It has been a very testing time for me since my last post. After the miraculous 15k run at the BRRC Championships on the 25th October I only managed one more run a few days after that. The last six weeks of chemo just seemed to progressively inch by inch wear me down and down and made the possibility of exercise impossible.
But I finished my chem course two weeks ago and I have had follow up CAT and PET scans since and the results have been good with no discernable signs of disease present. This puts me currently in remission. To be "cured" I will need to have no relapse in the next five years. The odds of a relapse are about 50% at this stage. I will undergo a Stem Cell Harvest in January which involves a couple of days of chemo and then a ten days of Growth Hormone injections before the actual harvest which can take up to three days.
All I have to do now is recover from the chemo treatment. My red and white blood cell counts will take a little while to recover but my lingering issue is peripheral neuropathy of the fingers and feet. This is basically damage to the peripheral nerves in those areas resulting in numbness and loss of function. As a runner, the feet is the worrying area. My right ankle seems to be almost permanently swollen and I have to be extra careful moving around as muscular co-ordination is a bit impaired.
I resisted doing any running while my feet were like this and started swimming last week. It has become apparent that this condition is not going to go away quickly and there is even a chance that it could be permanent, so I decided I may as well give the running a go.
I went for a 2.5k run on Friday which was a struggle and the legs certainly felt strange but it didn't make anything worse.
So today, I decided I would give the BRRC Dash (5k) and Splash (100m swim) a go. If worse came to worse I could always walk.
Well I didn't need to walk but gee the running almost got down to walking pace at the end. Managed the 5k in 36:18 which is an avg of 7:15 pace but I was doing closer to 7:45 pace at the end and there is no way I could have gone any faster. I think I came about third last of the runners. Did manage to get some encouragement along the way from Rob Richards who I imagine was out on his Sunday long run.
But what made my day was the announcement that I had won the BRRC Club Champion for the 50-55 Category for 2009. Luckily I put some in some good performances in the first half of the year.
So from here on I will be working to get back my fitness but it is going to be a long slow process if today's run is any indication.