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Tuesday, 4 March 2014

Back to Work - Mini Milestone

On Monday I wanted to go back to work, and went in as normal. I was stopped everywhere, everyone asking if I was Ok and checking up on me.  People may see this as bothersome, but I find so much support in this, people really do care, and that goes a long way with me.  OK, I didn't get much actual work done, but it was good to be around people, I was able to take my mind of things and it was relaxed.

I started to get messages from people in the office and also friends.  I had been made a celebrity. The story that I was interviewed for by the Lancashire Evening Post had been published.  If you haven't seen it in print, don't worry the link is here:

http://www.lep.co.uk/news/you-don-t-expect-cancer-when-you-re-a-33-year-old-runner-1-6474519

I went to the supermarket at lunch to buy a copy of the paper and I was stood in the entrance reading the story.  It brought tears to my eyes, thinking about the boys and seeing it all in print.  With the newspaper article, the start of chemo and the general feeling unwell from the drugs, things are starting to hit home, pretty hard.

I went back to work and everyone was really chuffed about the article.  It was a good story, and the pictures were good too.  A double page centre fold spread.  Leonie text me later with a picture of a sandwich board outside out local off licence.   It was a lot of attention and although the people at work know the story from the triathlon last year, there were still plenty of questions.

This year I have been to hospital loads, but last year was not without its mishaps.  I have been running for years and have done marathons, but in 2013 I thought I could go one better.  I wanted to do a triathlon and decided upon the Helvellyn tri.  This is a mile swim in open water, 38 mile ride around the lakes and then a 9 mile run up and down Helvellyn.  I knew swimming was my weakest discipline but thought that if I could get over that, the rest would be easy.  I trained all year, with open water swimming, brick sessions and so on.  However the week preceeding the tri, the temperature plummeted and the water was cold.  I entered the water nervously, I was slow but I kept going and I could see the shore line approaching.  Four hundred meters to go and I was dragged out of the water unconcious and with mild hypothermia.   My first ever DNF.  I was devestated.  I had never been beaten, I had finished everything I had tried, apart from this.

After a month of "what ifs" and "what nows", and generally feeling unwell, I went to the doctors and Dr Ravi thought I could be coeliac from my symptons, so advised I get checked.  This involves a blood test and endoscope.  The blood test confirmed coeliac but the next step is to have camera.  The endoscope was an horrific ordeal, not pain but just gross.  That one thing was pretty grim so far.

I had to wait for the results so that would take some time.  In the meantime however, I thought it would be a good idea to try and break a world record.  I do stupid things like this and the one record I had my eye on was "most t-shirts worn at once".  The record stood at 256 t-shirts.  I had enough shirts, and some help on the night in November I tried for the record.  Unfortunately, I couldn't beat 105, but I nearly collapsed trying.  It was three stone in weight with just 105, it was crushing me and I had to be cut out of the shirts pretty fast. It was a funny night, but that was the second near miss of 2013.  Then into 2014 ... sorry I digress.

After work on Monday, I went to see Dr Ravi again and we chatted, he asked about my attempt to quit smoking, and I was proud to tell him that I had not had a cigarette for 4 weeks.  I had the nicotine patches for only a week. I do confess to using a electronic cigarette, but I am now cutting down on that too, a mini milestone ticked off.  I booked in a blood test for next week, and he checked I was ok, looked at my stitches and then he prescribed me my calcium, "chewable tutti frutti" and another load of GF food.  I picked up my new items and went home to bed tired and happy, another day done, hopefully more sleep tonght.

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