Day 44 of the challenge has been one of further kindness and beating the symptoms of treatment.

I have been tired today. It was another difficult night but my goodness I have managed to keep that fire curtain up. A blustery Autumn day with sunshine and the rich colours of Autumn billowing around you bring back many happy memories of childhood, rosy cheeks and tingly fingers after a day playing outside. With no chance of even being able to get some litter in to the bag after picking it up the liter pickers were left at home as I took Georgie out for a walk. A short one around the park and along main street so only 1.5 miles but a pleasant walk. Once back I woke the children, James curled up against the cold like a hibernating hedgehog while Heather, efficient as always was up and getting dressed. Breakfast done and children off to school I had some forms to complete because today I was collecting my membership card for the McLaren Leisure Centre who have most generously provided membership as sponsorship for the challenge. One of the ways I hope to beat the beast is through physical fitness in order to make my immune system as strong as possible to take the fight to the beast. But one of the side effects of 12 months of chemotherapy can be osteoporosis and one of the best ways to combat the onset of such a condition is through weight bearing exercises. So securing the sponsorship from the McLaren Leisure Centre has been so brilliant because, although a great facility that offers excellent value for money it is still a cost which, on top of any other costs the challenge will accumulate, mounts up. So McLaren’s sponsorship allows me to not only fight the onset of osteoporosis but also enables me to be able to truly sustain the challenge financially for as long as ever I can thereby giving me every chance to beat the beast while ensuring that every penny I manage to raise in sponsorship goes directly to the 5 charities. Every single penny. So a huge Thank you to McLaren Leisure Centre.

An Action Shot On The Ice!
An action shot on the ice!

Gym induction completed I then had time for a great upper body session. There were only ever 3 of us in the gym so it was a really good uncluttered space in which to work out. I thoroughly enjoyed it and then, as I stretched off, I turned to peer out of the tall gym windows. Who should I see but James who was on a break in the high school. He was munching on a bagel and having a giggle in the playground with some of the boys. He had no idea that I was in the gym and I did feel a little guilty unintentionally spying on him like this but was also really pleased to see my son, happy and content with his friends in school. I couldn’t resist it though when he barrelled back in to the house after school. ‘How was your bagle at break James?’ The picture of complete and utter confusion, disbelief and dawning realisation on his face was fantastic!!

I wanted to cook something new this evening and found an excellent recipe for lamb steaks with fresh garlic and mint marinated in Balsamic Vinegar and Olive Oil served in seeded pitta bread. It was so quick and simple so I also made a tomato salad with spinach, rocket and watercress, red onion, lemon juice, extra virgin olive oil and apple cider vinegar. It was delicious. The children loved it and once James had gone off for his first performance for this evening’s Adam’s Family Musical off I went curling feeling rather pleased with myself for such ingenuity in the salad.

This leads me rather neatly in to my next huge thank you and that is to Kirsty Whyte, Pauline Fisher, Caroline Orr-Ewing, Liz Donaldson and all the other Mums and Dads in Doune who have been helping to get Heather and James to their various activities where public transport hasn’t quite made the grade. If it wasn’t for such great friends, in order to get James from Doune to Dunblane for his show – a distance of 4 miles – I would need to catch the No59 bus with him to Stirling to then catch the train to Dunblane . A distance travelled of 15 miles over one and a half hours before having to repeat the reverse to get him home again. So it is possible but clearly far more comfortable for James to be given a lift. Thank you all for your help and support.

This evening finished rather late with an evening’s curling. Sadly Team A didn’t win this evening but it was a great night in which I actually managed to get a stone on to the button (bullseye) but also invented a new curling technique. Tonight, like a clip out of a you tube video looking as if I forgot to let go of the stone as I launched it with my push and glide I made a complete hash of one of my throws. It was all going perfectly but I overbalanced and then what must have looked like I forgot to let go I ended up my belly on the ice with the stone and the momentum of the initial push from the stock continuing my slide, on my belly, arms outstretched, superman like, as I followed the stone. I did let go of course and when I did it turned out to be one of my better shots of the evening and had of course entertained the entire ice rink at the Peak!

Planning my strategy for my next Curling
Planning my strategy for my next Curling

It is late and I am taking Heather to hospital to have her broken wrist reviewed. God willing all will be well for her as she prepares for the pantomime but I had better go to bed to be in the right condition to look after her. Have a great night but before you go;

Time for the challenge in numbers in total since the start:
Days completed: 44
Total Miles Cycled: 202
Total Miles Walked: 180
Total Miles Run: 6
Total Distance Swum: 50 metres
Total Miles covered under own steam: 388
Total Height Gained under own steam: 20,067 feet
Mountains Climbed: 5
Hills Climbed: 4
Days of Conservation Activity: 2 1/4
Organ tunes learnt and performed: 5
Salmon Caught: 0!
Curling Matches played in: 2
Curling stones placed on the button (the centre of the target): 1!
Weight Training Sessions: 3
Aerobic Circuit Sessions: 1
People Met and Hands Shaken: 170
Pots of tea shared: 7
Prayers joined on the top of a hill: 1
Pills popped: 182
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 healing and for the five wonderful charities you are supporting through your generosity. Long may it continue.

Thank you

Yours aye