Today has been a day of successes, encouragement, support and with the possibility of helping others – excitement.

I have been at the Western General Hospital for day for the monthly pre chemotherapy screening. What was so special about this one was that it is the last full screening for this particular course of treatment. I passed with flying colours and have therefore been cleared to start my 12th and final cycle of chemotherapy tomorrow. By Saturday the cycle will be complete and I can start the process of recovery.

Thank goodness for the brilliant oncology team of Sara, Kirsty, Penny and Gill who have looked after me from the start of treatment 18 months ago. They have spent considerable time (after all once I start talking!!) getting to know and understand me post brain surgery and supported and encouraged me to develop a coping and healing strategy through radiotherapy and chemotherapy which then morphed in to the challenge. I have never felt rushed or hassled but instead cared for by a truly delightful team who couldn’t have been more tactful when I explained my madcap scheme to build a back up generator in the left side of the brain!! So today, as I realised that all the tests were going well and was therefore to start my final cycle of treatment, started to become a little tinged not with excitement but sadness about moving on from such a wonderful group of people. Only instead to receive a yummy vanilla cupcake from Kirsty and to be told the good news that they remain my team for the 3 monthly screenings. Thank goodness and thank you for all your support and encouragement. As I go through the next 6 months of recovery I know that I am in the most excellent hands to reassure me through those possibly severe dips as the body fights to heal from such fierce and toxic treatment. Certainly for one thing – the challenge with all the support I’m receiving will help carry me through too!!

Finally I would also like to thank the two very patient staff of the MacMillan and Maggie’s Centre whom I accosted with an air of excitement and hope that I might have something that might be useful in your work. I had never expected that the challenge, which I started in order to help improve the lives and life chances of so many more people through the raising of charitable donations, could ever be anything more than that. So to discover, after my post for Day 8 and then subsequent posts, increasing messages of support, encouragement and thanks for helping, inspiring and encouraging has given, for me, the challenge even more meaning than I could have hoped. Thank you for listening to my story, taking a flyer and then promising to look into the challenge for material that they may find useful for their great work. I did of course point them both in the direction of my post for Day 8 and of course Phil’s amazing poem from Day 16. I am thrilled that you believe that my story might help others and pray that it does indeed become the case. Thank you for believing in me and I very much hope you find something useful.

So cycle 12 of chemotherapy starts tomorrow. Walking boots on again I think.

Yours aye