This post is a little delayed as I've felt a bit rough over the last few days. I'm learning that the feeling rubbish bit of chemotherapy kicks in for me around day six. I've had a couple of days of feeling pretty tired and low and basically just wanting to stay in bed. You can't quite pinpoint exactly what it is that doesn't feel right. It's kind of everything. You just feel generally a bit shite. Bit floaty, sicky, headachy and low. A bit meh.
Anyway, back to something positive - we did it! We ran a 5 k race after our second chemotherapy treatment!
For those of you who know me, you'll know that running has been a big part of my life for the last two and a half years. I had recently started training for another half marathon when I was diagnosed with breast cancer. One of my first thoughts after my diagnosis was 'well there goes that idea'. I really struggled with the thought that one of the things this cancer would be robbing me of was the level of fitness that I had built up over the last couple of years.
Running is my way of coping with things. Some people turn to food, drunk or drugs but my way is running. Probably doesn't sound as fun though right? I continued running after my diagnosis and have kept it up since chemotherapy started. Its harder and I'm covering less distance but I'm still doing it. I made a deal with myself that no matter how unlike running I felt during my treatment I would make myself get out there, even for just a short one.
When I decided to enter the Big Fun Run 5K in Birmingham it seemed a little bit silly. The race was four days after my second chemotherapy treatment and I had no idea how it was going to affect me. I hadn't actually entered when I mentioned it to Sarah, my friend from the Younger Breast Cancer Network UK. The idea was met with her usual unfailing enthusiasm and we agreed to run it together and also to raise money for Breast Cancer Care and Cancer Research UK in the process. So our entries were made and the fundraising page created.
I'll be honest, it gave me a bit of a buzz. Well, a lot of one. It gave me something to focus on other than cancer and made me feel like I was doing something useful rather than being a massive burden to my family, friends and the National Health Service.
We completed the race in our pink tops and me with my new pink running hat to hide my chicken fluff stubble head - Sarah in 26 mins 30 secs and me in 25 minutes and 25 seconds (yes seems very fast but it was actually about 4.7K rather than 5K but lets not dwell on that bit!). Then we went and ate cake, which was well deserved I reckon!
We also featured in the Birmingham Post, although they got the distance massively wrong, and completed a bit of a photo shoot for the Birmingham Mail. The photos consisted of some very silly 'running' photos and catalogue type shoots of us grinning and staring off in to the distance. The story hasn't been featured yet but we'll let you know when it is!
We've been blown away by the generosity of the people we know and some that we don't. So far we've raised £1510 for Breast Cancer Care and Cancer Research - two fantastic charities. Breast Cancer Care have been fantastic since the point of my diagnosis by providing excellent information resources, a volunteer from their Some Like Me Service and also pointing me in the direction of the Younger Breast Cancer Network UK where Sarah and I met. We are also attending their Younger Women Together two day event this weekend, organised to provide information, support and networking opportunities for younger women with breast cancer. We are quite a rare breed and I don't know of another charity who provides the level of support and information for us that Breast Cancer Care does. Cancer Research UK save lives with the work that they do and they provide some pretty good information and resources too.
If you would like to donate to these fantastic causes you can still do so here.
Thank you again to everyone for the positivity and support that you've given us. It really does make all the difference. xxx