For those who don't know my story....I have recently been given the all clear from thyroid cancer (May 2012) and am really keen to give something back to Macmillan who were a source of real support to me through my diagnosis and treatment – most notably the forums where I could talk to other thyroid cancer sufferers and survivors, and even met and have now had the pleasure of becoming friends with another lady at the same treatment stage as me being treated in the same hospital – an amazing source of support and comfort for us both, but one we would never have had if it hadn’t been for the Macmillan forum.
I had two rounds of radiotherapy – both in the form of radioactive iodine requiring me to remain in an isolation room in hospital for several days at a time. When, after the first round in October 2011, I was told the treatment had not been successful I was devastated. I had to wait 6 months for my body to recover before I could have the treatment again and I felt this was quite literally a waste of my life, waiting for my next treatment.
In January 2012 I decided I couldn’t wish my life away any longer, and that I had to find something positive to do between now and April 2012 when my next treatment was. I decided to take up running – it had the added bonus of maximising my fitness before my next treatment, and gave me something to focus on. I decided to set myself a real challenge, I had run a couple of 10ks in the past, but never trained seriously, but my husband and my sister are both keen runners, and with their support, I decided to enter the Reading half marathon – which was a week before I would be back in isolation in hospital.
The race was such motivation to train, and I ran in the rain, snow and sunshine, increasing my mileage each week. When it came to the half marathon, although I was very nervous, my training had prepared me well and I was able to maintain my pace throughout the run, never stopping or walking, but really enjoying the crowd support.
When I entered the Madejski stadium, a group of 20 family and friends who had come to support me started screaming and cheering and as I crossed the finish line I knew I had achieved something amazing for myself, and inspired a good many people. Going back into hospital knowing I was the fittest I had ever been was such a boost and it gave me such mental strength.
Recovering at home a couple of weeks later I was watching the London Marathon – crying with emotion at all the stories and the sheer sense of achievement. I promised myself that if I got the all clear, I would do everything I could to run the following year.
So….here I am. I am a cancer survivor, and one that found strength in running through my treatment. I am passionately supportive of Macmillan, of the role they play, the connections they allow people to make and the invaluable support they give to other sufferers who weren’t perhaps as fortunate as me.
I know some of you asked if you could sponsor me when I ran the half marathon last year, and I said no, but 'watch this space'. For me, the half marathon was personal, it was about proving (to myself as much as anyone) that I was strong, I was a survivor, and I didn’t want the pressure or distraction of fundraising. But now I have done that, and proved it, I want to mark a year of being cancer free by running the VLM wearing the running vest of a charity that helped me through it, and I hope, inspiring others – not only to donate to such a worthy charity, but also to show that a cancer diagnosis does not mean your life is over.Thank you so so much for your support....through it all....thank you xxx
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