RUNNING ON CHEMO – MY CANCER RECOVERY STORY:
I have set up this site in January 2016, just when I had completed my first post-cancer 10k and somehow thought that running and blogging about it would fix everything that the big C broke. As far as good intentions go, it wasn’t a bad idea really, and possibly a rather nifty way of digging myself out of the depression and lack of direction malaise that befall on so many cancer survivors. Yes, becoming one of those slightly insufferable people who had cancer and then run a marathon to prove something or pretty much everything to themselves and the world, is a very enticing picture and I did want to join the club. I still do and my aim to run 26 miles gives my life meaning, even if a simplistic one. As pretentious as it likely sounds, finding meaning or just a temporary purpose in life having gone through 8 months of cancer treatment is a bloody hard graft.
So how did I make it work?
It took me six months to write my first post and if it wasn’t for my injured foot the site would still be empty. I got injured when running so it all fits the initial concept in a way, and also points to a rather trite life lesson – accidents force us to stop and reflect and enforced boredom breeds creativity.
It turns out that running, writing and travel in combination and, walking the fine line to balance it all out with the full time job, do give quite a relief from pondering on ‘why me’ and ‘what if it comes back’. It also, slowly but surely, bring back the ‘life is worth living’ frame of mind.
I guess what’s left now is to get the basic internet cancer record out of the way:
I got diagnosed with a bad case of locally advanced breast cancer (direct quote from my oncologist) in February 2015, G3, ER positive, multifocal tumours, lymphovascular invasion and all that jazz. I had a bilateral mastectomy with implant reconstruction, 8 cycles of EC-T chemo and radiotherapy to chest, axilla and supraclavicular region. Oh joy!
My justgiving page set up for the Cancer Research Winter Run 2016 gives a bit more colour, that’s how I saw the world at the time of setting up this blog. I am now training for Brighton Half Marathon so watch out for another just giving link for Macmillan Cancer Support this time around.
I also suffer from MEN1 but I consciously decide to ignore that issue for now. If I live long enough to have to deal with it, then it would be a win of sorts anyway.