Archive for the ‘Half Marathon’ Category



March 7, 2011

Still here!

Sorry for the rather epic lack of posting lately – we’re still here, just getting on with it really! Andy’s chemo is going pretty well, more tiring and more side effects than last time but he’s still feeling good and has been doing lots of running and biking to keep him entertained.

The main news is that yesterday Andy and his sister Sarah completed the Adidas Silverstone Half Marathon! (That’s 13.1 miles as we were constantly reminded) They did it in 2:45:13 which I just think is amazing, I am so stupidly proud of him for that incredible achievement, especially as it comes after 16 chemo sessions in 9 months. Between them they managed to raise over £4,000 to be split between Cancer Research UK  and the Willow foundation which is wonderful. We should have really posted the link up here, but don’t worry, there’ll be plenty of other opportunities to sponsor him in the future! (If you really want to donate retrospectively, you can do so here –!)

There’s also lots to look forward to in the next couple of months – Andy is racing at the Plymouth Urban DH in about 3 weeks, then another race a week after that. Plus a trip to the Alps in August and a few more DH races in the summer, should be enough to keep him busy!

He  has another chemo starting on Wednesday, and in about a month’s time he’ll have another PET and/or CT scan to see how it’s going. Please pray that the chemo works properly this time and we can defy the odds and kick this cancer’s arse! There’s far too much to do to be held back by illness!



More bad news

December 29, 2010

Well the bad news seems to just keep on rolling in.  We got the results from the PET scan before Christmas, the shadow on my liver is a secondary cancer, however there is also cancer in 4 areas of lymph nodes around both kidneys, my pancreas and my aorta artery.  This news hit us both like an express train and basically means the chances of curing the cancer are very very slim.  It’s basically turned into a battle to slow the cancer down.  I’ve got another 12 sessions of chemo starting on the 12th Jan after our willow foundation funded break at centre parcs.  The difference this time is that compared to last time when my life was fitted around the chemo, this time the chemo will be fitting round my life.  There aren’t many different side effects to last time except I will definitely loose my hair and may be a bit more tired.  Ses responded to this by buying lots of yarn and has started knitting me lots of different hats!


I’m still going to try and complete the half marathon in March and am intending to do as many downhill biking races this year as possible.  We’re also still planning to go out to the alps in the summer to get a week of biking done too.


On a brighter note we had a nice Christmas period, spending Christmas and boxing day at my parents with family, then had Ses’ family up to ours for a few days.  It was nice to spend time with both families in the wake of the news and be able to forget about it somewhat over Christmas.


We had an eventful few days leading up to Christmas as I managed to pick up some sort of flu or bad cold which layed me up in bed for a couple of days with a mild temperature.  Unfortunately my temperature then went a bit mad and we were advised by the chemo nurses to get checked out by A&E when my temperature jumped up to 39.3 degrees C (102.7 in old money). After an hour of waiting I got seen and was pumped full of fluid and anti-biotics which seemed to kick the bug.  I got hit harder than most due to having a very weak immune system due to the first round of chemo.  We convinced the A&E doctor to let us go home after 6 hours there and with no chance of a bed other than the trolley in the resus bay!  They wanted to monitor me as one of the doctors heard a heart murmur.  Instead we had a follow up appointment 2 days later, however having taken my blood pressure and pulse we then sat waiting for 2 hours before having to give up and leave due to our car parking time running out.  I think in the grand scheme of things a heart murmur is the least of my worries.  I’ll ask the doc if it’s worth pursuing and if so go down the private route again!


And finally……

In an attempt to kick start my half marathon training I bought a Wii Fit yesterday.  Such good fun and will allow me to keep doing something active even when on chemo.


9 down, 3 to go and 4 numb fingers

October 30, 2010

Sessions 8 and 9 are over and done with. Had some developments with the tingling fingers in that after the 8th session the pads of my index finger and thumb on my left hand went and have stayed numb. Having told the oncologist they reduced the dosage of the Oxyplatin. Even with the reduced dose session 9 saw the same fingers on my right hand develop the same problem so it looks like that’ll be the end of me getting that drug as once nerve damage starts to occur if not stopped immediately then it can become permanent. Luckily that drug only has a minor part to play in my treatment as it’s the 5FU that’s the main drug and the Oxyplatin often has to be reduced or stopped mid treatment. I’ve done pretty well to get 3/4 of the way through before having to stop it. The advantage of it stopping is that it should cut the time I’m in hospital on weds from about 4 hours to 2 hours. It’ll also mean that I stop getting the tingling in my fingers and the hypersensitivity to cold.

Other than the numb fingers the past two treatments have been good, with minimal side effects other than tiredness. My hairs looking a bit on the thin side, but isn’t too noticeable other than to Ses, me and a couple of close friends.  It’ll be interesting to see if it grows back normal colour or grey as the colour creating parts of the follicle can take longer to recover and result in grey hair for a bit.


The past few weeks have been very hectic and draining as we’ve bought our first house and have been completing and moving into it.  Who knew you could fit the amount of stuff we have into a 3 bed flat, we’re living amongst boxes for the time being and sorting a few a day.  The DIY list has been growing too.  I did finally start ticking things off it though and have put a light and a couple of boards up in the loft so we can put a few bits up there now.  I also changed the tv aerial so we’re back to full freeview rather than having the choice of 6 random channels the old one picked up!  All in all we’re very pleased with our new home and have some big plans for it’s future seeing as it’s not seen much love over the past 10 years.


I also got my trials bike back up and running, whilst some may say I’m mad, it’s good as it means that I can do some gentle exercise that doesn’t require lots of cardio and will help build up some muscle again.  I have to be careful due to the ease at which my left shoulder falls apart but I can do low down stuff without too much risk.  I’m off to Chicksands again tomorrow with a couple of mates, should be a good laugh and will get me doing a little exercise again.  Roll on the final chemo session and with it the start of the half marathon training!


Better get going as there’s hooks and curtain poles that need putting up this evening!




Session 7 down, the best so far and lots to look forward to

September 29, 2010

Session 7 has come and gone and I’m happy to report that it was the best one so far, with minimal hiccups and only the sensitivity to cold.  I think this was mainly down to having things to do both during and the weekend after the treatment and having lots to look forward to.  On that front, we’ve managed to buy a house and are now madly planning everything that needs doing when we move.  Also I applied for and have been given a weekend at centre parcs through the Willow Foundation.  They’re a charity who provide special days for seriously ill young adults.  They take care of all the booking etc and money side of things and have been wonderful to deal with.  Check out their website for more information.  They’re one of the charities I’ll be running my half marathon for come March next year.

Work is still going well and besides being a little tired after a busy weekend I’ve not had any problems now I’ve been back full time for a month.  I’m finally starting to settle back into the software coding and have spent quite a lot of time putting into practice some of the design and coding principles I learnt a couple of years ago on the conversion training I did.

And Finally………

For all those who enjoy racing games, F1 2010 is definitely worth a look.


It’s Chemo Time

June 29, 2010

Tomorrow marks the start of my chemo, with 12 cycles, each 2 weeks long, with 2 days of drugs per cycle. I’ll be in hospital for a few hours tomorrow, two of which I’ll be having one of the drugs put in, then having a diffuser hooked up with the other drug in. Once that’s all done I go home and go back into hospital 48 hours later to have the diffuser disconnected. I’m a little nervous about what it’s going to be like and what the side effects are going to be like but sure God has got my back and is in control of things so I should be able to handle them ok.

The wound has continued to heal well now I’m off the steroids and is only a very small scab with a decent amount of skin underneath.  My belly looks a bit like a hot cross bun though due to the scar running down my abs pulling the skin inwards and the space where my large intestine used to be running across!

In the last week I’ve managed to get out on the bike a few more times, mostly locally, but paid the Royston bmx track another visit on Sunday with Olllie. Unfortunately before I even got out the car my shoulder fell apart, luckily I managed to get it back in myself. That wasn’t going to stop me riding so after a bit of strapping up I took the hardtail for a spin round the track. It’s soo much easier to carry speed without a load of suspension taking out all your effort!

Ses and I also went out for our first run together (and my first run since being ill). It was only a 2k loop but was more than enough to notice how much fitness I’ve lost and Ses hasn’t got either! I think there’s going to have to be a lot of hard core training if we’re going to get round this half marathon!

And finally……..
My weight gain is going well, I’m up to jut over 11 and a half stone which has stabilised now as I’m back doing exercise. I’m still on instructions from the oncologist to continue the high calorie diet so I’m still eating lots 🙂



A week at home

May 16, 2010

Having finally left hospital on Monday 10th May, I’ve spent the past week not doing much at home.  I’ve basically moved into the existence of a cat, with the daily tasks of eating and sleeping.  I seem to be permanently eating, which is good as it’s meaning I have lots of energy to heal myself 🙂  The week has been generally very good with no real problems with the stoma or bags.  The stoma is looking good and healthy as is the skin around it and the stoma nurse is happy with it’s progress.

I did weigh myself when I got home and found that in total (including the removed weight of my large intestines) I’ve lost two and a half stone in just under 2 months!  That’s 1/5th of my body weight.  I’m now weighing in at about 9 stone 11 lbs, that’s the lightest I’ve been since I was about 17!  I don’t seem to be putting any weight on despite consuming about 4000-5000 calories a day so I guess my body is using all the energy to heal.  I guess that also accounts for why at night I get very very hot (body healing during deep sleep and using lots of energy) and so am currently soaking the bed with sweat on a nightly basis :S

Ses has been doing an amazing job of looking after me, bringing me things, sorting things out and generally making sure I have what I need, but also calling me when I’m being lazy and should be able to do things for myself!  It’s so nice having her around all the time, I missed her more than anything during all the time in hospital, despite her being amazing and coming to visit me twice a day without fail.

On the subject of me being lazy and moving around, this week has seen lots of good progress in terms of moving around etc.  I managed my first trip out of the house on Friday to go and buy a new printer from Stevenage.  It was nice to get some fresh air and a change of scenery.  I only did a small amount of walking, but it was certainly progress.  I’m in virtually no pain now as the moving around I did early in the week has broken some of the binding of scar tissue that had happened while I was immobile in hospital, it initially hurt to move and fully straighten up, but once I’d done it a few times with the aid of painkillers the pain eased off.  I’m now only taking pain killers before I go to bed to make sure I can get off to sleep without being distracted at all.  The wound has healed pretty well, however there is one area that is still leaking and we called the district nurse in on Friday to take a look at it.  She had put an ultra absorbent dressing on it that should help it heal and said that changing the dressing on a daily basis wasn’t helping it heal, so that dressing is still on and will be until tomorrow when she comes back in.

Speaking of tomorrow, it’s going to be a busy and interesting day, in the morning I’ve got the district nurse coming round to take the staples out, at 2 I’ve got an appointment with the surgeon to follow up and see how I’m getting on.  Then at 3.40 I’ve got a doctors appointment to get a note to sign me off work and to follow up with them about the whole thing.  I’m also going to be asking them why they only prescribed me a 5 day course of steroids to treat the initial ulcerative colitis flair up as the hospital doctors confirmed that that’s no-where near long enough a course, and that was the reason I kept relapsing!

I can’t wait to get the staples out now as they are really starting to itch and pull, especially at the bottom of the wound where they are under the waist line of my shorts and boxers.  Again this is probably a good thing as it’s showing they are ready to be removed 🙂

I’ve had quite a few visitors this week, especially yesterday when we had 4 people come round 🙂  Ses’ friends from school came by as they were passing and Ses had made her a blanket/shawl on her loom, then Tic came up from Salisbury for the afternoon/evening.  We’ve been trying to meet up for the past 3/4 months, was really good to see him and I really appreciate the 4 hour round trip to get up to see me!  Alex also came round with a present from some of the people from work, Hayden had picked up on me saying we’d be able to go out and enjoy picnics now I won’t be worrying about needing to be near a toilet when I eat, so they clubbed together and got me an awesome picnic set, complete with carry basket, ground sheet and everything you need to eat outside 🙂  Massive thanks Alex, Gaz, Lewis, Hayden and Nick!  I’m looking forward to getting lots of use out of it this summer once I’m healed enough to get out and about more.  I can see us having lots of nice picnics down at Stanborough lakes in the summer and many chilled out afternoons at Essendon watching Gaz play cricket.

And finally…………… As motivation to get back to fitness and sort myself out physically Ses and I have just entered the Adidas Silverstone Half Marathon which takes place on the 6th March 2011, we’ll both be running for the Ileostomy Association and National Association for Colitis and Crohn’s Disease (NACC), we’ll post up our just giving sites once they are set up in the future.  For me this will be a long and tough journey from the state I was in when I was admitted to hospital for the third time barely able to walk, to being back fitter and running further than I was before the whole thing started, when my maximum distance run was 5 miles!  For Ses this will be a major challenge too as other than walking to get around she’s done no real exercise for several years and hasn’t done any running for quite some time.  We’ll keep the blog up to date with our training progress.