Hold fast…

class 1982

We’ve all been turning 50,

The class of 82,

We’re planning a reunion,

A highland kayleigh do…

There’s one who took the legal,

She’s singing in a choir,

And two of us had cancer,

A bit close to the wire…

South Africa, Australia,

We flung our talents wide,

Some still on farms in Scotland,

An artist who would hide…

A nurse who sends me Christmas cards,

A friendship that I treasure,

This funny class, of sunny days,

A half life that we measure….

And which of us are boarding?

Parents global engineers,

They took their risks and sailed their seas,

And left us here for years….

Yet here we were at 13,

All knees in grey and blue

Each one of Margaret’s women,

Knows how to see it through…

For sure we are survivors,

Some cousins, friends long term,

We’re thrivers and alivers,

And still we tenez ferme…*

I look at this photo and I know at least two of us had cancer, and many sisters, brothers, fathers, mothers -apart from the regulation skirts it probably brings us closer than anything else, I am so proud of the class of ’82, they are good women! By the way our motto was “tenez ferme”, allegedly a command to “hold fast” as St Margaret rode her horse across a fast flowing river -it still seems appropriate!!

Caller received….


I do have a desk with a beautiful view! But cancer, do I really know what it is like? With my own diagnosis almost ten years behind, I am wondering if I am just a middle class army brat with an attitude? As this week I have spoken to a retired doctor whose wife died from liver secondaries and a grandmother of a 24 year old diagnosed with a brain tumor, there is a lot to listen to but not much I can say…

A toast to the people who I won’t impress,

They love you, they tell me, I have to confess,

So proud they’re to help you, though life’s in a mess,

I want you to know I care too….

The people who call me are funny and kind,

They tell me your story, I hope you don’t mind,

I’ll shred all the details the media could find,

I want you to know I care too….

Sometimes it’s an auntie, an uncle, a son,

A tumour, a rumour, a what can be done?

You’ve lost all your hair or the radio’s begun,

I want you to know I care too….

They’re cooking and looking to pay for a nurse,

A proper professional before things get worse,

I’m happy to listen to chapter and verse,

I want you to know I care too….

Some call up to tell me they’re off on a hike,

Just Giving, just living, they get on their bike,

Emotions, commotions, connections I like,

I want you to know I care too….

I have almost always worked in customer focused roles and now more than ever! We take the card donation calls and every one is a story. I say that I used to sell skirts but now I sell whims and wishes (and one size certainly doesn’t fit all!) -when cancer enters the conversation we need to look for things we can do…


SD Team (1)This is the team of wonderful people in Macmillan Cancer Support UKO Supporter Donations; they tolerate me all the time!!!


You asked me for my best advice,

Yet I don’t dare disclose it,

The risk take for you isn’t nice,

Imagine if you chose it?

I end my days with wicked wine,

It should be herbal tea,

But a good Chinon is quite divine,

Oh please don’t mirror me…

Whilst taking a calc’ supplement,

Is good for all those bones,

It’s remembering that we lament,

Now I face vast unknowns!

I skip through life at eager pace,

And you know what that means,

I’ve charmed a special wishing place,

I believe in hopes and dreams…

I wouldn’t take the pain killer,

They had me in a daze,

No auditions for that thriller,

Do the medics say I’m craze’?

I’m rather spoken outward,

And I’m often causing stress,

Though you think that I strike a chord,

My life’s in quite a mess!

So see, it’s been a pickle,

Of a bumpy kind of path,

I’m winging this, I’m fickle,

Health’s not there for the laugh…

And last, let’s talk emotion,

I’d a family, and have yet,

Don’t admire my plans in motion,

It’s a path you could regret…


I am often asked for my opinion about treatments and choices, for me it was best summed up recently by a friend, who said that at the time you just make the decisions on the run… Maybe do as I think right, and not what I did -I support conventional medicine and then fall back on hopes and dreams -you will do better!! I can well remember the chill of the orange liquid creeping into my veins and the warmth of the radiotherapy machine, but I stopped the morphine because it buzzed my brain! I was okay with losing my hair, as that meant every cancer cell would go too, I forget to take calcium supplements and I like wine…