Badass Jean on Running Through Cancer
I was never much of a runner despite having a career that necessitated it.
In January 2018 I told my Dad I'd run Race for Life for him and he could come and see me cross the finish line.
He said ‘5k? That’s only 3miles, you should be doing 10k!’
Sadly, my Dad never got to see me cross that finish line, or indeed any subsequent finish lines, as he passed away in the April succumbing to lung cancer.
And so began my running journey. One race led to another and not only was I out running for fun, I was also at the gym, at spin classes and back in the swimming pool, my favourite place.
I'd joined the newly formed Badass Mother Runners Club, and began sharing not only my own running adventures but those of others too.
We began to meet up at local Welsh events, I actually first my Bev at my first and last trail event...I hate trails 🤣
In June 2019 I noticed a pain in my right shoulder. I put this down to overtraining, and eased up but the problem remained. Trips to the GP, X-Rays and hospital visits ensued with various diagnoses, but nothing was solving the issue. More specific tests and scans followed culminating, just after we celebrated the first birthday of the BAMR's in late October, with the ultimate diagnosis of Breast Cancer.
I was of course shocked, but switched to my ever practical head, I would receive treatment and life would be normal again.
Treatment was followed by surgery, which was followed by chemo and more treatment.
In May 2020 the trainers came back out and the first of several very laboured runs took place. I’ve never been a speedy runner when fully fit, but this was slower than slow! However the more I did, the faster I got and the further I ran.
The next six months were in the midst of the new COVID pandemic, and so 2020 became the year of the virtual event. I went on to take part in numerous 10k's, Half's, Challenges, and more significantly the Race to The Stones 100k, the Wales Coastal Path 870miles and the VVMLM.
And then things went awry again, the scans and tests I'd been having had picked up further shadows in my body.
Further surgeries took place and in November 2020, major surgery, taking me off my feet completely for 3 months when coupled with more treatments for the now secondary cancer.
During this recuperation period, the person who was to become my fundraising partner in crime and already a great friend, Allan, a successful runner and charity fundraiser in his own right with his #teambertie brand, came up with the idea of a running challenge during the winter months to keep people ticking over and to primarily keep me occupied.