So throughout the night of September 28th myself and a whole group of people from Time Out Towers will be walking the Shine marathon raising funds for Cancer Research. Everyone will be touched by the awful disease at some point in their life and for me it was back in 1995. Just three weeks after my daughter, Caitlin, was born I was informed that my wife Louise had a malignant tumour in her sphenoid sinus – basically the sinus behind the eyes and nose and just below the brain.
At the time we were informed that there was little to be done. ‘Unfortunately, the shadow on the scan shows your cancer is in Tiger Country. It would be too dangerous to go in there and do anything.’ Our consultant told us. Luckily for us, he referred us to a wonderful surgeon and his team who were able to operate and the success of that procedure combined with radiotherapy and chemotherapy gave Weeze another four years, enough time to see our daughter learn to walk and talk, be in her first nativity play, win her first race at the school sports day and get a tiny inkling into the wonderful woman she has now become.
She died on January 11, 2000. Nothing has ever quite been the same. However, she has left an incredible legacy of joy, hope and love behind her, a beautiful daughter and family that is now able to appreciate that life is short however long you live and the most important thing is to eat it up and to make every moment count. I’m walking in her memory, but I’m also walking for all those people who survive cancer and go on to make the experience of being alive the thing which defines them not the process of being a victim to their illness.
Over the next few weeks I’ll be posting blogs on here to keep you up to date with my training for the big day. I run regularly anyway but I want to be as well prepared as possible and so have decided to slim down a bit and crank up the fitness regime. I had hoped to start in earnest this last weekend with two long walks but fell foul of a schoolboy error.
I have up until recently never worn flip flops. I have seen many people wear them over my 42 years and always thought how marvellously cooling and free-spirited they looked wandering around in them like some Aussie beach bum without a care in the world. However, I’m a bit too uptight for this level of casual footwear, until that is last Thursday when I thought, to hell with it, I’m roasting hot, I’m going to buy myself a pair and let my little tootsies see the light of day. ‘Freedom!’ My feet would cry like miniature Mel Gibsons in Braveheart. I bought them and decided to save them for the weekend, you know, no need to rush into such a drastic fashion gear change. I’d wear them for twenty minutes or so just to get used to them and then I’d put on some trainers and head out for the big walking session.
Literally within three seconds of putting on the ‘thongs’ (as I believe our Antipodean cousins call them) I slammed my little toe in the side of a door frame, ripping it violently sideways and turning it instantly blue, much in the same way the air instantly became blue with a series of wonderfully graphic expletives. What the hell! These flimsy, rubber pieces of nonsense give no protection from anything. Still swearing as I made me way into the kitchen to find some ice cubes to put on the probably fractured digit my daughter came in from the garden ready to join me on the start of my long haul to marathon success. ‘It’s off, it’s f***ing off. I’ve killed my toe. I can’t walk anywhere. It’ll probably have to amputated and I’ll be a cripple for the rest of my life all because someone (I later Googled it, it was William Eccles and F W Jordan) invented the f***ing flip flop.’
Caitlin slunk back out to the garden leaving me to my own potty-mouthed devices. Four days later and it appears my little toe is absolutely fine and I may have overreacted a tiny bit. My training will now have to start again this weekend to come. I’ll keep you posted on how I’m doing.
If you’d like to join me for the walk do sign up here. I promise not to wear flip flops whilst we walk around. Or if you don’t fancy the walk itself feel free to sponsor the Time Out team at on our Just Giving page.
Tim Arthur. Editor-in-Chief