Hi, my name is Tom… 3.15pm on Thursday the 5th December 2013 my life changed forever.

Only 10 days previously I had run my best marathon time of 3hrs 11 mins at the Florence marathon. Still with the stiffness in my legs from the run, and only 2 days later, I walked into see my consultant about what I had considered at the time to be very mild symptoms. I genuinely felt that this was a ‘nothing to worry about’ appointment which would require no follow up.

Anyway this turned out not to be the case, and only a few days later, following an endoscopy, coupled with a CT and MRI scan, I was told the devastating news that I had bowel cancer!.

My feeling immediately on him saying the ‘C’ word was one of UTTER shock….I simply could not understand how someone who was otherwise fit and healthy, having just run a marathon, could have such a thing!. At first I really struggled to take in the news with a million thoughts rushing round my head. I am 39 for gods sake!,..I run marathons…I eat a healthy diet…..I am not overweight…..I don’t smoke…….I am not diabetic…..there is no family history….I simply don’t “tick any of the boxes”!…how can this be!.

So why set up this website?……well, I remember when I first found out about my diagnosis I did what probably alot of people do in the same position….spend hours googling about it to try and find someone in a similar situation as me. I found some incredible stories about some amazing people and how they had got through their treatment. The one overriding theme which I took out from what I read was the importance of ‘staying positive’. Whatever your diagnosis, you will invariably find someone in a tougher position than you.

If there was one thing that I knew would help me keep focused and stay positive throughout what I knew would be a long course of tough treatment, it was my running!. I hope that reading my website can maybe help others in a similar position to realise that life doesn’t just standstill when you are diagnosed with cancer. If you were an active person before cancer, then USE this to get you through the treatment and beyond!. Keep telling yourself ‘this is a battle worth fighting’.

With major surgery and a second stronger bout of chemo still to come for me later this year, I am under no illusions that this will be an incredibly tough journey. I am not even half way through yet, but I know that keeping positive and active will be THE KEY to getting through it.

21 Replies to “MY STORY”

  1. We are all following your progress full of hope for a complete recovery and with enormous admiration for that positive attitude you write about.

  2. Thank you for inviting me in to your website, perhaps one of the other positive aspects of your situation is that it helps others – by reminding us how to view our lives xxx

  3. Hello Tom! Long time no see. You have been in my thoughts often of late. Much love to you. Looking forward to hearing of your journey back to running. I am a runner too and it keeps me sane quite literally. Jo xx

  4. Hi Tom

    Have never had the pleasure of meeting you – know your Papa. My fingers are crossed for you, Reading your story, you have the right mental approach to overcome this hiccup in your life.

    Keep positive


  5. Hello Tom – you don’t know me, but I was at school with your Dad. I sincerely wish you all the very best. Carol

    • Hello Tom,
      I have just read your story. I have never met you but was a school friend of your dad, and was sorry to read your news. Keep fighting!!
      Many good wishes,

  6. Hi Tom, this is Aubs I worked with dad over a number of years and Ann and I became good friends with both mum and dad, when we speak we always discuss our respective families and was devastated to hear about the cancer. You are right in your attitude and I am confident because of this you will overcome it. You are constantly in our prayers, God bless you. Ann and Aubs

  7. Hello Tom:
    I work with your dad on our UK shoots. I have not met you but have the greatest admiration for your courage. Adversity often brings out the best in people as is clear in your case. We hope and pray for a positive outcome, keep up the good work. You are an inspiration to others.
    Kind regards,
    Charles Williams

  8. As you know, we are all following your marathon journey Tom and look forward to further additions to your blog. It’s a tough call but I know you are courageous and positive and we pray that you will be strengthened during those days when the going is difficult.

  9. Hi Tom
    We understand your feelings,we know what you are going through, think positively and keep strong.
    We think about you daily.
    love Maryann Eddy

  10. One day at a time.
    At six o’clock this morning the rain was drenching.
    Now the sun is out & everything looks that little bit better.

  11. Hi Tom, I hope the cancer has got the message that it has picked on the wrong person. Your bravery is immense and fortune favours the brave. Sub 3 hours for the next marathon?

  12. Dear Tom,
    Life certainly shows us all aspects of it ‘s facets.Joy,laughter,excitement,wonder,fear,sorrow,sadness, and the unexplainable. And we all have our choices, and you Tom ,in your time of fear, and shock with the news of your cancer, took a positive path, to overcome ,and make sure you were going to fight on all possible fronts. We send you Love,and all good positive energy, for your complete recovery. Aruna

  13. Dear Tom, You are an amazing, handsome inspirational person. Your running, that huge smile, remind me of when you picked myself & Jack up from the airport a long time ago so warm &welcoming bounding out of no-where full of laughter & lively talk..Jack would be proud of you,& I am too. Thinking of you,wishing you all the best, Love Auntie Jane in California xoxo

  14. Dear Tom
    You are inspirational Tom and we send our love and best wishes to you and your family.
    With your strength we are sure you will overcome this dreadful illness. Our thoughts are with you.
    Love Marilyn & John

  15. Hi Tom
    I’m a friend of your Mums so have been following your progress. Well done on getting back to your running and at a pace that I can only dream about (9min/mile is super fast for me!). I look forward to hearing about when you are back to marathon running and I will continue to keep you in my thoughts and prayers.

  16. Good to hear from you tonight Tom. Inspirational reading. Please let us know when you’re back in Devon. (Still remember your 800 and 1500 metre triumphs on sports day!!) xx

  17. Hi Tom – i have read all your blogs and smiled when I saw your references to your love of being in control – so I can only imagine how hard this is. But I love that attitude of yours – and what you said -ie dont worry about what you can’t control and instead control what you can. I imagine that all those other amazing work characteristics that i remember so well will also stand you in brilliant stead to beat this – your energy, tenacity, dedication, thoroughness – all now focused on beating this cancer…I reckon this cancer stands no chance …just don’t show it any of your other characteristics – your warmth, kindness, fun…..Take care fella x

  18. I enjoy reading all the hurdles you’ve been through, thanks for referring me here, you are truly inspirational. I can’t imagine how you ran through the radiation/chemo. I had stage 3 and the tumor was so big I could hardly walk, may be I’m almost 20 years older and maybe the drugs but I’m here.
    It gives me encouragement about the lung and I have the same feelings why! Being healthy and non smoker but we just keep rolling through this journey the beat we can.
    Thanks again and my best to you.

  19. Hello Tom

    The are parallels in our stories

    6 month ago I was diagnosed with a brain tumor. I have finished 42 treatments and now on a chemo and radiation holiday until Jan 2022

    Some days I feel like I can’t wait to be in bed sleeping an stop any suffering. Not without knowing my situation still is better than many.

    I am at a cross road where the treatment is worse than the disease but hoping to see that change

    In the meantime when I can I’m plotting my course to be back run ‍♀️ 8 km a day by August 202

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