Dad-of-two Ric Clark, 33, from Penwortham, told the Evening Post how he discovered he was battling cancer while training for a triathlon. Now after an operation to remove his stomach, he’s back running and upbeat and optimistic going into the final phase of his treatment.
It has been a busy week with both highs and lows. Last Friday was probably my worst day of all so far.
It didn’t start well with a serious bout of early dumping syndrome shortly after breakfast and a slow morning. I had hoped it would get better as both my kids had now started their summer holidays and we were looking forward to spending some time together.
We had planned to go out for lunch and my in-laws were coming over to help out in the afternoon. I ordered a light bite of gammon and chips and managed about 3-4 bites before I started to feel unwell.
I had eaten in total about a third of the meal before giving up but I was suffering from even worse symptoms than earlier in the day and even had to leave to go home, leaving the kids with their grandparents. Friday was a write off.
Luckily the week got much better; I found out that I had won a competition in a running magazine, for race entry and some personalised coaching from a pro, I will be running The Scree’s race in mid October at Nether Wasdale.
I will also be featured in the magazine and will write a couple of items for them. On Saturday and Sunday we went out as a family as Leonie is on holiday so we plan to fit in as much as possible.
First we went to Southport with a picnic and played on the beach. We also went on the Lakeside Miniature Railway and got ice creams and had a walk around the park and lake, it was a brilliant day and the kids love it there.
Next up was shopping for some fish so we did a bit of investigating and got a tank and went to look at different fish, and later in the week go back to pick them up. We also went for an afternoon to Brock Bottoms near Beacon Fell on Monday, the kids loved walking in the cool, clear water of the river and we sat on the banks skimming stones and enjoying the sun.
On Monday evening I felt comfortable so went for a short easy run and managed well. It was warm and I felt a little rigid, but for a first run since my operation I felt good.
Tuesday I was booked into see my oncologist, Dr Mitchell. She was very happy with my recovery and has planned for my second round of chemo to start next Wednesday.
Wednesday I went to Manchester St Mary’s Hospital to see a geneticist and get some more information about the type of cancer and tumour and if it could possibly affect my two boys.
I had to provide family history, which when on paper looks good with only two close relatives that we know of being affected by cancer previously. My grandfather on my mother’s side had cancer in his twilight years and my auntie on my father’s side lost her battle before turning 40 years old.
Today I am travelling to Surrey for my interview and photo shoot for the running magazine article and I have so much to look forward to in the next couple of months.
I will be walking across Morecambe bay in early September to raise funds for Rosemere Cancer Foundation. I will then return to work following week and hopefully be back working full time shortly afterwards.
I will look to start back road racing in September at RunPreston 10k (or 5K if I’m not feeling up to it), followed by a Family Onesie Run at UCLan Sports Arena again in aid of Rosemere, both on the 28th, complete my first Fell Run as part of the competition win, then to finish the year, a Half Marathon in Conwy to avenge the demons of 12 months ago when I recorded my slowest time and when my problems began.
I feel upbeat and optimistic going into this final phase of my treatment and have a lot to work towards.