Today’s the day!

9 Oct

Finally after months of prevaricating, anxiety and excitement it’s here.  I’ve walked my last Cotswolds walk and today I’m going to China to trek on the Great Wall.   I think I’m ready…


Walking boots – check

Trekking gear & waterproofs – check

Sugary snacks – check

Paracetamol, ibuprofen, imodium – check

I’ve fitted everything I could into my 60 litre holdall and if I’ve forgotten something, tough –  I will just have to manage.  More likely, knowing me, I’ve fitted in too much and the holdall should have been smaller!

It’s not been particularly easy getting to this point – sometimes it’s been a negative tipping point on my stress levels  as I’ve struggled to fit in enough training with my long working/commuting days (often 7am – 9pm) and being a Mum, but the good news is I’m definitely fitter than I was.  Walking with my dog in the stunning Cotswolds countryside has undoubtedly been a tiring delight.  The beauty of it all has made my heart sing, yet at the same time I’ve not lost sight of why I’m doing this.

I’ve had a lot of time to think about all those affected by advanced bowel cancer and I’ve  grieved for those we’ve lost during this time and those we are losing – there’s been a lot of bad news of late in my circle of patient friends.  Ultimately my sorrow for them and their families has served to strengthen my resolve.

I’ve also had time to think about/mull over some of the big challenges about advanced bowel cancer and to look for solutions.  Greater awareness amongst the public and primary care professionals and increased uptake of screening is clearly critical, as is better surveillance screening of high risk groups so we detect cancers earlier.   However, we must also address variations in treatment and care around the UK.  Better advanced multi-disciplinary team working and access to high quality liver surgery are just two examples of things we could improve relatively easily.  And that’s why I’m going to China – people are dying every day and others are being denied access to a possible cure and I think it’s time that stopped.  I hope this trek can help raise awareness and funds so Bowel Cancer UK can lead the change needed to improve treatment and care of people with advanced bowel cancer.

Today I’m meeting the tour leaders and 26 other people who are doing this Great Wall of China trek at Heathrow.  My flight leaves at 5pm and tomorrow I will arrive in Beijing at around 17.30 local time (7 hours ahead).  The next morning I will have a birthday with a difference as we catch our first glimpse of the Great Wall and take our first steep steps.  Wish me luck – I’m going to need it!

Please sponsor me if you can:


One Response to “Today’s the day!”

  1. Lesley Shannon October 9, 2014 at 11:23 am #

    So proud of you, what an amazing thing to do to raise awareness for Bowel Cancer and those diagnosed with bowel cancer and indeed their families. Bowel Cancer doesn’t just affect the person who is diagnosed but those who love them

    Our World falls apart and we also fall apart, but Deborah you are always there to help pick up the pieces and help us heal on our journey without the loved one we lost to cancer being in our lives.

    I personally can never thank you enough for becoming a dear friend as we lost beautiful Laura @paperdollybird to advanced cancer diagnosed too late and told she was too young to have cancer if only they had listened to Laura and sent her for appropriate tests early she would and should still be here with us and it hurts and I cry every day I always will.

    Laura was so precious a unique young lady and I her Mum am at a total loss without her. So many other young people are dying so unnecessarily around our twitter family and it is hard to cope with more loss in my life as we become a family of support.

    always there for one another and Deborah you are our lovely matriarch and I am proud to say you are my friend.

    good Luck, how wonderful to celebrate your birthday doing such a selfless thing and be on the Great Wall of China on Saturday.

    Bless You.

    So proud of you Deborah.

    When the steps get tough hang on to the hand of all those Guardian Angels who will be walking along beside you all of those we have lost to bowel cancer. they and we will be walking the reps with you.

    Lesley x

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