On 30th July – that’s only 3 weeks! away – I’m going to try to cycle 46 miles around London to raise money for Prostate Cancer UK. You can give money here.
Three years ago that wouldn’t have been much of an issue. I did a couple of 100km rides and used to cycle 30-40 miles on an average week; training up to do 46 in an afternoon would have been relatively easy.
But in late 2014 I was diagnosed with cancer and have had a wide range of entertaining treatments since then – some experimental drugs; hormone therapy (prostate cancer thrives on testosterone, so a monthly jab strips that out of my system); and a ‘cycle’ (boom, boom) of six sessions of chemo. The cancer is still there – getting rid of it isn’t one of the possible outcomes with current treatments – but it’s pretty quiescent; from thinking at diagnosis that I might not last twelve months, I now know the odds are pretty good for the next few years.
This is all down to research – I had chemo early because trials showed that doing so adds years to survival times – and it’s research that is trialling new drugs and other treatments that are helping men like me live significantly longer than would have been the case a decade ago.
But research costs money, hence me doing this ride and enjoining you to put £10 or so in the online collection plate.
But back to the key issue – in three weeks time I have to cycle 46 miles. I’m 55 (next week, for a present you can give cash); I’ve exercised very little since chemo and I’m over five kilos heavier than I was two years ago (coincidentally, I started chemo almost two years to the day before this cycle ride). And it was 32 degrees today. It is by no means a forgone conclusion that I’ll complete the course.
But the more money I’m cycling for the more I’ll grit my teeth, gird my loins, and ride through the pain. So you should cough up some cash here.