The chemo is tougher this time round

Ric Clark after his stomach operation
Ric Clark after his stomach operation
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This week, after major surgery, he is struggling through another round of chemotherapy and grateful for the support of his family and friends

Dad-of-two Ric Clark, 33, from Penwortham, told the Evening Post how he discovered he was battling cancer while training for a triathlon.

Ric Clark having his chemotherapy

Ric Clark having his chemotherapy

I started chemotherapy again last week and it went really well. I had some visitors during my time at Rosemere Cancer Centre and it was good to see people.

Most importantly I had a visit from my trials nurse, Claire. She visits every time I go for chemotherapy but as I hadn’t seen her in a while we had a good catch up.

She showed me the notes from the surgery and it was an interesting read to be honest. Everything that had gone on during that three hour period had been recorded. I also discussed some of the issues that I had been having and Claire is a fantastic nurse who is able to relate and empathise with her patients.

As we had started the day so early (arriving at 8am) we left fairly early too, although it always feels like such a long day. We got home and enjoyed the rest of the day with the family.

Last time I had chemotherapy, I was full of energy for the first couple of days due to the steroids. This time however was much different, I felt so exhausted and unmotivated to do anything; the chemotherapy was now beginning to take its toll so much quicker and I was feeling the effects of the treatment a lot faster.

Luckily, Oscar and Sidney were entertained by grandparents on Thursday and Friday and our friend Louise came over Friday evening and stayed on Saturday too – this help was invaluable and I don’t know how I would have survived looking after the kids for those first couple of days on my own.

As Leonie was off work on Sunday and Monday, we had planned to visit our friends in Llandudno. I was driving and it would be the longest I had driven whilst under the chemotherapy treatment.

The journey took us a bit longer than normal, I found it easy to drive the distance, but I was tired when we got there.

We saw our friends and went for a walk along the prom and pier, the kids were running about and enjoying their time with their friends.

The following day, the weather was much better so spent more time on the beach, looking for crabs, although it was pretty unsuccessful, but again the kids enjoyed the day.

I went back to work on Tuesday so we could arrange my return to work. I had a meeting with my manager and HR and agreed that I would begin a gradual return beginning in September. It made me think about how much I had missed work, or more specifically having a structure around my life.

This week has been quite difficult in terms of feeling good. The treatment is much harder to deal with; I have been more tired and achy; to do anything is hard work, for example getting out of bed in the morning takes more time, walking upstairs tires me.

Hopefully this will get easier over the three weeks before my next treatment. Just another two full chemotherapy sessions left and I am then almost finished.