There is certainly a LOT to read , mark, learn and digest, and it will be demanding - but it's also exciting.

    There may, in due course, be posts about what i am learning (the course starts at the end of March, I'm just getting myself organised in good time!)

  • Staycation Treats...

    Having a few days of Annual Leave gives an opportunity for a bit of rest and refreshment... in this case, a delicious afternoon tea, where, apart from slicing cucumber, halfing tomatoes, making a sandwich and cutting a cake, all I did was assemble it!  Of course, I could have just put out the same things on a plate, but the point was to make it special.

    Recently, I have been very much reminded how bad so many of us minister-types are at self-care. It is a life's work for me, and I think that so many people (ministers or not) have been taught 'it is more blessed to give than to receive' that we forget that we cannot give what we haven't first received.

    So, yesterday was afternoon tea.  This morning was the full veggie brekkie, equally a treat in a different way.

    Whether it's edible treats, long soaks in the bath, gentle ambles, films, music or books, it's important to be kind to ourselves.

    As the song says 'learning to love yourself is the greatest love of all'IMG_3148.jpg

  • Other Plans...

    A year ago, I was eagerly anticipating the start of a two week block of Sabbatical time, during which I planned to walk the Whithorn Way.  From day one, these plans had to be adjusted to accommodate other events, and severe winter storms led to me abandoning the endeavour, and instead enjoying some social history in Glasgow.  It seems quite strange now, looking at photos of large groups of people in relatively small spaces.

    The sabbatical ended up being put on hold, twice, and has now changed form into something very different, though equally interesting and challenging, as I plan to begin professional training as a Pastoral Supervisor at the end of March.  The strange world we inhabit means the course notionally runs in Australia, so I am looking forward to meeting people from a different culture.

    This time last year, I was looking forward to walking St Cuthbert's Way (which I cancelled days before Lockdown happened) and had ideas for holidays and meet-ups with friends acorss the UK.   As it worked out, I last went outside of Scotland last February when I had half a week at Windermere, and have only been outside Glasgow once (for work purposes, and with speical permission) once since Lockdown began.

    Instead, I have walked more than a thousand miles since October alone, all within the city boundary, and have enjoyed much natural beauty as well as visiting parks I had never quite got around to before.

    As we near a year since restrictions began, I am starting to look back, to recall and enjoy the moments that were good and life-giving, of which there are so very many.

    There's a saying that 'life is what happens whilst you are making other plans' and I guess the past year has demonstrated that especially clearly.

    One day I will get to Whithorn, one day I will venture beyond the Anglo-Scottish Border, one day I won't tramp round wet streets in the dark, one day I won't spend half my life in a rectangle on someone's computer screen... and until then, in the meantime, I will choose to look for everyday beauty, will savour each day for its own worth and keep on keepiong on, trusting that, in the end, all will be well.

    The photo is taken looking along Sauchiehall Street near Charing Cross - I like the slightly strange street art, and I love the clear blue sky just a few days ago, before the winter rains set in.  My Dad always taught us to look up - and I think that was wise.