For the past week, I have been fortunate enough to have been staying with my parents in Poolewe, in the North-West Highlands. Having just completed a weekend working at The Artemis Great Kindrochit Quadrathlon and with a busy week at work before I head off to Vietnam on 29th July, this really was just what I needed.

The weather has done its best to acclimatise me to what I am likely to encounter in Hanoi, with temperature reaching 30 degrees on Saturday! I actually found myself uttering the words:

“Mum, it’s too hot to sit outside!”

I am going to melt in Vietnam!

Last week was a welcome opportunity for me to take a break, chill out and prepare for my trip. The weather has been kind to me so plenty of research in the garden in a sun lounger-perfect!

Mum has also been more than happy to volunteer herself as a model for some al fresco massage practice. We have been road-testing the techniques from the Touch, Caring and Cancer program I will be assisting with in Hanoi, giving carers and families of Cancer patients some simple massage techniques to use at home. Mum has been a willing guinea pig, although the cat coming and sitting on my book, then climbing on my lap, proved rather less helpful!

I booked this trip in February. It all happened quite quickly. Now I have a week to go before I leave. For a country I have never visited. Where I don’t speak the language. To work in a Cancer Hospital.

I have had moments in the past week when I stop for a moment, my heart starts pounding and I think “What the heck am I doing?!”

Then I remember the smiles on the faces of the patients I treated during my week working at Western General Hospital here in Edinburgh.

THAT is why I am doing this.