This weekend is more or less the end of the initial 6 month period that I was informed I would be having treatment. Cutting a long story a bit shorter (sorry, I do waffle a bit), I responded well to treatment so didn’t require the 13 or so cycles of treatment that I was expecting in that 6 month period. Since my last blog, I’ve had 2 more cycles, at the beginning and end of April. I had a blood test this morning in advance of my next consultation which is on 30th – where next steps will be discussed. In the meantime, I’ve been pretty much back to normal since.
The first of my (I believe) final two cycles was on 6th April. I was a bit anxious before this with regard to side effects as it had been a few weeks since the last cycle, so I ensured that I’d dosed up with anti-sickness so managed to keep a lid on that. Rather than have the next cycle 2 weeks later, I requested a delay an additional week so I could attend another family wedding.
Suzi & Matt were due to get married, then the pandemic struck, so postponed a year, then another year, until finally they had their big day on the 22 April. It was great to be well and have the energy to attend and enjoy the day with all the in-laws and Suzi & Matt’s family and friends. Was a great day.
The 3 week gap between cycle 8 & 9 did push my last cycle out to being the day before a tribute concert for our dear friend Steve Munn, Brassed Off with Cancer in aid of Bowel Cancer UK on the 29th. Sadly, Steve passed in December from this disease, and in his memory, his wife Sarah and family organised a big tribute concert consisting of over 70 players from various brass bands in the area that Steve had connections. To date they’ve raised nearly £8000 for Bowel Cancer UK. I was so pleased to be able to play on that day, it was truly a marvellous evening of music making in tribute to a top bloke. For a clip from the concert, check out the Brassed Off with Cancer YouTube channel.
Ride London 2023
As can be seen from the header image, the Ford Ride London / Essex ride is this Sunday 28th. I’ve managed to fit my training in, initially around treatment when I had the energy, then ramping up after I finished cycle 9. The peak (pardon the mild pun) of my training I guess was participating in the UK Cycling Events Surrey Hills Classic (middle distance) last week. This was 52 miles over the scenic Surrey Hills, an area of outstanding natural beauty, or pain if you are on a bike. The ride (well, middle route) didn’t overlap a lot with the old route for Ride London, but did include ascent/descent of Leith Hill and 3 other Category 4 climbs. Was really pleased to finish the ride comfortably and gauge my fitness, endurance and recovery in preparation for the main event on 28th. Planning a final short easy training ride tonight, which will add to my current total 507 training miles. Tomorrow will be a day of rest & carb loading! 🙂 My father in law who is 70 + a few years old is also taking part so I wish him well too, hopefully we can catch up at the end (we have different start times etc, it’s complicated…)
I’ve also started running a little more frequently now again too, back with the Run2Drink crew for monthly catch ups and joining on the Park Run tours. Wimpole last Saturday was a great return for me to Park Run (although, I forgot to turn on GPS so don’t have the route tracked properly on Strava.. doh!). I have a deferred entry from last year for the Bedford 20 mile run in September so something to aim for!
Getting back to normal
Hitchin Band were mighty kind to let me back in after my break, being champions of the London & Southern Counties hasn’t quite gone to their heads! although at times, you’d wonder how the basses won the bass section price (ha, sorry guys!). We’re busy rehearsing for summer engagements around the area and are participating for the first time at the annual Saddleworth Whit Friday Marches contest on 2nd of June. Schedules are being confirmed for our preparation for the National Finals in September so we haven’t quite started getting our teeth into the set test piece yet.
Last week, I was available for a Brass Foundry rehearsal too, where I was able to play on 3 of my trumpets, Bb, Eb and briefly my Piccolo. I say every time, I must do more work on my piccolo trumpet, then put it back in it’s box for 12 months at a time 🙂 Was good to blow through new arrangements with the group.
I think that’s about it, if you’ve read this far, thank you. Exciting stuff this week was a visit to Yoga Shed for first time since pandemic & treatment, and I’ve been interviewed for a Mercedes Benz UK in house magazine about my fundraising, which is nice, can raise awareness there too.
I’m extremely grateful to those of you who have donated to my fundraiser so far, you are so generous. I set a high target, so won’t be too upset not to hit it, but every penny helps towards the research into treatments for all kinds of Blood Cancers.
My fundraising page is here! if you can add to my total that would be super!
Next post will be an update on how I got on during the Ride London 2023 and outcome of my consultation next week. Until then, take care all, thank you for reading!