Day 75 has seen a disappointing start recycled into a useful day with a clean bill of health from the doctors, 2.2 miles run, 3 miles walked, loads of emails answered and a delicious tea prepared.

The plan was to take two ladies, who were a little hesitant about their ability to climb a hill, up the Dumyat Hill. Sadly and for very good reason, namely the ill health of one of the ladies daughters, the walk was postponed. The important thing here is the health of these girls and that Mum is around for them when she is needed most. I pray for their speedy recovery.

Initially, although nobody’s fault in particular, just unfortunate circumstances, I found this hugely frustrating as I was left without an activity planned for the day which can be tricky when trying to negotiate winter light timings and bus and train timetables; but then the light rain forecast for the morning became a really heavy and sustained downpour. I was surprisingly lacking in sore or stiff muscles after yesterday’s marathon effort so still keen to do something but had a doctor’s appointment first thing and as I studied the rain pondering what I should do I became secretly quite pleased we had to call off the walk today.

I walked to the doctors surgery under a large umbrella protecting myself from the splashes of the cars passing up the road alongside me. The water was running down the street. I was further pleased to be having a quieter day and then it dawned on me that I had a whole load of emails to answer, paperwork to complete, jobs to do and planning to be done for future challenge activity. It was actually a really good thing to have a day at home. I was feeling much happier and then I saw all the children including Heather huddled under umbrellas in their uniform waiting for the bus. I stopped and asked them what had happened. The bus was delayed in the traffic caused by the conditions. I wished them well and felt upset and frustrated that I could no longer drive due to the epilepsy. I was their Father. I should be able to get Heather and her friends in to the car and drive them to school in the warm. I felt impotent, almost surplus to requirements, I couldn’t take them home and feed them hot chocolate because it would guarantee that they would miss the bus so all I could do was check that they were truly okay and wish them well. Suddenly I felt deflated even though the children themselves were finding the whole thing in the rain amusing.

First appointment with the doctor at 0830am so straight in I went. I was a little nervous because I had quite a nasty looking and quite sore round scar suddenly appear at the top of my leg. I knew that such a long period of chemotherapy can trigger other problems due to crashing the immune system and was concerned that this nasty looking scar was the start of skin cancer so had to get it checked. I think the doctor, who knew my circumstances well, must have sensed my nervousness because he could not have reassured me more effectively. I pulled down the side of my trousers and pants and bared the scar. He had a good look and then in a phrase I think invented for the medical text books, as a diagnosis designed to boost the ego of a man a little concerned about a small scar, the doctor announced that I had a traumatic lesion. He reassured me that it was most unlikely to be skin cancer. It was a traumatic lesion. In other words I had knocked the top off of a spot!! I had to go back in two weeks if it hadn’t heeled but he was certain. I suddenly felt reinflated. I had a traumatic lesion. I repeated it to myself In a sort of husky, gravelly hard man sort of a voice and it sounded even better but most importantly of all it wasn’t cancer.

On the walk home I checked on the children. They were still there, huddled together, cold, but still smiling and giggling in a shivery sort of a way. I was annoyed again that I had to surrender my licence. It was absolutely the right thing to do under the circumstances but did carry it’s frustrations at times but it wasn’t that bad because the children were actually quite happy and I had a traumatic lesion!!

Back home I cracked on with my emails, facebook messages and in tray but I had to do something so at lunchtime went for another 2.2 mile run. I should have been hopping along like I was running on hot coals after yesterday’s exertion but actually felt okay. In fact I felt really good. In fact so good that I knocked 1.5 minutes off of the time it usually took me to go round the same route. I came in today on 20 mins and 32 seconds. It wasn’t going to win any medals but felt really good to have beaten considerably my previous times. I was getting fitter. I was beating the beast and managed to have enormous fun splashing and sliding down the muddy slopes in the Wood of Doune in the process. I should have been really tired now but instead did 3 really good quality overarm pull ups, 13 press ups and 13 sit ups. A good stretch, a good hot shower, a good lunch of “poached egg on toast served on a bed of spinach, rocket and watercress salad accompanied with a medley of broccoli, carrot, tomatoes and red grapes.” In other words my usual beat the beaster lunch and I was back into my intray and planning a walk to do with a friend next week with a warm rosy glow.

Children back from school. Heather was really unwell with a very heavy cold. Not surprising after all the hard work she has been putting in for the panto when coupled with such a cold wet start this morning. Toast and a yoghurt and in to bed with a book for a rest. James was then practicing on the piano for his lesson this evening. The children settled it was time to run some errands and walk the dog. Keys dropped off, a letter posted, some returns and a DVD handed in with a trip through the wood of Doune to let Georgie stretch her legs as she has now been retired from coming on the runs with me as she is just too old and finds it quite difficult towards the end. Back home it was then time for tea.

I wanted to try and help Heather to kick the cold in to touch so Pasta Marinara was on the menu with red pepper, sun dried tomatoes, olive oil, fresh basil, oregano, medjool dates, garlic, sea salt, chilli and chopped tomatoes. Served with Spaghetti and parmesan I thought it was good but then James declared it to be the best Pasta dish he had ever eaten. ‘What, ever?’ I asked as Heather looked up at me and sniffed. ‘Ever!’ exclaimed James. Suddenly I was no longer impotent. I had a traumatic lesion.

Time to make some Hochas (Hot Chocolate and Horlicks) for the children so have a great evening. Food shop next!!

The challenge in numbers total since the start:
Days completed: 75
Total Miles Cycled: 469
Total Miles Walked: 341.5
Total Miles Run: 21.0
Total Distance Swum: 300 metres
Total Miles covered under own steam.896.5
Total Height Gained under own steam: 29,897 feet
Mountains Climbed: 5
Hills Climbed: 15
Days of Voluntary Activity: 5.5
Organ tunes learnt and performed: 5
Salmon Caught: 0!
Curling Matches played in: 3
Curling stones placed on the button (the centre of the target): 1
Weight Training Sessions: 7
Aerobic Circuit Sessions: 3
Press Ups: 120
Pull Ups: 30
Sit Ups: 120
People Met and Hands Shaken: 280
Pots of tea shared: 17
Prayers joined on the top of a hill: 2
Prayers joined in the street!: 1
Pills popped: 322
And most important of all – Money Raised as at Day 65 – £5,029.

Considering I started this challenge 9 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 £77.36 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 all for your incredible comments and support. Please continue to spread the word.

If you see me around do please give a cheery hello and shake my hand or toot your horn and give a cheery wave to show your support and encourage me on.

Thank you

Yours aye