Letters to the editor – June 26, 2020

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Fight systemic injustice

Sir,

In publishing the opinion piece ‘All lives matter’ from your contributor on page 23 of the June 12 edition of the Argyllshire Advertiser, you have demonstrated a profound lack of understanding of the current Black Lives Matter protests.

The tone-deaf piece is an attempt by your contributor to shut down engagement and perpetuate ignorance.

How anybody can make the claim that all lives matter after witnessing such horrific police brutality is beyond belief.

All lives cannot matter until Black Lives Matter.

Instead of deflecting and diluting the conversation, surely it is time to educate ourselves about what is happening, and to fight systemic injustice?

Madeleine Conn, Ardrishaig

Economic incompetence

Sir,

The SNP continues to demonstrate its economic incompetence.

New figures show the SNP government underspent its budget by a quarter of a billion pounds in 2019-20, and failed to use £45 million of borrowing capacity. ​Instead of demanding further borrowing powers and more funding from the UK Government, the separatists should learn to use the resources they already have.

With such colossal mismanagement, it’s no surprise that even senior SNP advisor Andrew Wilson has stated that Scotland is set to be the worst performing economy in the developed world. Once again, the separatists’ numbers simply don’t add up.

Councillor Alastair Redman – Kintyre and Islands ward

Get them checked

Sir,

Exactly two years ago I was diagnosed with stage three, oestrogen positive breast cancer.

I’d just come back from a week’s holiday in Spain with Isabel and Margaret. Days before I went on holiday I’d had a biopsy following referral from my GP. Although there wasn’t a cloud in the sky, my holiday was definitely clouded by impending results…I had chosen to wait until after my holiday to get them.

The journey that Monday to go to Gartnavel is one I’ll never forget. My partner Frank didn’t shut up the whole way there, obviously he was nervous. I couldn’t be bothered with the small talk and just wanted him to shut up. Obviously I was nervous and he was just trying to keep my mind off it, but I was too busy silently praying. The number 33 is something I see all the time so I spent the whole journey looking for the number on someone’s licence plate – if I saw it everything would be ok. I didn’t see it. That might sound a bit daft, but fear does crazy things to you.

Walking into the consultant’s room and finding a nurse waiting there confirmed my worst fears. ‘It’s a wee cancer,’ said Mr Wilson. The words echoing in my head, I couldn’t hear anything after that. I remember taking a deep breath and looking at Frank. I will never, ever forget the look on his face.

My only question that day was ‘am I going to lose my breasts?’ The answer was no, and thankfully Frank was there to take in what was being said; my head was spinning. The question I really wanted to ask was ‘am I going to die?’ I was too scared to ask that question.

I didn’t cry until I walked out the hospital, then I bawled. Frank was amazing, and he didn’t talk like a budgie on the way home.

The journey home was horrendous. I was terrified about telling my mum. How do you tell your mum that her only child has cancer? I hadn’t told her anything about finding a lump. I couldn’t cope with worrying about her worrying about me – but if it happens again I’d do it differently and she’ll be the first to know. By the time I got home I had no more tears left.

The relief telling mum was a huge weight off my shoulders. What ensued after my initial diagnosis was two weeks of crying every day. Telling the girls at work was so emotional, and in fact I was exhausted with it all.

Once surgery and treatment plans were in place I was in a better place. Time to get the head down and get on with it, and that’s what I did. I was full of positivity and determination, and I think my sense of humour helped enormously.

The treatment was bad, but it was necessary. The ongoing treatment is bad but it’s necessary. I’m alive and that’s what matters. My life has changed forever, nothing will be the same. My life has been divided into Before Cancer and After Cancer;  I now have a new ‘normal’.

I don’t know what the future holds, who does, but I intend to live my life happily, positively and most definitely to the fullest!

I will never forget the support, both physically and emotionally that I received from my nearest and dearest, and of course from the whole community. The strength you have given me continues, and for that I am truly grateful.

Please, please if you find an abnormality or you just feel something isn’t quite right, act upon it and seek attention.

I know it’s a difficult time with this horrid virus but it’s important to remember that early detection saves lives.

Stay safe and take care.

Yvie Young, Lochgilphead