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Showing posts from January, 2014

Why I Did the #CanCan4PanCan

Early in December - strangely, around what would have been my dad's birthday -  after responding to a direct message on Twitter, I had an email from Pancreatic Cancer UK. ‘How would you feel,’ I was asked, ‘about getting your CanCan on for pancreatic cancer awareness?’ Pretty silly, I guess, was my initial reaction, but pancreatic cancer is the fifth leading cause of all UK cancer deaths and survival rates have not improved in forty years - and I had a personal reason to get involved.

Pancreatic cancer is known as the ‘silent’ killer because many of its symptoms reflect less serious illnesses meaning that by the time diagnosis is confirmed it’s often too late – which is what happened to my dad. Dad was troubled by the kind of vague back pain and general malaise most people dismiss as a virus and Dad – who once performed an eye-watering operation on himself with a Stanley knife - certainly wouldn’t have consulted a doctor about a ‘bug’.

The day came, however, when Dad was faced w…

Tom's Big Bike Ride

Last December, we celebrated an important anniversary. It’s twenty-six years since Tom was diagnosed with testicular cancer, twenty-five years, really, after the surgery and follow-ups, of coming out the other side. Despite a glitch a few years ago, when the removal of what turned out to be an entirely harmless lump led to him being very seriously ill with an MRSA infection, Tom’s been well. To celebrate his survival and to commemorate the lives of family and friends who've been lost to cancer along the way, Tom decided to raise money for Cancer Research UK by cycling 50 miles from St David’s in Pembrokeshire and back along the coast here, to Sarnau, – a pretty, but punishing ride with some stunning views and horrendous hills. This is the story of his big bike ride.
To see just how tough it was, you can trace Tom's ride here and see his fundraising page here

A View with No Loo

On Christmas Day, Tom and I settle down to our scrumptious Swansea market pork. Mm, delicious, especially the lovely crackling… until, that is, I realise that some of the crunching noise has been caused by a back tooth breaking in half.

Never mind, I think, on Boxing Day, I’ll go for a run. After heavy rain the roads are like rivers, even on the hills where I’m also pelted with so much hail that the front of my black running trousers turns white. It feels great to be out here; I run a pb and feel fabulously alive… until a searing pain in my butt makes every other step I take pure agony. Back home I do some internet research and discover something called Piriformis Syndrome. It doesn’t make for happy reading – I belatedly learn why it’s important to stretch before and after vigorous exercise.

My younger stepson arrives for the New Year – lovely! We look forwards to eating, drinking and making merry… until both loos stop working. Tom spends three hours fishing around in the drains b…