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A right pain in the backside…

By Unknown

Fontainebleau, Sept ’11. Felt knackered. First day 7a, second day, 6c+, end of the week not even 6a. Had to stay at a campsite because I really needed the loo. Back in Blighty, took a massive whipper at Ravensdale and took the brunt with my backside. From then on I had a bad back that got worse by the day. Stretched, massaged, got worse. Started getting these night sweats and got thin. Not all bad I thought. Went to hospital. Twice. Dunno, they said. Great. Then I couldn’t get out of bed and was in pain all the time. Went to convalesce in Liverpool at my Fiancé’s. Luckily she’s a Med student. She dragged me, unwillingly, to hospital. ‘What’s the point?’ I thought. 5 days later I got asked to have a seat. ‘There’s no easy way to say this, you’ve got advanced stage cancer’. Blew my mind. I thought I was a dead man walking. That was the 8th November, 2011. 11th November, Colostomy surgery. December/January Chemoradiotherapy everyday. March, 2012. Became a VDiff master in Cornwall! April 16th, 2012 tumour removal, anterior resection (chop a big bit of bowel out and stick it back together), colostomy reversal, ileostomy formed. May-November 6 months intensive chemotherapy. Rough. Feb, 2013. First time back at a wall. The best V0- climber you’ve ever seen! April, 2013 Scans. Scared. May – ‘there’s no sign of cancer. Ileostomy reversal in 8 weeks’. Can’t believe it! June, 12th, Ileostomy reversal. Rest of June – on the toilet. 3rd July – I’ve just been in the gear cupboard, I love that smell. Chalk and old sweat. I’m back baby! I don’t know for how long. Perhaps I’ll get another year, maybe 2 (maybe 10 – but I don’t dare believe that!). All I know is that I nearly gave up. So many times. My love for climbing, helped me through. My climbing partners turned out to be the best friends I’ve ever had (RIP Felix). The resilience learnt at the crag, the fear I’ve managed above gear, served me true. I never gave up. I never will. Nor should you…

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