Tuesday, October 17, 2006

21. Walk with Beefy

Beefy's Walk for Leukaemia Research in Glasgow; Star Struck Matt & Ian Botham; Autumn Mountain Biking in Scotland; Red Arrows Formation at Leuchars Airshow

I thought I'd been managing quite well, keeping the stress away and keeping up with a relatively normal day to day life. I haven't been trying to focus too much on the latest 'crazy' PCR results, attempting to free my mind of thoughts on what it could mean and how these "what if's" could be changing my life in the very near future. It was, however, made fairly apparent that I was waiting the results more than I thought...the email that popped into my inbox was titled "PCR Results". I don't think I've ever tried to open an email so fast...

It only took a few seconds to realise that all wasn't well. Not with me me anyway, with the PCR testing itself. The doc explained that because the test was so delicate, there was unfortunately "technical problems" this time and that they couldn't get enough control gene signal to allow quantitation of the BCR-ABL signal. I tried to use my scientific mind...that didn't work but I did manage to understand that I wouldn't be getting my well anticipated PCR result. So, back to the docs for a fresh blood sample and the time now starts again. Not the news I was after obviously, but it's out of my hands and we'll just have to restart the timer and keep these fingers crossed for a few more weeks.

Ian Botham kicked off his much hyped 'Beefy's Walk for Leukaemia Research' last week and the first leg started here in bonny Glasgow. I wasn't too sure on what too expect and was almost hoping I could hide under the radar by walking a few miles with him and duck back home to my comfy bed as I hadn't been feeling too well. Only when I turned up at M & S in the city centre, Ian was swarmed by photographers, cheerleaders, crowds, helicopters and enough police to hold back a riot. I was then handed a map of the 9 mile (15km) route and after a few snaps, Beefy was off and I was also kicked into action. There wasn't the huge amount of people walking with him as I was led to believe, so I soon realised there wouldn't be any heading off for a snooze but I'd have to keep up with Beefy. Not the easiest thing keeping up a very surreal conversation and pounding through the 9 miles in just under 2 hours. At the end, we parted ways (after hearing he'd raised over £8 million for LRF!)...Beefy with his physio, massage girls and limo...me, back to my car and home for a bath and then a very long snooze...

So as I am writing this there are two things going through my head : 1. It will be 1 year (12 whole months!!) since I was diagnosed on the 19th October...the craziest year of my life! I really can't believe what Karen and I have been through and dealt with in that time. To physically listen to a doctor talk to you, one on one, that you are very sick and that you have Leukaemia will always stay with me forever. Even a year on, it doesn't sit too well with me thinking about that rainy afternoon. I can proudly say however, that I have learnt a tonne this year...I've seen so much bravery, sad stories, grit and a shit load of determination that has left me a better person. Let's hope it's all going well on 19th October 2008! Number 2 : I'm off to see Kenny Rogers tonight in concert, woohoo...bring on the Gambler!!!

Everything is running fairly smoothly and although theautumnn is really hitting us, I've been spending most nights out on my mountain bike trying to stay fit. It'll be a challenge cruising through the snow in the next couple of months though. As I'd mentioned before, my goal was to do a large sponsorship effort every year for a Leukaemia Fund...and February 2008 I was gearing up to climb Kilimanjaro for the Anthony Nolan Trust. I just received a call yesterday that confirmed i had won the Mumm Champagne Adventure Scholarship to help me get to the 6km high African summit. If all goes well and nothing too dramatic gets in my way, I will be starting my training to get myself to Tanzania and climb to the top...bring it on!

Well it's not long now until Kas and I pack our bags are heading back to the sunny shores of Australia at the end of November. Drew and Alana's wedding will be brilliant in the Barossa Valley and I also can't wait to catch up with everyone. I'll also get to see my new wee nephew Hayden...

So for the next few weeks I'll have my fingers and toes firmly crossed, hoping to hear that my PCR has dipped and it'll be all looking good. Watch this space...

Remember to have a drink for me on 19th October!


Emily Lingard said...

Kenny Rogers!!!! Now ive heard it all! xx

margaret gilbertson said...

well done matt! Keep your chin up as they in my family. Best wishes and I will raise a glass to you on Thursday.

margaret gilbertson

Craig Sinclair said...

Kilimanjaro .... when do we leave?
Just don't tell your mother!!

Martyn Coyne said...

Hello Matt,

Sorry to hear your feeling a little shitty and they've messed up your PCR results. Sorry I haven't left a message for a while lifes been hectic. Theres been 2 new babies in the family and my little one celebrated his 4th birthday last Friday.

I've been trying to get out as much as I can on my bike as well, but still not as often as I like. I went to the gym a couple of weeks ago and decided to do some weights, I couldn't lift my arms for a week! I seem to forget that I'm not as well physically as I was before my transplant. The running's going ok though, I'm up to about 3 miles in the gym, nothing crazy about 7 minute miles. So I don't think I'll be ready for the marathon next year.

I hope the concert went well and your feeling a little better.

Take care mate,