On the hottest weekend of July 2018 following a seven mile training run for my first h\nalf marathon, the world stopped turning when I found a lump just under my left breast. I was diagnosed five days later with Grade 3, Type 3 primary ductal breast cancer. The following few months were the fastest part of a rollercoaster, scary, enlightening and a huge challenge but one that was needed to set me up for what was to come.
Within days of finding the lump I’d secured my dream job, I underwent a successful lumpectomy and a clear lymph node biopsy just under a month later, ran the Great North Run four weeks after surgery and spent a glorious month with my new colleagues. Then the world had to not stop, but slow as chemotherapy became a must in October. Throughout all that time I trained, running as much of my original training plan as I could to get me to Newcastle…to run in the footsteps of Sir Mo Farah and the smoke trail of the Red Arrows to secure a 2.19.03 finish
…and then I kept running.
My oncologists advice was train hard ahead of chemotherapy in the hope I’d be able to run through it. She had faith in my ability and so I gave it my all, training fast, strict, through fatigue, through pain up to 23rd October and chemo cycle one.
My last chemo cycle was 7th February and I’ve managed to run all the way through treatment. It’s been hard work but at times easier than any other task a day has brought. It’s given me freedom, a release and has been the only part of the old me that I’ve been able to properly keep, which I’m sure has helped me no end with all that treatment has done to my body.
I’m now entering a new phase, recovering from chemo and preparing for five weeks of radiotherapy before…well before life starts again, work can start again, living can start again and my running can build and grow.
I’ve been on a strict 10K maximum limit. I’ve slowed down as chemo progressed and I’ve lost muscle, weight and fitness. What follows is me rebuilding me one step at a time. Yes there will be more treatment and recovery and I intend to document as much of all of that as possible. I’m also taking part in a 1000 miles in 2019 running challenge, and have just starting my training for my first 50K Ultra marathon. I have the Longhorn 10K in April, Great Manchester half marathon in May, the Race for Life 10K in June all before my Ultra to help get me back into eventing. I’ve then my first road marathon in October with the Baxters Loch Ness Marathon, before finishing the year with the Tatton Park half marathon and a 10K for Remembrance Day. I have a tight support network but also some pretty amazing people who are also there day in day out whenever needed…my running club – I am a proud little blue Lonely Goat Running Club member. We make a heck of a herd, through togetherness supporting and inspiring to achieve. It’s in part due to them that I’ve started this blog.
I want to:
…give hope to others who may be faced with the diagnosis I had,
…show support with the challenges I’m facing,
…inspire those who may be training for the same kind of events I’m looking to run,
and give a little lift to anyone needing motivation…because I’m only human and there will be good times and bad ahead.
This is building me…building Em…one step at a time.