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Doreen Does The MoonWalk London 2013

The dog got fit and so did I. It was nice to feel pain through exercise rather than through cancer. With every step I took I felt better and in control of my life and the support of my friends and family was amazing.

Back in October 2012, I decided in a moment of madness that entering the MoonWalk would give me a focus, something to look forward too and to distract me.

You see, I was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2003 during my pregnancy with my 3rd child. My prognoses was very poor but I was determined to live to see my children grow up.

I went through surgery, chemotherapy, radiotherapy all the while raising my family.

I set myself my first real goal: To see my baby starting school.

The week before he started school I was diagnosed with metastatic bone cancer on my spine. Words like NO 5 YEAR survival rate was mentioned and the palliative care service got in contact. Several rounds of radiotherapy later. I was determined to set a new goal. this time to see my daughter go to secondary school.

Just after she started her new school, the news that the cancer had returned in my breast was devastating and another round of surgery and chemo followed. After that I struggled to return to normality to being a mother, wife, midwife, friend.

I started Herceptin the brilliant drug that will prolong my life however  I’m allergic too it so every 3  weekends I’m in bed ill for the weekend.

I got cross and fed up with being a patient. So hence the phone call to friends to get their walking boots on and join me on this amazing journey.

I decided that the full marathon was the thing to do and after Christmas training commenced. RAIN RAIN RAIN MUD MUD MUD. We saw it all and I loved every single walk with my dog and friends.

The dog got fit and so did I. It was nice to feel pain through exercise rather than through cancer. With every step I took I felt better and in control of my life and the support of my friends and family was amazing.

We arrived in the MoonWalk village in the rain and wind but that did not put any of us off. And once the whistle went off we got going.

Seeing the lights of London, knowing the money we were raising, the support of family, friends, fellow walkers and total strangers was awe inspiring. All I could think of was that this was all for me. Without this event I would not have had the support from the hospital nurses, the extra funds on the chemo ward, the funds into the drugs that is keeping me alive. Without all of this I would not be alive and so every step I took was for myself and my survival. For once it felt good to be selfish.

When at 5am my legs was aching and my back was sore I kept thinking that I had been through so much worse. Every step was no worse than chemotherapy, no worse than surgery, scans, invasive tests, sleepless nights, early menopause and all that follows. Every step was for survival not only for me but for every other woman with breast cancer. And for my daughter who is our future.

I was the one who kept smiling and singing at the top of my voice. Skipping along (with less skip towards the end) and just laughing the whole way.

Thank you to my in-laws for cooking us the most amazing breakfast after the walk and to my amazing husband for everything. Thank you MoonWalkers for saving me and women like me. And thank you Alison, Sarah, Ellie, Phoebe, Ellie and Lorna. and our lovely dogs for doing this with me.


From Guy:

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