- Kerry Sutton
Running after breast cancer ~ Hazel Smith
Having watched the finishers of the Race to the King arrive at the Winchester Cathedral in June 2016, I decided that the taking part in a 53 mile endurance event along the South Downs was just what I had been searching for.
What I had not conceived happening is that I would have a diagnosis of stage 3 Breast cancer literally the week I entered to take part in 2017.
This diagnosis came totally out of the blue from having had a minor operation on something totally unrelated. There I was facing Chemotherapy in the February to be followed by a large operation to remove the cancer. This was then followed by Radiotherapy.
The days that followed my Operation were filled with utter disbelief that I was so unwell when I felt so fine. But sense was coupled with sheer gratitude that it had been found and that there was a solution.
Throughout my treatment I kept life as simple as possible. Once I started Chemo any hope of taking part in the race in 2017 was slipping away. I was fortunate enough to still work full time which stopped me from becoming totally self absorbed and consumed by my illness and when I could I would get outside I would walk and jog. However, this had become very limited and I was only able to cover about 1 mile at a time.
Kerry became known to me through reading about inspirational people on the Threshold Sports Website.
I finished radiotherapy on September 26th and was going to be put on a daily drug for the next 5 to 10 years. The drugs have very harsh consequences on your body… however they also save your life, so who was I to resist them. I was due to start taking these drugs on October 1st 2017.
At this point I contacted Kerry and asked for help.. Would she consider getting me in some sort of fitness shape to take part in the Race to the Kings non stop in 2018? I knew this was a tall order as I could hardly walk 100 meters without pain and fatigue.
I have not met Kerry in person but we have been working together since October 1st. I cannot express my gratitude to her for believing that anything is possible. We have progressed over the last 6 months from 100meters to now running 12 miles…. It is a miracle and one which would not have been possible without her constant encouragement and hope.