Hi, my name is Tom…..at 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.