Getting back in the saddle

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The “getting back in the saddle” metaphor

I thought back about a few periods since my diagnosis on 26th July 2010 about how I would ‘get back in the saddle’. I suspect many cancer patients experience similar junction points in their own journeys.  After I was told about my metastatic Neuroendocrine Cancer, work was my anchor, something that I felt comfortable and in control, so in effect that was my metaphoric saddle in the early days. But as my treatment came into view, particularly major surgery, clearly new thoughts about how quickly I could get ‘back into the saddle’ were on my mind.  In fact, one of the first questions I asked my surgeon was “how much time off do I need before I can drive and also go to work”.  I literally crawled back to work 6 weeks after being discharged.  I wanted to be in my metaphoric saddle.

As further surgeries and other treatments were on the horizon, I was still not “stable” so overseas holidays were pushed to the right.  It was another 2 surgeries and another 12-18 months before I got back in that particular saddle.  But once on, I didn’t fall off and we continue to holiday regularly today.  Mind you, travel insurance can be an issue for overseas trips. 

I can probably add half a dozen further ‘bends in the road’ to this post and they would be similar to what many people in the cancer world and the general population experience day to day. It’s nearly always just picking myself up, dusting myself off and crack on as normal, 29 years in the military helps with attitude.   

Sometimes the metaphoric saddle is actually a saddle!

Well, I’m now back in the metaphoric saddle (an actual saddle!) after 64 days and found myself being extra careful, particularly at any obstacle including rough tracks.  The cycle ride was a combination of quiet road and off -road (also quiet) and around 13 miles.   As usual we stopped off for tea and cake at a place we hadn’t been to before, that added to the enjoyment.

I’m back in the game! 

Those who follow my Facebook page Ronny Allan may remember my cycling faux pas in April causing me to bruise or fracture a rib (here if you missed it).  I was told it may take up to 6 weeks to heal, it took 5. During that painful period, I looked ahead and wondered how I would feel about getting back in the saddle (of my bike) and continue where I left off.  I won’t lie and say I had zero misgivings about how I might feel. 

Here’s a before and after picture of that incidence. Which one is after?  Easy choice.  I found out later (CT scan) that I had fractured 3 ribs. 

Sometimes you have to get back in the saddle after falling out of the saddle!

Other metaphoric posts

I sometimes use the term “Sometimes you gotta climb that hill” as a metaphor. Very often I use an actual hill to explain that one!

Click to read more

I was inspired to write this blog “Still here, just reshaped” when I read about this tree in Wales, it’s a great human-interest story but I couldn’t help making comparisons with my own ‘surgical’ experience. 

Click to read a story of two surgeons, one who does trees and the other who does people
It’s important to get back in the saddle, metaphoric or not


I am not a doctor or any form of medical professional, practitioner or counsellor. None of the information on my website, or linked to my website(s), or conveyed by me on any social media or presentation, should be interpreted as medical advice given or advised by me. 

Neither should any post or comment made by a follower or member of my private group be assumed to be medical advice, even if that person is a healthcare professional.   

Please also note that mention of a clinical service, trial/study or therapy does not constitute an endorsement of that service, trial/study or therapy by Ronny Allan, the information is provided for education and awareness purposes and/or related to Ronny Allan’s own patient experience. This element of the disclaimer includes any complementary medicine, non-prescription over the counter drugs and supplements such as vitamins and minerals.

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A cup of tea

I would also mention those who contributed to my “Tea Fund” which resides on PayPal.  You don’t need a PayPal account as you can select a card but don’t forget to select the number of units first (i.e. 1 = £4, 2 = £8, 3 = £12, and so on), plus further on, tick a button to NOT create a PayPal account if you don’t need one.  Clearly, if you have a PayPal account, the process is much simpler 

Through your generosity, I am able to keep my sites running and provide various services for you.  I have some ideas for 2023 but they are not detailed enough to make announcements yet. 

This screenshot is from every single post on my website and depending on which machine you are using, it will either be top right of the post or at the bottom (my posts are often long, so scroll down!)

One thought on “Getting back in the saddle

  • Ron Sekula

    You’re a great inspiration to us NETters out here. I like the before & after pictures. Sorry about the rib.

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