My hobby, running, has been a part of my life for over 10 years. I came to it late; I didn't even think about taking it up but my dad dying of renal cancer in a hospice started me thinking about it. I decided to do the London Marathon to raise funds for them as they had been so good with dad and the rest of the family.
So I started. By the time I was diagnosed with womb cancer I had done 14 marathons and countless other races and I had raised thousands of pounds for the hospice and various other charities along the way. I have found a whole lot of new friends through my hobby and look forward to meeting up with them at races all over the country.
My last marathon was in early October 2011; Loch Ness Marathon. It was the 4th time I had run the race but I had a terrible time. I really couldn't understand why I was struggling and came away from Inverness feeling despondent and had more or less decided not to do it ever again.
Well, the rest is history really. I didn't recover physically from the marathon and things got very nasty. I was diagnosed with womb cancer in January 2012 and had to have a total hysterectomy followed by radiotherapy.
Out of the two, the radiotherapy has been the worst thing to get over. I had actually started to run again when treatment started but the stomach problems that can go with it put paid to me doing very much at all for a few months.
My stomach probably won't ever be the same again. I have to be very careful of what I eat on the days I run and the day before my long runs. But I am running again!
It has been a struggle though. I lost almost a year of running due to womb cancer and of course I am now 10 years older than I was when I first started. I am very slow and I get tired very easily but I am plugging away.
I suffered from late onset radiotherapy symptoms in January and February when my stomach was as unpredictable as it was during treatment so I had to stop running for a while. Since then though, my training has been a little bit more consistent, although I have had a couple of injuries and had to miss the occasional run due to toilet troubles!
So where is my training leading? I'm going back to Loch Ness! This year's marathon is on 29th September and I can't wait to get back there. The race itself is going to be very slow for me and I am under no illusions about that but I am determined to enjoy my day! I'll be the one taking photos along the way............
My story was featured in the race magazine which I was very pleased about as that was one way of raising awareness of womb cancer. And awareness does need to be raised.
I have decided to do Loch Ness and another 4 marathons by the end of the year as my challenge and I will be raising money for a research project into womb cancer in women under the age of 40 that is being undertaken by Dr Patricia Ellis.
Every cancer patient knows how cancer can affect the mind. It's like we are almost waiting for a recurrence but I am trying to put this to the back of my mind and enjoy my life. And my running is one way of doing just that!