Kev has been writing about living with inoperable prostate cancer for a few years now and whilst it is obviously very important to Kev, running is only a part of the story. His blogs evolved from emails he would write to communicate with his friends/colleagues/supporters en masse and they have since evolved in complexity and scope. Here we have put them into blog form, the most recent at the top so scoll down for the ones dating back to the start. They give an incredible insight into this kind of experience and how we can all move forward from such a traumatic and devastating moment.
Below is his first 'blog', from November 2014, which was actually an email to his colleagues at the bank not long after his diagnosis. It's powerful and sobering to say the least reading something back which was written right there and then in the middle of the maelstrom.
Well I did it although I had serious doubts after day 2 when I was feeling pretty rough. I actually finished my third consecutive Marathon Des Sables, I don't believe that anyone has done that before with any T4 metastatic cancer including my prostate cancer . I wont go through everything again as my daily updates probably bored the pants off you already save that there were many heroic stories out there and a fair few sand storms.
More importantly, thanks to your incredible generosity I have exceeded my expectations by raising over £23,000 for Prostate Cancer UK including gift aid. Words can not describe how worthwhile you make my life feel by inspiring you to support my favorite charity.
LIVE updates compiled
This blog update is compiled of Kev's 'live' or as near as he could get during this year's Marathon des Sables
What a week its been, never far away from some sort of doctor but they seem happy enough to let me go. I sometimes think its because I have survived this far no one will get in trouble if it goes wrong now anyway!
A short note for a change (hooray I hear you all say!). So I fly out to the Sahara very early this Friday morning for the Marathon Des Sables, 250k self sufficient forth week. My bag is backed, it weighs 11.5kg just like the last two years . The fast racers only carry 6.5kg, I have never really worked out what the extra 5kg is on my back as I would love to carry less, I guess they don’t take cameras, ipods, coffee etc like me!
I composed this on the plane back from Canada, so much has happened since I last wrote, sorry its so long but even this is abridged of the many stories that happened along the way. Three weeks ago I was panicking about my kit choices, food, general prep for the Arctic and was seeing my Dad every day in hospital as he had been there for a few weeks. I knew inside myself that all was not well with my father and unusually felt compelled on my last day in the UK to actually tell him that I love him and even take a joint photo, both of which I never did enough of. Sadly, after being in Canada for 4 days, just before the race, I found out that my Dad had died...
Hi Everyone, I hope that you have been enjoying the snow in the UK, it made me realise just how cold it is going to be for me over the next few weeks, I am starting to wonder why I ever signed up for the race, maybe I wont sleep until I am there! It has been a full on month with an appearance on BBC Radio 2 last Sunday, being interviewed for the first ever Runners World podcast and being in the April printed issue of Runners World out today. My regular weekly column in the Sunday Mirror seems to be going down well somehow (ok they have not axed me yet!). Some more presentations to a few groups about prostate cancer and living for the day to Nat West colleagues too, I sort of like presenting kind as I think I can make a difference to many people. Finally, I have been doing my bit for Prostate Cancer UK and will (I believe) be part of a campaign to encourage families to sign up for one of their many “Marches” over the next few months, perhaps you will be able to join one?
Hope January was a great month for you? For me every year starts as a new beginning, what has gone before has gone so its all about hope and expectation for this year to bring better than before, something that I found hard to believe at the start of 2015, 2016 and 2017 but this year is different. Why the difference? I guess that my reality has sunk in now and the joy of what I can try to do rather than what I may not be able to fills my head.
Hi Everyone, a happy New Year to you all.
Breathe and smile, today was the monthly blood results day and they have gone back to the joint best ever of 0.11, always great to hear (for me anyway!) and means that I have another month. I was thinking about an analogy for how I feel in life, I guess it’s a bit like if I was a footballer whose team is 3-0 down and are in the 93rd minute .Yes the game is probably lost but I don’t know how many more minutes the ref will give us, I was only expecting 2 and have had 3 already, the ref could blow the whistle at any time but I will keep on trying my hardest because even losing 3-1 will be better than 3-0 as the buzz of getting that goal will make me feel good at the time and hopefully encourage the team to keep trying in the next match as they may win that one even if I am no longer in the team. Hope that makes sense?
Its been two months since I last wrote and was hoping to tell you tales of long training runs and completion of a 3 day 90 mile training race but sadly that is not the case. Going back to my September race in Iceland, you may recall that I smashed up my left leg a lot on the rough terrain and then ran a marathon a month later when I should have been resting. Well the leg is still not behaving. It is nearly there to be fair but the balance of rest and staying fit is a hard one to achieve when time is not on my side so I keep thinking its ok and then over doing it. The upshot was that for the third year in a row injuries have stopped me running “The Druids Challenge” 90 mile race, maybe its just not meant to be.
Today I launch my new challenge for 2018, I hope that after reading this you will see that I am yet again attempting to push myself harder than ever before and hope that you will support me as you have before in any way you feel able.
It’s a couple of weeks shy of 3 years ago when I had that fateful meeting with the Doc who told me that I may only live for 2 years. Since that time I know of others in my situation that did not even make 6 months and others who have been around for a bit longer. All I can say is that a combination of the right attention and meds from my fab oncologists and I believe a regime of amended diet and exercise have kept me not only here but still able to contemplate these challenges. That said, I would be lying if I said that my situation has not given me additional issues physically and mentally along the way.
Apologies today for this will be a long update being the end of my 1,000 mile journey but I do hope that you enjoy the read?
So last time I was about to set off to Iceland for my final “big race”, Fire and Ice. It did not disappoint in being a tough one, not mentally or with heat like the MDS but tough in a gnarly and uncomfortable way. I guess at no time did it feel as hard as the desert race and I never felt like giving up but it was a race of contrasts as ever, massive highs visually and with camaraderie amongst the runners but nasty with the cold, wet plus awkward terrain.
Hi all, sorry its been so long (relief from you no doubt!) but I wanted to get today out of the way first.
When I left you last time I was about to embark on Al Andalus, 230k race in Spain. It was billed as being tough and my word was it. There is something about me and racing in Spain that does not bode well as my previous only ever DNF (Did not Finish) was there last year as a similar time.
The race was small but like many things that way, beautiful and perfectly formed. There was only 72 starters, nothing like the 1,200 that race in the Marathon Des Sables (MDS). For those of you who follow me in facebook, I did a “live” session each day, I hope that you saw just how beautiful, hot and hard it was. Unlike the MDS though we did not have to carry our kit as that was shipped to each finish every day, all we needed was water and food for the day.
Welcome to another long read!
Lets get the bad news out of the way first………………….………..I still have not won the lottery, that’s it, nothing else bad in this update so breathe easy (like I am ;-)!
A busy month was June, the big one in terms of miles was joining Jeff Stelling (and 500 others) for his 15 marathons in 15 days in the Prostate Cancer UK March for Men although only 3 of us were aiming to do all 15 including Jeff.