Forget preconceived ideas about cancer

Richard Clark from Penwortham
Richard Clark from Penwortham
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Dad-of-two Ric Clarke, 33, from Penwortham, told the Evening Post how he discovered he was battling cancer while training for a triathlon. In this column, he talks about quashing the preconceptions around treatment.

I am now nearly through the first round of chemotherapy after three sessions of three weeks each and it has been manageable so far.

I suppose that everybody has preconceived ideas of chemotherapy, I know that I certainly did.

Now that I have had the treatment, these ideas have been squashed. I completely understand that people can have a tough time with chemotherapy, but I have been very lucky.

I wonder how I have been able to continue like I have, and some of it I would say is owed to the fact that my cancer was diagnosed early, some down to my age, and some down to my fitness.

However, I wonder how much stems from a positive attitude. I would like to think that a positive approach to cancer goes a long way.

From finding out in January to now I have always looked at it as a challenge, but something to overcome.

I have always had in the back of my mind that I will beat this. My approach to how to deal with cancer was always to be open and honest with people, and to try and play down the gravity of the situation that I have found myself in.

This has been supported by everybody around me which also goes long way to help.

The support has been overwhelming, from everyone I have spoken to, from here in Preston to people in India and Japan, it has been incredible.

Due to this support, not only am I fighting for me and my family, I am now fighting for all these people, and this drives my determination to succeed in this fight.

The week itself has been just normal, nothing out of the ordinary. I say that but our oldest son caught chicken pox, exactly two weeks after our youngest had it.

We had a fun bank holiday weekend even with chicken pox hanging around, but Oscar has been superb with the pox, if anything he loves having it as he now gets a week off school.

On Saturday my wife and I had a night out, our first night away without the kids this year (they stayed at the grandparents).

We went to a friend’s in Poulton to celebrate her birthday. We had a few drinks and went to a few bars around Poulton.

It was a really good night, and it was good to get out and kick back relaxing. Due to my tiredness, we called it a night a little earlier than the others and made our way back.

I really did appreciate having a night out and it was fun to be with friends being a little bit silly. Before we went I had told our friend that I was leaving cancer at home, and forgetting about it for one night was a good idea.

On Sunday I was tired and after picking up the boys we had a lazy day around the house. In the evening we had another night out, this time to the cinema to watch Captain America, I love comics and superheroes so was looking forward to it, and I wasn’t disappointed.

As is normal now, I am getting up later and going to bed earlier, and generally being slower than my normal self, but I have to take things easy as the chemotherapy takes effect. So far I have only had good news and I hope it continues this way.