I’ve had to get better at turning negatives into positives, so I’ve decided that this year Lent isn’t about giving up anything, it’s about taking up something. So, for forty days and forty nights, I am going to discipline myself to write every day. I’m also going to try and exert a modicum of self control on my calorific intake, as I continue to be hammering Chemo in the Vix vs Chemotherapy Tournament, with the current score line of 16-0*, and Rosemary Connelly would not be proud of me. I’m not meant to raise my core temperature as it increases the risk of seizure, so I continue to miss a good sweaty work-out and being drenched from exertion. I’ve been trying to do an hour or so a day of walking the streets of Glasgow to help get me semi-prepared for the Big Walk to clinic as I am disappointed in myself as I’ve been unable to defy that Law of Thermodynamics which says something like “what goes in has to be burnt off if you want to stay the same”.
Would you believe it, but after teasing sights of Spring, with crocuses and snowdrops in bloom, we’ve had more snow and gales this week? I wouldn’t mind so much if the Scotland were playing England in at home this weekend, but it’s down at Twickenham, so we can’t even count on the snow helping us get our hands on the Calcutta Cup. I had a fabulous special day thanks to the Willow Foundation, with a ridiculous limo ride to and from Murrayfield and dinner in a swanky restaurant with Fifi and my folks… it would have been even more special if Ireland hadn’t beaten Scotland so convincingly. Alas, I think we’re on track for the Wooden Spoon as our trophy this year.
I’ve had some lovely visits from friends and spent time mooching with them in the Botanic Gardens, museums, along Byers Road mostly eating and drinking, and a bit of cinema and culture too. I am proud of my first ever visit to the theatre on my own, as the Red Hot Chilli Pipers were playing and I was feeling brave. I got some education too at the nearby Glasgow University, at the launch of Brain Tumour Awareness month, where we had talks from some of the big wigs from the MRC, neuro-oncology and a fantastic patient perspective. If you want to be more aware about brain tumours and the manifesto that’s being presented to Parliament have a browse: http://www.braintumouruk.org.uk/home
The fundraising fun continues and I’m delighted and very grateful to Greg Trevelyan and Olivia James who are doing the Loch Ness Marathon and Bristol 10K respectively, to support my charities. I am utterly impressed and it’s very kind of them to run for me by proxy, given that I’m not allowed to get sweaty. Mum and Dad are having a Charity Day Open House in April up on Skye which looks like good carbo-loading preparation for the Big Walk with coffee + cake, soup, tea + more cake…. and some Skye friends are having an Open Garden at the start of the walk. If you fancy doing something, don’t be shy to share your suggestions…
VixBigWalk to clinic plans are all on https://vixbigstuff.wordpress.com/events/ and hopefully, we will be departing Fort William wearing Easter Bonnets, if someone fancies making some!
Amanda and Esther have firmed up the plans for the “Lowland Walk” in Bedfordshire for those who want to remotely join in spirit and body. The planned meet in the car-park in Woburn at 08:30h with a planned start time of 09:00. The first stint will be ~6 miles arriving at Frosts Garden Centre at 11:30h-ish where we will do lunch. People can either join or leave, providing they can sort themselves out with transport. After a ~45min rest we will set off again with the next stint being just 2.5 miles, completing a circular route back to Woburn which again means people can leave or join us. We think this will be about 13:45h, we will set off for the last part at 14:00h completing a 5.5 mile stint around Woburn park. No surprise, the finish is in the pub for something to eat at around 17:00h.
If you want to take part in the Lowland walk, please can you contact Amanda Hensby (firstname.lastname@example.org) as she will try and sort out some food and will need to let the Garden Centre know that there may be a number of people descending on them particularly as it is Easter Sunday and places will be busy. Also there will be sashes to wear (which is apparently Esther’s idea, as t-shirts are no good if it’s cold and raining) and it would be useful to know how many people would want to wear them – they will of course be tasteful! Amanda will copy the planned route and can e-mail to interested people…The small print: Given that Amanda and Esther can barely look after themselves (Amanda’s words I promise) they take no responsibility for those who join them for the walk, but they will give you a map/directions and good company and conversation.
After some interviews and photo-shoot, fully clothed I promise, hopefully I should feature in the local press soon which may boost participation and support. I have had a some of lovely messages of support and humour from the rugby fraternity:
Ian Mclauchlan “Mighty Mouse”, President of Scottish Rugby Union
“Vicky may I congratulate you ahead of your planned walk from Portree to Beatson in Glasgow. Your courage and determination are an example to us all. With this spirit and tenacity you can beat anything just what I would expect from a fellow prop. With you in spirit if not in person.
All the very best
P.S. Vicky one of my sons was treated for cancer in Beatson. It is a super facility in which he made a good recovery. He has tried to pay back by running 10ks etc to such an extent that I feel as though I have paid for at least half the building.”
Allan Jacobsen, Scotland Prop Forward
“Good luck on your walk, I think what you’re doing is amazing.”
Lawrence Dallaglio, England
“I always admire anyone who is fundraising for charity and challenging themselves, however with Vicky who is also battling against cancer I am truly inspired. VixBigWalk and Vicky’s own struggle will be tough at times but I hope that my support along with everyone else’s will help in some way. I wish Vicky and the cause lots of success.”
Please do feel free to share this far and wide to maximise the sponsorship support for those participating: http://www.justgiving.com/user/15523874. We are fundraising for three charities: the Beatson’s Pebbles Appeal, Maggie’s Cancer Caring Centres and Macmillan Cancer Care. More information on this and about me and the fundraising exploits can be found on where all are welcome to sign-up for these updates https://vixbigstuff.wordpress.com/ and there was a lovely feature on Maggie’s centres on Woman’s Hour on Radio4 last week http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio4/womanshour/04/2008_18_tue.shtml.
For your leisure time, some silliness that makes me smile on YouTube (to enjoy with the sound on):
http://www.youtube.com/user/alyankovic?blend=1&ob=4 Weird Al & the Californian Philharmonic Orchestra
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=THNPmhBl-8I Brain surgery
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HMGIbOGu8q0 Homeopathic A&E
And finally some culture, “West is West” is definitely worthy of a trip to the cinema for a bit of cultural education that brought back fond memories of living in Leicester.
Live, love and laugh, lunch and long lie-ins
Big kisses and bone-crunching hugs
P.S. Please keep your normality news and updates flowing :o)
*For those who are interested in the finer detail of the rules of the Chemo Tournament, for Vix to score, it means I have to have a “clean 24 hours”… no food waste (more clinically known as diarrhoea and vomiting) and no infections. Any food wastage or infections in a 24 hour period, means a score for Chemo. I would technically be offside if I skipped a meal to avoid food wastage, so that would be a score for Chemo.