Is this the terminus?
Audrey Birt's blog
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3w ago
In the recent  interview with the BBC they referred to me as terminal. That word triggered lots of people I know to be in contact me. It’s not a word I use. I’m not even sure it’s accurate. The world of secondary breast cancer is now a journey into the unknown. So far the only drug that’s worked for me is olaparib and it’s only available off license to me. No one knows how long it will work and right now I’m working on the basis I’m doing ok and hoping it will stay like this for a very long time. I set some dates in my head….if I can get to…..but don’t say them out loud for fear of tem ..read more
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The space between here and where?
Audrey Birt's blog
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1M ago
 I am thinking about how to capture this space between life and death.  But Is it fair to call it that? After all in this space I’ve launched a book. I’ve planned webinars, I’ve been interviewed about assisted dying. In many ways it’s a fertile time, unfettered by work or demanding expectations. The photo below was taken when I was interviewed by the BBC about my thoughts on the issues with regard to the assisted dying bill in Scotland. A challenging issue for which there isn’t one answer. But it’s a good time to explore it.  The greatest demands for us however come in t ..read more
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Scanxiety?
Audrey Birt's blog
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2M ago
  It’s not peculiar to cancer but waiting for results can be the worst time of all. Last week I had really quite bad scanxiety. Yes it’s so bad it’s got its very own word. I had a follow up scan after a few months on olaparib at a lower dose. The truth is I’d been tolerating the drug fairly well apart from anaemia. So I’d had a transfusion after feeling the effects of anaemia; from breathless, swollen ankles and being a sleepysaurus. It helped me and life has been a bit better. BUT was it stopping the cancer ? That was the question and so I approached the scan with some trepidation.&nb ..read more
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Number one on the fuckit list is….?
Audrey Birt's blog
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2M ago
 I’ve never been drawn to writing a bucket list. What I’m able to do changes regularly and it would lead to list of cant do’s and a loss of gratitude for what I can do. However I did hear once about a fuckit list. Now that’s worth exploring.  So I’m thinking of compiling - over time- a list of things that are shoulds which one way or another will burden me at this stage in my life ( or let’s be honest at any stage in my life so far) and I am therefore seeking to ditch, perhaps with a suitable ceremony?  So far and so at the top of my list is ‘lose weight’. Honestly it’s so i ..read more
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Future times?
Audrey Birt's blog
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2M ago
 I find myself constantly changing timescales in my head. I never commit them to paper or even say them out loud. It means my level of comfort with planning varies. A passing comment like ‘let’s do this every year’ makes me hesitate before I reply. Yes definitely, my reply. And that hesitation expresses my doubt in my future. But strangely sits alongside the part of me that assumes a full future. That’s the part of me that keeps moving forward.  It’s hope that creates the momentum to keep going. In the past I’ve watched friends and family approach each stage in their cancer journ ..read more
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Some good times
Audrey Birt's blog
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3M ago
  I’ve had an amazing week and I’m still lifted by the different experiences. I’ve been talking about my book, The Journey to Better Times,a quote from a doctor I worked with, when I went back to work overwhelmed by loss and grief. He quietly took in my demeanour and said softly, there will be better times.  He was so right and this last week has been among the many times to savour since my first diagnosis of breast cancer. At first it was my birthday and whilst I’m  a bit old for balloons and blowing out candles on a cake, my wonderful family treated me to a super f ..read more
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Wishing you guid health and happiness from mine to yours.
Audrey Birt's blog
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4M ago
  It wasn’t Happy New Year I heard, it was “We need to admit you today for intravenous antibiotics”. The day was December 31 2023. The previous few days, since Christmas, for me, had been a series of tests, surprising new diagnoses like very low cortisol and then this. I had a bacteria in my blood that needed treated imminently with a broad spectrum IV antibiotic. The next few days identified the bug as rare and it took several days to find a suitable oral antibiotic ( and from there the journey home). I was isolated in a single ward due to RSV and the bleakness of the room itself led ..read more
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A peaceful, heartful Christmas for you all.
Audrey Birt's blog
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5M ago
I imagine it’s not surprising that it’s hard to write in the run up to Christmas, especially with a recent diagnosis of stage 4 cancer. More than last year I’ve definitely felt the need to explore the “what if it’s my last Christmas”? It’s like using the tongue to probe the source of the toothache. Braced for pain but surprisingly numb.  But this week the numbness has worn down. I’ve become messily tearful.   Our dog Cara died this year and I’m remembering her loss in April. I miss her gentle soul. I’m not sure the cat does however as he never goes near her bed any ..read more
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Ticking clocks and who cares.
Audrey Birt's blog
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6M ago
  A early sight of the Botanic garden lights  Well it’s been a week or so of two half’s. We had a wonderful weekend with friends in Fife again.We enjoyed good food and even better company. The discussions ranged from climate change to life’s transitions like future weddings, fun toddlers and hospice support. All of life’s shades and colours helping really honest conversation.  The new date is already booked time to come together in early spring. Ever the optimists. When we arrived home we discussed how valuable the weekend had been for us both. It’s so valuable to be able ..read more
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A meeting of worlds
Audrey Birt's blog
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6M ago
  A meeting of worlds The last few weeks for me have been quite exciting in some ways, testing of my energies and health and an opening of support and care.  But the backdrop to this as we know has been a very turbulent time in the world. I’ve tried to engage with this, with friends deeply grieving for their friends and donating to support. Not just in Israel and Gaza but also Ukraine whose people face and uncertain time with winter approaching. I’m aware of them all and trying to do our best. I try to do what I can but also step back and use my energy wisely and not lose the ba ..read more
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