The past couple of weeks have been the hardest, and I thought I wouldn't be going to Skye with my mouth being so sore and with struggling to eat. I asked Pauline would she still go if she could get someone to go with her. (Oh, before you get into this post I think I better warn you if sweary words offend you, there are a few here, I'm not pulling my punches with this one.)
I started to feel a bit weary, this was the closest I came to letting my head go down. I then thought Fuck it! I can have a sore mouth, stay at home and be miserable or I can have a sore mouth, be tired but happy in Skye, it doesn't matter if I can eat or not, I'll work round it.
Pauline was pleased when I said I was trying to get my head round going to Skye and I even surprised Pauline by saying I still would like to do the Half Marathon, it is very important to me, it was the first race I ran seven weeks after I had the brain haemorrhage in 2005 and again I think it's fitting the Skye Half is my first race to show I'm on the road to recovery. Ok, a few more weeks to get over the treatment might have been better but I've never gone for the sensible option.
I did have a lovely morning walk on Monday, the first day in six weeks without having to go to the Western for treatment. It was arranged ages ago for Pauline and I to meet Clare Balding at Balmaha and have a wee walk out and back talking about our West Highland Way races for her radio programme Ramblings on Radio 4, but if I wasn't able to go she was happy just to do it with Pauline, I was glad I went and managed to say a few words, I was disappointed when she said it was time to turn back, I was hoping to get further, but it was lovely to stroll along the WHW for the first time is ages. I think we only walked for about four miles but probably just as well that's as far as we went, I got home around mid afternoon, I was very tired and slept until about 8.00pm!
I've been doing a lot of sleeping, trying to gather my strength for the trip to Skye, my body is not in good shape, I'm not eating at all just now, my mouth is too sore and raw but I still have the feeding tube in my tummy and I've been using that for the past few days, I've got a supply of the bags of drip feed they gave me after the surgery, I never thought I'd use it but needs must, it has around 1300 calories and supplemented with prescription milkshakes and full fat milk I'm making sure I'm getting over 2000 calories a day, and these things are all fortified with protein, vitamins and minerals. I'm not hanging it up and using the pump though, too much palaver, I'm just skooshing it in with a syringe, even that's not correct procedure, you're just meant to remove the plunger, pour the gloop in and let gravity do the job, but a bit of common sense, (I do have a little) I don't force it in with the velocity of a power hose!
The Half isn't going to be pretty or very fast, my last run was on 16th March, I'll be walking more than I'll be running but I'm an ultra runner, I know how to do tired. I'll still be pinning my number to my club vest, it will still be the best I can on the day and I'll always be proud of my best effort whatever the time on the watch even if everyone else has gone home by the time I finish... but finish I will!
Cancer and it's life changing surgery followed by six weeks of harsh and painful radio and chemotherapy has left my body tired and sore but it never got close to my heart and soul and that is what will get me round my race. Cancer you can fuck right off, this is the last time you will dictate to me.
Final round, I'll land the knockout blow when I cross the finish line.
Hands up, chin down.