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Tuesday, 4 February 2014

Will I still feel hungry?

Its been a real busy but good day, after dropping the boys off at school and nursery, we had a chat with nursery to let them know whats happening.  They are so supportive and offered to take Sid more days if needed.

One thing I have learnt from all this is that people really do care when your world comes tumbling down, you learn who loves you!

Then it was off to work to tell the guys.  My boss already knew as I told her on Friday when I found out, she couldn't do any more to help and I was glad of her support today.  I was probably more nervous about telling people today then any other day.  It may be because it is slowly sinking in, the whole circumstance I have found myself in is pretty grave (no pun intended) but it is kind of all consuming, taking up my thoughts and actions - everything now in my life is about cancer.  I am asking inane questions to myself like, if they remove my stomach, would I still feel hunger, would I still be able to burp - stupid, my mind just wanders off.

Anyway the guys came into the meeing room and luckily Karyn (my boss) did the talking, the shock on their faces made me think about what I must of looked like when the consultant told me, I just remember feeling numb, like it wasn't me.  The guys kept their composure and a few jokes were made which always makes a difficult situation easier to handle, something else which I have learnt this week!

Next came the other team leaders, I thought this would be easier, some ways it was, others not so - I don't do crying easily ...

I asked Karyn to tell a few others and made a quick, quiet exit, not normally my style.

Next up was a meeting with Oncology.  I was called in almost before I sat down, but I did notice almost all the other people sat around were old, why am I here, i'm too young for this, it felt like a morgue!

We (my wife and I) went in, and I am so happy to meet such a nice doctor who would be overseeing my treatment.  Along with the staff I have met from the Upper GI clinic, these guys will be mine over the next couple of months.  We all chatted and it seems that we are all on the same page, which is a good start, Dr Mitchell and I even bonded as we have both run the London Marathon, small world and I can always bring it back to some thing I know - running!

I must admit that everything so far has been really good, I have no complaints, I know its their job, but I can happily say they have put me at ease.  Something they did advise which hadn't really crossed my mind was banking my sperm, makes sense really, as I may not be fertile in a couple of months.  At this point in my life I am happy with my two kids, but what happens if we get through this and feel we want another and I can't, so off we went for more blood tests to make sure I can bank.

The kids will need to be checked later in life when they are late teens, early 20s, as cancer is genetic, this was probably the saddest bit of news I have heard, I can cope with this, but I don't want my boys to have to cope or be at risk in any way.  I can't leave them and I will fight for them if nothing else!

A bit of news that was really surprising was that the doctor was adamant that my smoking (about 10 a day for 14/15 years) would NOT have caused this cancer, she said it would take much longer for it to be the cause.

We went to see macmillans after that, and met a guy who had survived lung cancer, he was a real guy, a real survivor, and he was again so positive.  He showed us that there is support, not just for me (being selfish) but for my wife and family, as well as financial assistance, some things we hadn't even considered, so really helpful stuff.

I got home and felt good so went for a run, just 5.5 miles, with a couple of short walks.  It felt good to be running, and more so than ever before, it felt natural.  Yeah it was cold and dark, but it makes you think how lucky you are to be able to run, you focus and concentrate and loose yourself in the moment.  I had time away in my running bubble and I want to run as often as possible, even if it is round the block (and it may be a walk). Next year when all this is over, I will run again, but i'm not sure if I would ever feel hunger again ...


  1. Hey Ric, Karyn here - what's hunger anyway you don't have to feel hungry to eat - believe me haha..

    What you are facing and how your doing it is truly inspirational - but that's you and I wouldn't expect anything else. We were with you when you and Ian ran 32 miles!, me and Maz were knackered getting in and out of the car!, yet you two carried on, I remember holding the 'Ultra Challenge distance' sign, and the smile on your face.... what we are facing now is a different challenge but one all the same.... I'll be there with the 'we've kicked it's arse' sign and wow there will be a party... I'll even make sure there's a cake!! gluten free of course :p
    So let face this challenge together, you have soooo many people that love you and will help you to beat this, lean on us when you need to, vent when it gets hard, but never ever give up..I'll keep on talking and you keep on fighting - deal?

    1. Now thats a deal I will take! Thank you Karyn, not only now, but for all you have done. The support is amazing and overwhelming, its hard to comprehend, but one thing I know going into this is that im not alone and that more than anything is a mightly weapon to have, so again thank you!