Sunday, 29 August 2010

Perth in perspective

I’ve been trying to focus on the 24 hour race at Perth but it hasn’t been easy, my running has been fine, thoroughly enjoyed it as always.
I’ll let an email I sent to a good friend I don’t see very often explain.

Hi ?????,

Sorry I've been awfy slow in replying, and awfy sad to hear you and ????? are splitting up especially with being together for such a long time but always look forward with your head up that way you can see all the good stuff ahead.

One reason I've been slow in replying is I got some sad news too, it's my Mum, she has cancer, it was very sudden and a shock.
How long have you got? I'll give you the whole story.

Nearly three years ago an old friend of Mum and Dad's, Crawford, (he and Dad had been pals since school) had emigrated to Australia around 1970 with his family and he came back to Scotland for a last visit and looked up Mum and Dad not knowing Dad had died. But rewind back to the 50's Mum had gone out with Crawford but had split up when he went off to do his National Service.
They got on really well and kept in touch after he went back to Oz, then Sept' 2008 Mum and her brother went out for a holiday and they became a couple. He came over in Jan' 2009 for six months then last August they headed back to Oz for six months, it was quite hard saying bye at the airport, I've never not had my Mum close by and we were always round at hers a couple of times a week but I was happy for her, they were like giggling teenagers together having a lot of laughs, and how many folk do you know in their early seventies having so much fun! But at the beginning of this year, just before they were due to come back Crawford was diagnosed with Leukaemia so Mum had her visa extended, Crawford responded well to treatment and is now in remission and the plan was to come home in August. Mum started to feel not well in May, it was the Monday before the WHW Mum told me it was cancer and they were doing tests on how far it had gone. (So that was one of the reasons I had such an enjoyable WHW, running 95 miles with a wee chest infection was easy compared to the battle facing Mum.)
The results were not good the cancer is in her bones, so treatment is to be prolonging rather than curing. It has been so hard knowing Mum was miles and miles away and I couldn't do anything for her. But after radiotherapy, the first part of her treatment in Oz Pauline went out for less than a week and escorted them home. They've been back just over a week now, Mum looks fine but is very tired, but she's still fighting, laughed at her chasing a cat out of the garden at the weekend, she hates them shitting in her flowerbeds! Not that her garden is looking too good at the minute, but I am being supervised, it won't take too long to get it back to its former glory! I feel so much better having her home and that I can do stuff. She starts chemo next week I think, that's going to be rough. But you know me, I'm a tough dude and I'll do what I can to give my Mum the best care and laughs.

On the racing front... let me think... oh yeah, a big one! It hasn't been at the forefront of my mind but on the day I will do my best. It's at the Perth Ultrafest. The Six Nations 24 hour Championship AND in a Scotland vest next weekend. So if you're at a loose end between 10.00am 4th Sept and 10.00am 5th Sept come along to the Inches with your Saltire and shouty voice, I'll need all the help I can get! Pauline should be running too but has had a few wee problems, after the long flight home she's had a problem with her knee, and is not sure about running, but if she starts she will finish, no half measures.

I'll finish with a wee quote from Rosie Swale Pope - Just a Little Run Around the World (a story of her 5 year run round the world raising awareness for prostate cancer after losing her husband.)

Never miss the chance to be happy.

Fiona xxx

Thinking of my race next week, I will still be giving it my all, if I have to run until the blood seeps though my shoes, or my quads turn to concrete or I spew my guts, there’s nothing new there, this is all stuff I’ve ran with in the past and they haven’t stopped me before and if something new adds to the challenge I’m sure I’ll deal with it. Another quote from Rosie – Yesterdays hardship is today’s anaesthetic.

I will have an intense 24 hours, I will get sore and I will get tired but at the end I’ll get to lie down, sleep and recover, and with that thought it will be easy. I am not disregarding how hard a race of this stature is I’m just comparing it to the battle ahead of my Mum and many others.

I know Mum is proud of me as all Mums are but it’ll do no harm to make her smile even wider. I will be going in fighting not just for my country but for my Mum too. On the outside I’m a wee Fife wife, on the inside I am not just one warrior, I have the strength and heart of a whole legion.

Here’s my song for this years race.


Tim said...

I'm so sorry to hear about your mother's illness Fiona. Sometimes we don't always appreciate just how lucky we are to be able to run or to simply enjoy good health.
Your mother sounds like a fighter and someone who's determined to enjoy life, no matter what. Fingers crossed she responds well to chemo.
All the best in Perth this weekend.

John Kynaston said...

So sorry to hear about your Mum. I'll be praying for your family at this time.

William said...

Sorry to hear your news. This quote came to mind:
“Dare we hope? We dare. Can we hope? We can. Should we hope? We must, because to do otherwise is to waste the most precious of gifts, given so freely by God to all of us. So when we do die, it will be with hope and it will be easy and our hearts will not be broken.”
Andy Ripley (International Rugby player)

kate said...

you're mum sounds pretty tough, hope she continues her battle with the cats- i totally empathise. keep on running fiona x

Vicky Hart said...

All the best to your mum Fiona. She sounds like a fighter. You're blog is always inspiring to read. Looking forward to seeing you at the weekend.

Chris Carver said...

Sorry to read of your sad news but all the best to you and your mum. I know nobody can understand what you're feeling/going through but I reckon I must come close ... I had cancer myself (twice) in the early 1990s. Whilst I was undergoing my first bout of chemo my wife's gran died [cancer] and during my second illness my mum died [cancer again].

You must keep fighting. I always found that retaining a sense of humour helps too !!!

See you in Perth at the weekend.

xiain said...

Fiona, good luck to your Mum as she starts chemo. Sending my best wishes by this message and if I could put goodwill in a bottle, I'd send it too.