Sunday, 6 September 2015

If you try you may lose.... if you don't try you lose for sure - Jens Voigt

Well, my altercations with BUPA continue in earnest and I'm hoping to be able to post a resolution soon before being forced to unleash my worst on social media!

I have gradually been shedding the steroid pounds by setting my alarm for silly-o-clock, rounding up our overly-enthustic labrador and jogging around Rusden Lakes. My recent preference for running does not sit well in a household that's obsessed with cycling but I'm not ashamed to say that I've started to enjoy it. The first couple of outings were hellish, it was like trying to run with dead-weights around my ankles. I mentioned this to my surgeon as I was worried that it may be an indication of cancer in my lungs but he responded with a rueful smile and told me that it's most likely the chemotherapy drugs that are still in my system, it'll take a couple of months for them to clear and I'm going to view it as resistance training!

My blossoming relationship with running has acted as a bit of a metaphor for my recovery, it's amazing to see my performance improve week after week and helps me to feel as if I have some sort of control over this stage of my journey. People ask me whether all of the surgery and treatment have improved my pain threshold, I can assure you that it has made absolutely no difference; chemotherapy provided me with a welcome respite from the plucking and waxing required to manage the (unmentionable) body hair and my recent reinstatement of that particular routine is proving to be more painful than ever!

What I have noticed however is the strange relationship that I've developed with suffering. I have discovered a very odd switch which I didn't previously know was there.  Somehow, I manage to find a way to drown out my screaming legs and lungs by simply reminding myself of how chemo felt - it acts as a bit of a reset button which is where I essentially say to myself "you think this is suffering, you know what real suffering feels like, stop being such a baby."

As the countdown to the 'big-reveal' reaches 20 days, I start to plan a number of guest blogs that I have been asked to write. I don't know how to summarise my experience in a single blog but will likely focus on the cathartic effect that writing this blog has had on me. The fact that you are all continuing to read and share it as widely as you have is still unbelievable. I love writing it and want to thank you for humouring me.

PS, still no scan date, that's a WHOLE other BUPA fight, will keep you posted!