Sunday – It took my fiancé about 5minutes to fix the Christmas tree light situation. Leaving my Mum with a spare fuse and me with an amazon parcel I didn’t need to have so hastily bought!
My body generally felt good after my run on the Saturday, but I’d woken with night sweats more than once, so was a little tired. We had a lovely morning nattering to Mum and Dad before they left…their boot loaded with presents.
We then spent the rest of the day relaxing and resting, ready for all that the week would bring.

Monday – I felt a little groggy but well rested and ready for my run. Everything felt loose and I had no discomfort as I warmed up, setting off there was nothing either. The thing that plagued me most was the harsh, cold wind…in my face as I left and worse when I got in amongst the buildings of the nearby village. It made me tense my body and I could feel it in my back, and my heart rate told me the rest. It took a lot to lengthen my body and correct my posture, it felt like I was giving in to the wind. I had to concentrate to breath deep and bring my heart rate down. It wasn’t the spot on heart rate zone 2 run I usually try to run to for my recovery runs. I climbed into my aerobic zone now and then, but proudly no more than 135bmp. Just over an hour later I was finished, walking half a kilometre back home to help me cool down.
Once back and warmed up I had breakfast and then did Heart Chakra Yoga before work.

I had a good but busy day, it flew by and was 5pm before I knew it. I’d just left work when the hospital called…my blood test results were back and my oncologist had been passed them. While my results show that my hormones are suppressed as much as they should be, there were a few slightly high markers and I was to get an appointment through for an ultrasound soon. It would check for any polyps or abnormalities…it was hard to be positive and not worry a little.

Tuesday – Even with a head full of worry I thankfully managed just over six hours sleep. As I got up, knowing I was a little groggy I did Yoga for Detox Flow to wake my body up and ready me for my workouts – half an hour of leg and core work, then a 20minute cardio HIIT session. On such a cold foggy morning it was exactly what I needed to start my day strong.
Work was relentless and I struggled trying to learn more about the bank book and reconciliations…one of those days where you hope you made enough notes.
As I left I had another call from the hospital, they had a 3.40pm appointment on Thursday to offer, I of course took it, but afterwards a huge sadness hit me. Thursday being the anniversary of my sisters death I just wanted the day to hide away, to let out my emotions and rest. Instead I had two appointments at the hospital in my diary…I felt bereft, I told myself I didn’t want to be strong anymore. I parked up outside the gym, sat and cried before spin class…then gave the bike hell during. Thankfully my friend came over and we had a chat afterwards, she raised my spirits when I needed it most and I went home feeling comforted and safe.

Wednesday – I woke feeling more upbeat and relaxed. It was however freezing outside and trying to get warmed up before my hill repeats was a slippery challenge. Worse was to come when I got on the hill itself. Parts of it were fine but other sections were that bad I couldn’t even walk safely. With not being able to get in as many repetitions as I’d wanted, I headed back to the local village and did some fartlek training to finish my 12.5K. I got home feeling good and very much like I could have run longer.
Work felt tense, both myself and one of my colleagues facing hospital visits over the next couple of days, meant a shadow of anxiety which we all bore. We were busy and very much heads down and powering through, trying not to dwell on what may lie ahead for each other.

Thursday – The hardest day in my calendar and the one that makes me reflect the most. This marks the date my sister died…that word looks harsh, scary and creates fear, so many use the word loss instead…be she won’t be found again. Death is the hardest cruelty, and something we all have to endure seeing at some point in our lives. For me that was at 13years old, she was 11 and yes she had been poorly for a while with a heart problem that had been diagnosed two years before, but it was an out of the blue shock. It left me with PTSD that stole both her and my childhood, closing a door on memories for self preservation, and starting my journey of slowly becoming the person I am today.
I wanted nothing more then to shut myself away and hide, but knew that wasn’t the best way forward. I got ready and ran in the rain for just over an hour, making sure to keep things slow…methodical and allow myself to think. Crying while running must be very relaxing as I managed to maintain an aerobic heart rate run throughout.
Once home I got ready and a darling friend picked me up and took me out for a coffee. We talked for just over an hour and the release of tension, the flood of freedom and happiness afterwards were priceless. I set off to the hospital for my last appointment with the Cavendish Centre…part counselling session, part discharge. It too was good and cathartic. I left feeling lighter and walked the backstreets downhill to Cocoa Wonderland for an extra endorphin boost in the form of chocolate – a rich mocha and salted caramel brownie dusted with edible glitter.

After leaving, and with time to spare before my ultrasound I walked through the Botanical Gardens.

There’s something so nourishing for the soul in nature, watching squirrels play and birds dance in the trees.

My scan went fine and nothing that shouldn’t be there was found, a huge relief. My oncologist will get the full report back and be in touch with me over the coming few weeks. I managed to get home quickly but felt drained and uncomfortable, it was lovely to have a cup of tea and then sleep until early evening.

Friday – I woke feeling a bit better mentally…but physically below par. My fiancé had had cold most of the week and I’d managed to catch it. Knowing my body needed working, but also some TLC, I grabbed my mat and did an Arms, Abs & Attitude yoga session, then a 20minute yoga video concentrated on Throat Chakra, before my half an hour upper body strength training. The latter I managed to get in a good amount of reps with but my nose streamed throughout, it was one of those…I did it but didn’t put all of me into it, sessions.
Our work day flew by and to say we were busy was an understatement. It felt relentless and draining but we each got done everything that we needed to. There’s an awareness of just how busy Monday will be, and how much we need to get done on Tuesday before we get to go home.
Even though I felt a little below par I had plans for the evening I wanted to keep. Chemotherapy last year had meant missing out on so many things over Christmas, and so going Carol singing had a huge importance this year. None of our more local churches had a service, so I ended up a little further afield at Curbar. The church, the choir and the people made the hour we all spent together so warm, welcoming and festive. It was lovely and the generosity of strangers high. We chatted, had mincepies and mulled wine after the service. I got home feeling one step closer to being ready for Christmas.

Saturday – To say I slept badly would be a dramatic understatement…if I wasn’t awake with my nose streaming, I was awake feeling like I couldn’t breath. In typical fashion 45minutes before my alarm went off I managed to nod off into a deep sleep. As soon as I was awake and up I went into long run mode…no tiredness or drowsiness at all. I had my porridge, gathered my things and headed out to the car. The decision to run on the Monsal Trail was a good one, my body needed lack of intensity, lack of hills…lack of feeling a bit overworked. It was raining as I parked up near Bellamys Bank and the rain stayed with me all the way to Bakewell. It was light enough to see by and so I barely had my headtorch switched on. The trail is flat and pretty good underfoot, so I had no problem finding my way. Plus the tunnel lights meant approaching them in the dull morning light felt quite magical.

I had some tightness in my left calf over the first 8K…I put that down to getting warmed up and it eased off as I approached the 10K mark.

My right ankle felt odd midway back and given there was no hip issue with it, I’ve made a note to keep an eye on it over the coming week. It could quite easily be that, although quite flat underfoot I’d jarred it slightly, or stepped wrong around a puddle. I got back to the car feeling good, like I could have kept going and still very mentally alert…not a bad thing given I needed to drive home. I was midway back before I realised I hadn’t stretched! I also felt pretty cold and so went straight home and resolved both issues.
We had no plans for the rest of the day, I needed to rest and try to get myself a little better. So after a quick trip to the garage for petrol, and the deli for lunch, I went home and wrapped myself up for a day of rest and reading.

Sunday – With Christmas only days away and the turn of the year ahead it’s time to reflect a little. My blog has been going since last February and I’m grateful to all who have been with me the past year, who have shared my journey…who have watched me slowly rebuild myself following my cancer treatment. A heartfelt thank you to you for your time.
This however will be my last post of 2019 and in 2020 my posts will be very different.
There are two huge constants in my life that take up an awfully large chunk of my time – I have many big challenges ahead in my running and training, which will eat into free time that at the moment I won’t even know exists. Plus I’m finishing the year back to full time hours at work…which in itself feels like such a wonderful achievement. I need to put a lot of me into these, and my fiance and family deserve whatever is left and attention…blogging takes an awful lot of time and not being connected to my phone is one of my 2020 resolutions. Therefore as the new year starts I will be back with a monthly blog, and it will purely be a review of my running over the month before…what’s worked for me, what hasn’t, my highs and lows, any recommendations I have and so on. With treatment over there are still some cancer related matters that will pop their heads up, these I shall include in the hope that I can continue to inspire and motivate those that life has touched with the big C too. After all in the midst of cancer and all it brings, hope is all we have…so that’s my Christmas present – hope, motivation and encouragement to always do your best no matter what life throws at you. Because you will always be stronger then you think you are.
Merry Christmas and happy Solstice Day x

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