Wednesday, 22 July 2015

Reflections of a long distance runner

It's been a really good few weeks.

After what had felt like an assault course of scans, biopsies, stereotactic radio surgery, starting biological therapy, and changing steroid doses up and down, I have been able to relax into a bit of 'marathon running.' My pace has been slow, but steady. Side effects (mainly fatigue, neuropathy and Cushing's syndrome as a result of the steroids) have been irritating, but not nearly as bad as they could have been. I've had a number of treats - a birthday meal out; a few days away in Manchester to see the fabulous Fleetwood Mac; visits from dear friends; time with my lovely Aussie cousin Joanne and her family which was really precious; the annual treat of the Duke's Promenade Play in Lancaster's Williamson Park;  and most recently an evening at the theatre in Carlisle. Apart from checking in to the clinic for a quick chat and to pick up my tablets, there has been no new news for ages. Most of the time, the idea that I have anything seriously wrong has seemed quite unreal; known as a fact, but not something that seems very believable.

But as I jog on through this week, I'm aware that the terrain up ahead is about to change again. The next couple of weeks will feature scans of both lungs and brain, and then consultations regarding each to hear what the treatment has achieved so far. If the tumours have shrunk, that will be very good news. If they have stayed the same, that will be OK news. If they have grown, that will not be good news at all. I have absolutely no idea how to call it. How I'm feeling is no guide to anything, because the treatments create as many - in fact more - symptoms than the tumours themselves. So I can't even guess at whether the news is going to be bad or good.

Whichever way it goes, though, next week marks the end of the slow jog through pleasant countryside, and the start of another section of the assault course. The body in and out of scanners, the mind and emotions in and out of waiting rooms, listening for my name to be called, steeling myself to receive whatever news is waiting. In a few days time, I expect the fact that I have something seriously wrong with my body will become all too believably real once again.

But for now, for these next few days, I'll do my best to make the most of the last section of the marathon course. I'll focus on the trees along the roadside, the flowers along the verge, the sunshine warm on my back. I'll try to live each step as it comes, not fret about trying to pack everything I still want to achieve into each day while I still can.

And when Monday arrives and the assault course begins again . . .  I will do my very best to embrace whatever comes.


  1. Keep on jogging my lovely. Xxxxxxxxx

  2. ...and I'm guessing that now (27th) you're in the process. All good wishes, hugs and prayers for this time of unknowing. Remembering the Cupid and Psyche story from Apuleius, may you find the healing power of love as you wait in the darkness.

  3. Thank you all xxx

  4. Hi Debbie. When I looked for this before, it stuck at your very first post and I thought you had decided not to continue. So I am delighted to find this again and have now bookmarked it. You have been very much in my prayer. Go as peacefully as you can and I look forward to the next blog when you are ready.

  5. Meant also so send you much love but Google ate my first message and in the struggle to publish, I forgot to say that bit again!

    1. Lovely to hear from you Jenny - and thank you for donation to Ellie's fundraising too. Hope all is well
      with you xxx