I first planned this trip for a start in May 2020 . Leading up to it my fitness was on track and my logistic arrangements and sponsorship had gone well. Most of my kit had been pledged. Then the problems started.
A mole which I had checked the summer before looked bigger. I was at work and we were called to an alarm next to my GPs. It had been on my radar to get the mole checked again so I got an appointment. The GP got a big lens machine and looked it over. He was advising me that I needed to be referred when I noticed a word on the form he was completing, cancer. A journey had begun. But not the one I wanted. Turned out it wasn’t just cancer, but malignant as well. It was a difficult few weeks, a hurdle to get over. They cut the mole and surrounding skin out and luckily it had not spread. Sun exposure on the sea was something I was going to have to limit though.
The Fire Brigades Union is looking into the rates of cancer in fire fighters which seem to be higher than in the general public. And skin cancers appear to be the most prevalent. Maybe putting lots of car fires out wasn’t so good for me after all. If you want to know more, visit: https://www.fbu.org.uk/blog/keeping-you-safe-cancer-causing-contaminants )
I was getting to grips with the cancer, when the covid tsunami hit. May 2020 for a start date was looking unlikely. Then my shoulder packed up. An injury had escalated and caused a capsular adhesion – frozen shoulder. The wheels had well and truly fallen off. May 2020 was off the cards. Then May 2021 was rehab after shoulder surgery. During this it was time for another patch of skin to be cut out.
May 2022 is fast approaching. Equipment sponsorship is back in place, the skin specialists just roll their eyes at me, I am older and less fit. Its been a challenge to get back into any position to consider the venture. Why not just call it a day?. Because I know that blue light workers, medical staff, all key workers have been under tremendous pressure. My reasons to get my message across is probably more important now more than ever.