For once I have struggled to put it into words, I am Bernice - a wife, mum, daughter, and sister who happens to be a Colorectal Clinical Nurse Specialist with a new found love to run.
Bowel cancer is the fourth most common form of cancer today, affecting 1 in 19 women, and 1 in 14 men.
I love my job, I feel so lucky and privileged to be able to help support people during the life changing and devastating time a bowel cancer diagnosis brings. This job has given me a different way of looking at life, and the way my patients face up to the challenge is such an inspiration - whatever I can do to support them I will.
Beating Bowel Cancer is a support and campaigning charity for everyone affected by bowel cancer, and are a massive part in helping so many of my patients. From having a port of call and nurses on the phones for questions advice, piles of written leaflets and helpful documentation for patients and those affected to take away, up to organising patient and professional conferences for modern best practices and breakthroughs, Beating Bowel Cancer are an amazing and positive influence to everyone who takes advantage of their services. I cant think of a charity that is more deserved of some awareness and funds raised towards it.
But Bernice...Why the heck do you want to run a marathon? I found myself asking that question about why I decided to put the trainers on and do C25k a couple of years ago. And then the Birmingham 10k that then became half marathon after half marathon... And here I am!!
Running has become for me my stress release, my half hour of processing a heavy day, or planning what I need to sort out and organise for the family that day. My little bit of space away, that I never regret taking and I always feel better for. It has taught me to be more in tune with my body than I ever have been, love my body more than I ever have. I never thought me - plus size non sporty girl would ever consider this let alone do it, but running has taught me to believe in myself and that hard work and determination gets you wherever you want it to even if it isn't always straight forward.
The theme runs through with the job I do - and can be transferred through to supporting the people who have such a torrid time to beating bowel cancer, providing the empowerment and support they need to believe they can beat it, and get through with support and information.
Please support Beating Bowel Cancer, my patients, and me.
Thanks for reading.