Posts Tagged ‘Hope’

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Anthony Nolan Trust

October 7, 2008

The Anthony Nolan Trust is a UK charity that focuses on leukaemia and bone marrow transplantation. It manages and recruits donors and is always looking for more people to add to the register (aged 18-40) especially young men and people from black and minority ethnic communities.

Campaigning journalist, Adrian Subdury sadly lost his battle with leukaemia but his legacy has gone on to inspire thousands of people to join the bone marrow register.

Adrian spent the last weeks of his life campaigning to make education on bone marrow, blood and organs complusory for 17 and 18-year-olds in all UK sixth form colleges.

I registered with the Trust some years ago and can honestly say that apart from the blood test there’s nothing to it.  Find out more at ‘Why join the register?’.

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memories

October 3, 2008

And when it comes to our feelings, those who have been left behind discover a vast ocean. Sometimes the ocean seems calm and still, and yet the next minute, for no apparent reason, a wave comes crashing over us. At other times the loss is so intense it is like being at sea, out of the sight of land and simply tossed around; and then, sometimes there are moments of quiet and serene beauty as a new truth dawns, and sometimes the grief is so overwhelming that it’s like drowning, and there’s no one to hear our cries (Christopher Herbert).

I’ve been thinking about a baby called Iona this week.

Even though many of us had never seen Iona we got to know her through her uncle Chris and couldn’t help but be amazed at her fight for survival. She was just weeks old. We prayed and waited for news of her progress and thanked God for the occasional glimmers of hope. But it wasn’t to be.

It’s been deeply moving and inspiring to read her uncle’s story and I’m hoping he continues for a short time at least. We won’t forget.  Her funeral will be tomorrow and although she may be gone, in the short time she’s been here, little Iona has made quite an impact. And for that we give thanks.

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Be Still …

September 19, 2008

I’m reminded of God’s presence and stillness today … and peace.  It’s not of our natural world and although I don’t understand it I do know it.

I have been overwhelmed but greatly comforted by that presence in the midst of worry, exhaustion, distress and confusion while watching the broken body of a parent die as her soul is set free. I’ve welcomed it in the aftermath of broken relationships and in the building of new ones. It’s been there in the numbness when realising some people weren’t what I thought. I’ve responded to its prompting in accepting I was loved. That same presence is there as I’ve talked to patients whose physical and emotional scars were a bit too much for me and I’ve sensed the presence in the joy of people believing and hoping tomorrow will be better. In the selfless and tireless efforts of people who want to make a difference it’s there … because they are there.

I’m remembering a few people today and hope that in their seeking to find some answers they will be able to find some peace and hope too.

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fed-up-ness

June 26, 2008

I’ve been a bit off colour this week and more than a little bored. Maybe my present fed-up-ness is the result of what seems like a rather long second year and, with only two weeks to go in placement, it’s all becoming a long, drawn out affair.   

Practice placements are always difficult no matter how good they are. This isn’t a contradiction. It’s like starting a new job every ten weeks so by the time you’re starting to settle in you find it’s time for another academic block before another placement… and the cycle begins all over again.

Overall my placement experiences have been fairly positive and I’ve learned a lot even when there appears little to learn. The patients have been great (mostly) and I’ve found most staff, especially my mentors, to be supportive. There have been a few highs and lows especially during the first placement when I found myself (several times) at the point of tears and ending up greetin in the ladies toilet wondering what the heck I was doing. Over the two years I’ve had to bite my tongue on more than a couple of occasions and turn a deaf ear to what was clearly none of my business. I have tried to remain impartial at all times and resist the temptation to get involved in any gossip. No mean feat I can tell you! Not getting drawn into staffing disputes and bitchiness has become a bit of an art and if I’m glad I’m managing to get through unscathed. It’s a mad world.

This week I’ve been wondering where the last two years have gone and can’t believe the amount of new stuff my brain has absorbed in that time.  I’ve also questioned over and over if my skills are really transferrable or is it all a myth. Maybe that’s what’s wrong with me, my brain is full to the point of bursting due to new stuff going in and an over analysis of what’s already there. Maybe I just need to stop thinking for a while.

Sometimes I miss sitting at a desk where I organised, managed, arranged, problem solved and ok controlled certain things around me.  I guess I was happy knowing I was good at what I did.  But that was then. Only this week have I realised what I miss most: creativity, vision, hope and passion and I’m not really sure what to do with that knowledge except take it into a third year with me. 

So here I am, waiting for three results and hoping that tomorrow I’ll be feeling more like myself, more motivated, more engaged and more enlightened.

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Fragile

May 13, 2008

Expressive smiley eyes are a family trait and there’s a likeness amongst us. So they say.

She had smiley eyes … the prettiest girl in the class who loved to dance. Inside, her story was very different and I only ever caught a glimpse of her reality. But that was then. A lifetime ago.

She’s in hospital. Organ failure they say.

I stop at the nurses’ station asking where to find her. From a distance I don’t recognise her but she smiles as I enter the room and her eyes give her away. She’s pleased I’ve come.

It’s easy to reminisce and before long we’re remembering the silly things: our shared jealousy because her brother always got Nana’s treacle toffees; her highland dancing days until the kilt didn’t fit anymore and there was no money for a new one; the big radiogram; her obsession with The Bay City Rollers and tartan things; Saturday night skating when I was allowed; our fashion disasters and bad hair cuts yet she still looked good! At that moment we were able to find a place where she could forget the bad things, the hurt and the pain.

I recognise in her now the vulnerability and fragility of her life and try to understand the reasons for the choices she’s made along the way.

She holds my hand and tells me she thinks she will die.

The funeral is on Tuesday they say.

Today was Tuesday. She was 47.

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Seamus Heaney

March 17, 2008

How can I let the week go by without mentioning Seamus Heaney.  This wonderful poet was a guest on Andrew Marr’s show on Sunday morning and read from the chorus at the end of The Cure at Troy, his version of The Philoctetes, by Sophocles.  Unfortunately I can’t find a video recording of this so the words minus Seamus will have to do. 

Human beings suffer,
They torture one another,
They get hurt and get hard.
No poem or play or song
Can fully right a wrong
Inflicted and endured.

The innocent in gaols
Beat on their bars together.
A hunger-striker’s father
Stands in the graveyard dumb.
The police widow in veils
Faints at the funeral home.

History says, don’t hope
On this side of the grave.
But then, once in a lifetime
The longed-for tidal wave
Of justice can rise up,
And hope and history rhyme.

So hope for a great sea-change
On the far side of revenge.
Believe that further shore
Is reachable from here.
Believe in miracle
And cures and healing wells.

Call miracle self-healing:
The utter, self-revealing
Double-take of feeling.
If there’s fire on the mountain
Or lightning and storm
And a god speaks from the sky

That means someone is hearing
The outcry and the birth-cry
Of new life at its term.