We are very excited to be holding our 3rd annual Cheeky Santa Dash today. It’s been a long journey to get here. There were times when the Cheeky Santa Dash was the furthest thing from our minds. Back in June I had my third surgery. Minutes before I went down to the theatre my surgeon told me my tumour had grown and she’d have to remove part of my diaphragm too. It was very scary.
Days after my op.
My operation was complex and took 11 hours. I was kept asleep overnight and spent the next 5 nights in intensive care. I eventually went up to the ward. At first i made great progress and it looked like I might go home two weeks after my operation. I sadly got a huge infection in my lungs and I had a chest drain inserted into my right lung. It hurt and would often brace my right side to progress the site. By the time it came out i had developed a hunch. My right shoulder was a lot lower than my left one.
When I was discharged from hospital after 7 weeks my physio told me I wouldn’t run be able to run for 6 months, because of my body was so misaligned. That was 4 months ago. For the last few weeks I’ve been running on the treadmill to build my fitness up. It’s been hard work and the damage to my lungs is taking ages to heal, but I’m feeling strong and I’m getting fitter with every workout.
My last run, just days before my surgery back in June.
It’s by no means been plan sailing. The surgery had been a success, when went to see my oncologist about our next steps w were given the devastating news that cancer was back and worse than before. We started chemo again straightaway and haven’t looked back. We are hopeful treatment is working, but that’s something we only need to worry about after Christmas when my course finishes.
Our recent trip to Disneyland and our first trip three years before.
Getting back into the routine of having chemo every fortnight has been hard. My body has felt strange and weird. But amongst all the healing and chemo we’ve done our best to have a normal family life. My first fitness goal wasn’t to run or get to the gym, it was to be fit enough to enjoy Disneyland Paris with my family. We had a great time.
Some of the people that have helped us promote our Cheeky Santa Dash. Clockwise from top left: Becky from That’s Lancashire, John Gillmore, Graham Liver (both BBC Radio Lancashire) and Beccy Barr from BBC North West Tonight.
Through all of these ups and downs we had to put the Cheeky Santa Dash to oneside. We had great plans for making the run bigger than ever, but after the struggles we’ve had this year just staging the event is a huge huge success.
Some more: Mike Stevens from BBC Radio Lancashire, below Laura Pratt 2BR and my good friend Cathryn.
We’ve only really had two weeks to organise and promote it and we’re very grateful for these media organisations and our friends and family for helping us to get it off the ground and promote it.
Last year’s Cheeky Santa Dash.
I’ve been really lucky to have the support of a local media outlets and have done a number interviews this week. It’s been tiring, but great fun. I’m really grateful to That’s Lancashire, BBC Radio Lancashire, BBC North West Tonight, 2BR and Blog Preston (and probably others I’ve missed) for all they’ve done to help us promote our Cheeky Santa Dash.
Today represents so much for us. It’s been a hard year, but we made it through and I’m still here. We get to have another wonderful Christmas together and celebrate with our friends while running around Avenham Park in bum shorts to promote awareness of bowel cancer symptoms and raise money to support three brilliant cancer charities.