In 2014, Chris and I completed the 84-mile route of 2000 year old World Heritage site of ‘Hadrian’s Wall’ in Northern England. Some people saw this is a charity walk and a chance to make some money for a good cause. It was. However, it was MUCH MORE than that. Much much more.
A few months before this trek, I had come to a crossroads and I was unsure which direction to go. That anguish and a thousand other things were contributing to a degradation of my overall health, it felt threatening. I was not that long out of the main treatments for my metastatic Neuroendocrine Cancer and it was still a delicate period as I waited for signs of some stability.
I was getting into some old habits at work (e.g. working long hours) and in hindsight, I can now see that was impacting on my search for normality and stability. However, at the time, it conveniently aided the image of invincibility which was my way of saying “get lost Cancer”. I was reaching out for something I could call normal and for a long time before diagnosis, me working hard was normal! I had always loved a bit of stress but not if it was going to help Neuroendocrine Cancer kill me!
And then boom! – a thyroid lesion is reported. I suddenly realised I had too many balls in the air and I was no longer the expert juggler I was previously. The mask on my poker face was slipping and something needed to change. The thyroid lesion (more on that later) was not the turning point but it was definitely one of a number of signs that I was not invincible, my situation was delicate and I needed to be more proactive on finding the normal I was so desperately seeking. Work was no longer the route I needed to take. To cut a long story short, I decided to retire early BUT in an effort to maintain personal challenges, I set myself some fitness targets which led to the Hadrian’s Wall walk over 6 days. I actually set up this blog site simply to document the walk and that was the only reason at the time.
Four years later, Lanreotide injections passed the 100 mark, my thyroid lesion is not causing any issues although I have been prescribed medication to support my borderline hypothyroidism, I have much less stress in my life and I’m fitter and leaner than I was at diagnosis. I found a new normal and I liked it! Maintaining and improving it continues to be a physical and mental challenge though.
My Hadrian’s Wall blog was an acorn which has now grown into a nice little Oak tree and I’m truly thankful to everyone for their fantastic support. There’s still plenty tree left to grow
Some of my very early posts covered that walk (in fact it was the whole purpose of setting up the blog).
Day 1 – Newcastle
Day 2 – The wall is starting to show
Day 3 – The hilly bits (it was wet!)
Day 4 – More hills and more rain!
Day 5 – Downwards to Carlisle
Day 6 – Up to the Solway Firth – Scotland in view
Thanks for reading