HOW ZOE FOUND STRENGTH IN RUNNING THROUGH BREAST CANCER
Well about 6 years ago I joined a running club beginners group as I was a little jel of my two sisters who were in it , oh and I needed to get fit as I hadn’t done any exercise for years! 10 weeks later and I was hooked and never looked back!
I did my first marathon one year later and have since completed over 15 marathons, 3 ultras and numerous halves, 10ks and 5ks. My favourite has been a 3 day Votwo event along the Atlantic coast , brutal and the hardest thing I have done but by far the best!
In 2018 I met my now bf , soon to be hubby, through a single people’s running group. It’s amazing how different dating a runner can be and such much easier to explain why you’re spending out on more gear 🤣. Only 6 months into our relationship I was diagnosed with breast cancer. I’m a theatre nurse so was able to get things progressing pretty quick. The hardest part was telling Tom, he had lost his wife to breast cancer 3 years prior. I had 2 ops in June/July to remove the lump and lymph nodes , my first question to the surgeon???? Yep when can I run again 😂.
Getting out running helped my mindset, I’ve never been negative about my diagnosis and never thought I wouldn’t be here to tell the tale. As soon as I was able to run I did, albeit slow as no jiggling of the boobies was allowed 🤣!
September 2019 I started chemo, although my cancer was early stage, the type meant chemo is given to stop recurrence. Not gonna lie I thought I got off lightly with my side effects as just had tiredness and mild sickness which I could control. I made sure I at least went out for a walk every day, I was able to do very short slow runs as well which I cannot tell how amazing this was for my mental health and also my recovery.
In December 2019 just before my last chemo sesh I completed a 10k race at Goodwood and the feeling when I finished was emotional but happy emotions! I was bald bit didn’t give a toss, all I thought was Fk you cancer!
Feb 2020 I completed radiotherapy but my treatment wasn’t over, I had hormone iv therapy every 3 weeks till October. This was fine as it didn’t give me side effects like chemo, so I was able to do runs and go back to work . I love how I put runs as my first priority 🤣.
In December 2020 me and the bf decided to set up a virtual running business Running4bigc with profits going to different cancer charities, an issue both of us know too well. We wanted to give something back to the charities that have helped us both along the way. It’s still in its early stages but it’s fun and exciting to do as I love designing medals and stuff :).
Being able to run has got me through some of the not so fun days, no matter how positive I can be I still have those, I just don’t let them dictate my life . I have many side effects of chemo and the ops still going on but I’m still able to run and that is the main thing!
My attitude is, you can’t change what’s going to happen but you can change how you deal with it!