Saturday, 2 May 2015

Short ride in Beamish Woods

Over the past few months things haven't been going exactly how I would have liked with regards to getting out and about and maintaining my fitness levels. There has just been something amiss. At the beginning of the year I was struck down with a mystery virus and this had a huge impact on my whole well-being.

I have now been living with Non Hodgkin's lymphoma for around 7 years. I'm fairly lucky in that my NHL is classed as low grade, however it was diagnosed at a late stage, stage 3, so it is incurable. It is treatable however with things like chemotherapy and anti-body treatment. I think the biggest problem I have encountered with the NHL is like comparing it to having a dark cloud constantly over head. Your never quite sure when it's going to start thundering and lightening and splash down on your parade. When I  go to visit my haematology doctor or nurse I'm asked "How do you feel?" and here lies the problem, as I don't know how I'm supposed to be feeling.

I can be hard on myself so at times rather than understanding I'm actually not feeling well and it could be down to this NHL I tend to think it's just because I have a lot going on in my life at the moment and basically I'm not pulling my weight and just feeling lacking in Mojo, motivation or I'm basically just being lazy.

After the last few months I am starting to think "hold on a minute Glenn, something is going on" as boy I feel wrecked. I have 3 large nodes in the left side of my neck which are tracking down towards my clavicle. A few weeks past they were extremely swollen and very painful. Upon my visit to see my consultant she suggested I go for a CT scan. I have now had that done just Monday gone so now I am awaiting the results. The scan was a lot better than the last time, as I was in and out and didn't have to drink the awful tasting fluid stuff, which I have normally had to drink in the past. I'm now sporting a canny big bruise on my left arm where the nurse popped a needle in to administer the dye for the scan.

Anyhoo to today. I had planned to get up early and try and capture a nice sunrise, but when I checked out of my bedroom window at 4:57am although it was dark the sky looked gloomy, so I went back to bed. I awoke around 9:30am, a bit of a lie in these days for me. It didn't take long to get ready and head out. I only got a couple of yards down the street, before I made a sharp turn and headed back home as it was a little more chilly than I first thought, so I grabbed a jacket and popped it on and then was off.
Access to many an adventure
  The Farmers Trail is probably my most used access point to my biking adventures and today was no different. It's a canny steady away, all the way to the top of the bank, passing all the fields of bright yellow rape seed which are now in bloom, before dropping down into No Place and Beamish.

The rape seed all in bloom
 Beamish is one of my favourite places to ride, it's a beautiful area and the people you meet are mostly friendly. I spoke to quite a few pleasant people today, especially this one fellow with his Golden Retriever who came over to me as I was near the pond. She decided to have a dip then came out and had a good shake right next to me. As I was at the pond I tried creating some quirky photo's using my camera and the small glass ball I bought. Man I was there ages just couldn't get some I liked.

Arctic ONE
Messing around with a glass ball and a camera
More ball shots
I'm pleased I pushed myself to go out. I really enjoyed the solitude and it gave me a little time to think. I do have to admit that when I first entered the wood at the top end of Beamish I  had this plan to shoot and epic video, however after doing 3 runs past the same tree and figuring out I had set my Go Pro to Time Lapse instead of video I was a little peeved off. The Go Pro is a great piece of kit, my only gripe is that I can't read the tiny little screen on the back, so quite often struggle to know exactly what I'm recording. Just as I got the Go Pro set-up and was on my first run shooting video I thought "had on a minute, what the hells wrong with the back end of my bike". It was then I discovered I had a puncture. I didn't have an allen key big enough to loosen the rear wheel, so just loosened my tyre off the rim and proceeded to fix the tube with the wheel still in my frame. The hole took me ages to find as it was so small. After that the rest of the ride I always felt as if my tyre was soft, even though I had put loads of air in with my wee pump.

I only covered around 9.9 miles today, lots of walking back and forth for my camera and a canny hill from the bottom of Beamish to the top, then back up to No Place and back down the Farmers Trail to home. I feel that something is going on with me as this is more than just fitness, but hey it might all just be psychological, what with lumps in me neck and awaiting these results.

I know I can deal with what's to come, what tends to screw me up is the not knowing and waiting. When I had my leg off I knew the surgery date and believe it or not was quite excited, as I knew my leg was buggered and I just wanted rid of it so that I could get on with my life. This whatever it is is totally different and very frustrating. It is however a challenge, not in the same vein as say completing a marathon or climbing a mountain, but never the less something that you have to face with a positive attitude. All I can do is take one day at a time and see what it brings, so that's what I aim to do.

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