Liz O’Riordan is a breast surgeon with breast cancer who is writing an honest and moving blog about her experience. She likens the trilogy of chemotherapy, surgery and radiotherapy to a triathlon – which happily allows me to compare my next stage of treatment to running, just like I did the first. When I did triathlons, I found the run stage the easiest and although I was completely wrong about chemotherapy being the worst part of the treatment, I’m still hopeful that radiotherapy won’t be too bad. It starts in a couple of weeks and goes on until the end of the first week in January. It means that I’m currently in T2 – the transition between the cycle and the run in a triathlon. My hope that this would all be over by Christmas has not been fulfilled, but then I’ve realised that although things look positive for the future, cancer is not something that is ever ‘over’. There’s no going back to the sweet oblivion at the start of this year when cancer was something that happened to other people.
Talking of running, I’m not doing any at the moment. Having been given the go-ahead by my surgeon to start running six weeks after surgery, I did a slow couple of miles around the common. It was snowing as I ran which added to the delight of being back in my trainers, and it felt great. I thought that as I could easily cope with a five mile walk, then a two mile run would be a good place to start but I was wrong about that too. My knee has been hurting ever since, so I have been faithfully doing strengthening exercises and spending time with my foam roller. I think I underestimated how much impact the surgery had had on the whole of my body, and how much fitness I had lost. Hopefully, I’ll be able to start again soon, and I’ve got John Legend’s Ordinary People in my head telling me to take it slow. There’s been lots of waiting around over the last few months and I’m now resigned to recovery taking longer than I first thought it would. Still, it’s nice to be reminded by the photo above of a triathlon run around Dorney Lake – look at all that hair!