Day 31 has been a great day rescued out of the fog of Chemo. You will remember from last night that I suffered 3 pretty powerful partial seizures and was this morning feeling most decidedly under the weather, foggy, and in real need to tackle a hill to get the blood pumping and blow the chemo fog away. I had planned to take the bus train bus back to Edinburgh and some of my favourite hills in the country; The gentle rolling hills of the Pentlands with the glorious views and glimpses back in to Edinburgh. However this morning I felt that bad that I had to consider very carefully if a trip back to Edinburgh was sensible……………….Of course it bloody was!!

The only thing that was going to make me feel any better was to get up in to the hills. I made it to the bus in time and the journey went smoothly helped by the delightful bus driver and passengers on the Lothian Busses No 44A to Balerno. With such nice people ensuring I was orientated and starting in the right direction and thereby ensuring I only had to walk an extra 2 miles each way to get from the bus route terminus to and back from the walk I felt that I could not miss such an opportunity and handed out more flyers!! So flyers done I set off for Black Hill. Shortly after starting the waterproofs were donned complete with tweed cap to keep the rain out of the eyes and on they all stayed because as could be seen from the photos the cloud was very low and wasn’t budging. I walked through it the whole way and with limited vision was feeling still a little wobbly. But then I hit the point at which I had to turn Southwards, leave the gentle contour of Threipmuir Reservoir, and tackle the steep side of Black Hill. Very quickly my breath became laboured, the sweat stinging my eyes while my legs ached and fought for grip as I trudged up the hill step by laboured step. I had 1500 feet to get up and started to wonder if I would ever make it when all of a sudden the fog lifted. Not the low cloud on the hill – that was still whistling around and through me in the stiff breeze but the chemo fog in my head lifted and I started to laugh. I hadn’t felt so good in ages. I even started to continue my climb singing old hymns in rhythm to my steps. It was breathless singing but it was singing nonetheless. It felt so good and thank goodness because as I reached the top I realised that I hadn’t been concentrating and strayed off of my compass bearing up the hill and with the cloud in so low I couldn’t see the small cairn marking the summit for the life of me. I needed to find it to be sure of my position in order to set me off safely for the next hill without any unplanned tumbles down rock crags.

Thankfully I had my GPS good to go and switched her on. She gave me a grid, I plotted it on the map and took another bearing to the cairn on a distance of 200 metres. My old navigation skills worked a treat and I stumbled almost exactly on top of it – well within 5 metres – which was just close enough to make out the outline through the cloud. Photo taken as proof that I made it up to the top I set the bearing and checked the route to descend off of Black Hill in preparation for an ascent of Hare Hill. All worked smoothly and the climb up Hare Hill was much more gentle, up a shoulder of the hill, and before long I was on the top of Hare Hill compass out and closing in on the cairn. I found it with very little drama and still singing after a whoop for joy I set off for the long trek home. 2 miles to the finish of the route and another 2 miles to the bus stop. The final 4 miles was long but I sang quietly to myself the whole way and rejoiced feeling so jolly good. I had proved it to myself again that I needed to work the body to cleanse the system and stabilise myself and not only that; I had also achieved some more progress towards building the back up generator in the left side of the brain because I had to do the map and compass work to get up Black Hill when I was feeling rotten and the brain was working slowly. I got the brain working again – result!!

And even better, despite feeling on the edge of a seizure most of the morning I didn’t have one. Not one and feel 100% better. Prayers answered a bus turned up as I arrived at the bus stop and very kindly gave me 10minutes to get out of my wet kit and in to my dry kit before we set off back to Edinburgh and the train and bus for home. Got home in time to pick up my son and catch another bus back to Stirling and now sit in the Peak tapping away at today’s post while watching my son climbing with the Young Explorers Scotland. 14miles walked, 2,800 feet climbed, a happy son and no seizures – what a day!!!!

So the challenge in numbers total since the start:
Days completed: 31
Total Miles Cycled: 112
Total Miles Walked: 133
Total Miles Run: 4
Total Miles covered under own steam: 249
Total Height Gained under own steam: 15,179 feet
Mountains Climbed: 6
Days of Conservation Activity: 2 1/4
Organ tunes learnt and performed: 5
Salmon Caught: 0!
Curling Matches played in: 1
Curling stones placed on the button (the centre of the target): 0!
Weight Training Sessions: 1
People Met and Hands Shaken: 136
Pots of tea shared: 5
Pills popped: 148

And most important of all – Money Raised as at Day 30- £2,267.00.

Considering I started this challenge 6 weeks ago very quietly with no target beyond a fiver, thanks to the brilliant advice from a friend of mine, I am absolutely thrilled and again thank you all. So far that is £75.00 for each and every day that I have managed to find the will and energy to do something worthwhile and my goodness it has been worth it for my peace of mind, for my heeling and for the five wonderful charities you are supporting through your generosity. Long may it continue.

Thank you

Yours aye