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I had chemo last week on Tuesday, round five, and it has not been quite as smooth sailing as previous bouts (well for initial effects, let’s not dwell on three weeks in hospital with sepsis). Hopefully these effects will turn soon, but I have been told to take each bout as it comes and also that the more you have the more fatigued your body becomes. So it may prove, but at least I only have one more left after this. Besides this is not what the blog is about, I’ll do another on that later this week. (With some symptoms, so other people having chemo will be able to prepare a bit)

So instead of dwelling on the frailties of mortal flesh and the wonders of modern medicine I want tocelebrate some amazing people who have been real troopers. The second is about how bout five of chemo has gone do far, or as I can sum up, not as well as I hoped.

I belong to a great group of chaps, all dad’s of a similar age, and they have always supported me in my endeavours, charitable or otherwise. This year it was clear there would be no great 24 hour walks as I was undergoing treatment, so Rob asked for suggestions. One I threw out was running to walking five miles a day for a month, and so a new charitable enterprise was undertaken.

So they stepped up to do it with a will. I won’t build up false suspense. None of them died. The goal was to raise money for blood cancer and cover 155 miles in August. Come rain or shine. This was gruelling for people who weren’t runners and had not really worked up to it. (with the exception of Seb, who just took part to make everyone look bad by doing his work outs at 5am).

The weeks required support of each other and positive encouragement, but really they could only rely on themselves once they stepped out the house there were injuries, blisters, and surprisingly few complaints over the month. In the end they finished and I have the photos of the last day. No one is crying, so I chalked that up to a win. (You can still donate at https://www.justgiving.com/team/5MileAugust )

Also last month, my Great Aunt Margaret died. She was an amazing lady, and with her husband, Maurice, having died the year before (and no real chance for a funeral due to covid) they had a great send off for them both. It was a very moving ceremony and there was clearly a huge amount of love and respect for these two people who had enjoyed life so much, living for their family and friends and being loved by many.

Margaret’s daughters, Lesley and Julie were kind enough to make the blood cancer just giving page their donation of choice for the funeral, and consequently raised an amazing 900 or so pounds. A wonderful amount for the charitable drive. It was incredibly kind and the amount of people who donated showed how much they will be missed.

Along with my efforts of walking a mile a day (and great support from Tom Strange, who once again proved he is a true friend, after the 24 hour walk a few years ago) and the very kind donations in memory of my great aunt, we raised £5003 in total for the event. A fantastic amount for a very worthy cause and incredibly well done. Thank you again to everyone who donated or helped out!

So all in all some amazing people stepped up to do great things. It made me very proud to call them friends and family.

Finally, today Jo went back to work, and I had to drop Grace off. I’d been very resistant to this, as the school yard is always busy, so we put out on the mums group I would be there and needed someone to drop Grace from the gates to the classroom. People were very positive, and I was approached by two mums as I walked up, happy to help. Charlie, one of Graces friends mum, took Grace in for me and helped me keep away from the madding crowd. So another act of kindness! It’s easy to forget how nice people can be.

Anyway I’m off for a paracetamol and a nap, keep well everyone and I’ll let you know about how the Bendamustine chemotherapy is going. You wouldn’t want to miss that… ;).