Well well well, now that the dust has settled and the aches and pains have begun to subside, I guess it’s time to reflect on the past 7 Months. The first email went on the 13th November and went like this….
TONY “I’m so close to entering a Ironman”
DAN “I think I’m gonna do it. I think I have to be there if you’re gonna do it and watching just wont be enough, Having said that, I am actually leaning towards Nice. I know the bike is harder but the times last year are a lot quicker….. It works better for me date wise as well.
The run course is flat as a pancake as well…..”
TONY “OK so …… Is that a date ? If we do it we should do sponsorship and I would like to do it for Colin ?”
DAN “I think if I don’t do it now I will just wish I had sooooo………………IT’S A DATE! (heart racing right now) And yes, 100% should be done for Colin”
TONY “God ….. So is mine and my stomach has just churned !! “
Editor “what is it with these ‘….’ , is it hereditary too”
This exchange was followed by a string of further emails with language that’s not for public consumption thereafter it was set in stone, we had agreed to do an IRONMAN!. Research then helped decide on Nice and on the 17th November I told Colin we were going to do it and raise money for Headcase.
The journey had begun, however even before the blog and Justgiving sites were up things had become challenging, courtesy of Chelsea football club !
As we have said this was all about raising awareness and of course cash for Headcase and of course Colin’s plight. The money and ideas came rolling in and we were well and truly on our way.
The training became all consuming and Dan and I were constantly scaring each other with articles we had read about this challenge, but it was ok as it was months away ! My first visit to Dubai was not good as I had to drop out of the Abu Dhabi tri, which incidentally the same guy who won in Nice won there too, and Dan did brill. Second trip we really did work hard and we could sense we were getting there.
In the meantime the money and efforts of you all was really amazing and the support and donations came rolling in along with some very moving messages for Colin, but the most amazing contributions were from Colin himself and latterly Helen, when ever a ‘Colin blog’ went up the visits to the site doubled in the day and sometimes trebled.
The months began to slip by and the big day came ever closer, but there was also continuous fund raising activity which was really inspiring and ensured total focus. And then bang its done and its over, but what a great day, just one of the best. But the fight goes on, at the time of writing we are just over £32,500 with gift aid, but I would still like to see the magical £30k appear without gift aid. But a job well done, THANKS.
So it would be remiss not to say a few thank you’s.
Firstly Kirstin who in the roll of ‘Admin’ a term that started as a bit of a wind up but seems to have stuck, seriously what can I say, well the whole thing wouldn’t have been such a success without you, I guess being bossy helps, but you never let up and for that I thank you.
To our on the ground supporters amazing, I think their voices have now recovered. In addition Dan and I have been overwhelmed with the messages of support, it really did make a difference on those last few strides.To all our donators, not sure there is such a word, but you have been brilliant.
But most of all, thank you Colin, Helen and your family for allowing us to invade your lives at a time of total devastation; your openness, honesty and humour have been amazing and your continued drive to raise awareness and cash for Headcase is a tremendous demonstration of wanting to help others when it would be easy to disappear into your shell. Even when we went to see Colin on Monday when we flew back he was still talking about the charity and donations, unbelievable !
So while this chapter comes to a close another inevitably opens, the boys are doing the three peaks challenge in a couple of weeks and I’m sure we will think of something else mental to do in due course, but with the London Tri in five weeks its back to the gym. A million thanks to you all from Dan and me for making it bearable and actually fun, and my thoughts, as I know everyone’s are, are with Colin and Helen. TTFN
Probably tucked up in bed, at least those in Blighty. Whilst the support crew are up and at ’em at 4am, fumbling for the light switch and the tooth brush to be bright and breezy for when the guys are ready to leave. Bring on the coffee and don’t tell them we may well grab a few 40 winks after they head off up into the mountains!
Apologies for not having given any updates people, but Colin has been very poorly this last month………
His decline seemed to kick in after the last game of the season, he was so pleased to have “made it”! Bootsy and the lads had taken him to Amsterdam which he enjoyed immensely but the schedule was gruelling. When he arrived home he took to his bed only to gather enough strength to attend the last game at Chelsea. He has been in bed pretty much all the time since, only to get out for the loo and the occasional cigarette. This was the case until last Thursday when my cabin fever had reached a crescendo and I insisted on a trip to Cambridge for a wander around the retail park. It was so nice, he was extremely relaxed as I wheeled him around in his chair and popped into Marks and Spencer for a browse. Just inside the entrance was a young man with a couple of trays of nibbles for the customers to try. He invited Colin and I to try some, at which point Colin grabbed a handful (very unlike him!) and proceeded to stuff them in his mouth. The man asked if we liked them, to which Colin replied , “Yeah, they’re OK”
“Oh, good” said the man, “they’re £5.99 for two trays.” Colin then emptied the contents of his mouth into his hands and threw the half chewed savouries right back at him shouting “I thought you said they were f****** free!!” The look of shock on his face was priceless! There was a quick embarrassed explanation from me and we made a sharp exit leaving only the smell of burning rubber from the wheels on the chair! So, there was another memory for me to cherish.
From that event Colin has been worsening on a daily basis, becoming increasingly confused and with a greater number of hallucinations. He has feelings of things moving and has felt liquid dripping on his head and has felt and seen his feet on fire.
On Wednesday 5th June at 2am he woke me up shouting that I had to keep calm but that our house was collapsing. I turned the light on and saw the look on his face, shock horror and fear. I had only seen that look on his face once before and that was the night he had to identify our son Daniel’s body on the night he was killed in a car crash. It really did frighten the knickers off me! I just couldn’t manage him or the situation so I called our eldest son, Jamie to come over. He then escorted Colin around the house, reassuring him of the building’s stability over and over again. My other son, Tommy, then took over after he had finished his night shift. The psychosis lasted for a three day period and the only time he slept was when he was sedated with Lorazipam which our GP had prescribed. The GP, District nurse and MacMillan nurse got in touch with the hospice and Colin was admitted. The first few nights he spent there were much the same, he had to have an infra-red sensor put by his bed to alert the nursing staff when he was moving. He was determined to come home and kept packing and re-packing his case. The nurses had to keep a vigil outside his room to ensure he came to no harm since his balance was so bad. The doctors have now prescribed Haloperidol which seems to be doing the trick. He is now much calmer and, although he still sees his bed moving, floors cracking, feels water running on his head and his feet on fire, he can now accept that this is all due to the tumour.
When I was asked to do this blog, I had every intention of keeping things very light and funny as indeed a lot of situations have been so. I then wanted to give you some insight into the much darker moments, so people will realise the havoc and devastating effects that Glioblastoma Multiform can have on people’s lives.
We are both so very grateful for the support and help we have had, it is truly humbling but my dearest wish is that a cure will be found for this cruel, cruel disease.
Many, many thanks, Helen.
Ok folks – we all think that all this “Ironman” malarkey is just another Triathlon, an excuse for a weekend away in the south of France, a nice dip in the water, a cycle through the countryside and a jog around the city. And the weather will be pretty good in late June too, wont it?
Its not just the distances that are unimaginable to those that don’t relish a sprint for that proverbial bus. Its the number of other bodies thrashing through the water, elbows, feet, blow back, I mean no breast stroke and keeping your new bouffant dry for the evening celebrations!! then in the cycle, yes granted one is now seated! but its no best of DFS, with integrated recliner function, what is not always obvious to the untrained observer are the inclines, from sea level to nearly 1200 ft and pretty sharply too! Then the run… not much to say about that, we are all pretty impressed at the thought of Paula Radcliff running a marathon, but not after swimming and cycling.
So lets recap:
180km cycle (Note the course profile graph!!)
42.2km run (reminding you yes this is a full marathon)
While everyone reading this has at least some basic knowledge of computers and the internet, there are still a number of people that have not yet made the leap towards this new age form of communication and as result, won’t of had the privilege of reading the truly inspirational stories and comments that have been posted since this blog was set up. If ever I needed some motivation to get in that gym I know I don’t have to look any further than this site that’s for sure!
So, for those that haven’t quite mastered the art of mouse clicking and keyboard typing we’ve made a poster that people can put beside collection jars explaining the story and what we are trying to achieve. We are also hoping they will help to spread the word further a field by being put up in offices, at schools or anywhere people think will be beneficial to help collect donations.
We should have these printed by the end of next week and we will let you know asap once they are ready to be sent out to whoever would like some.
Now we have a few followers and comments I am hoping people will spread the word, encourage more to follow, tweet the word, like, poke, Facebook, chat, refer and generally ensure the exposure of this missions goes viral! I have been delighted to be able to set this blog up, it certainly seems the easier option rather than doing the Ironman!!! but if anyone has comments on things they’d like to see, read or link to, please do let me know. We have already had over 1200 views in the first 3 days.
Obviously the intention is to surpass last year’s fundraising target of £30k and aim to reach £50k… but also to raise the profile for research into this tumour through the Headcase Charity Trust. If anyone has contacts, links to the Media, friends or family that can assist in raising the profile and thus the funds please get in contact. I had never heard of Headcase Cancer Trust before hearing Colin’s Story, someone I have yet to meet, but frankly, what I know so far, is an inspiration.
I have previously raised money for widows in Eritrea Air ambulance and last year Breast Cancer Campaign. But I immediately felt that the efforts the Ironman required and the difficulties this Charity faces and Colin’s situation it made perfect sense to help in any possible way.
First set of clothing gear has arrived!
Everyday this seems to be becoming more and more of a reality.
I am Still battling with this flu that has now moved its way on to my chest which is never great when you have asthma and training to do cardio training but never mind. Id rather have this in January than in June so trying to look on the positives!!!
2XU – White Long distance try singlet
2XU – Compression Tri Shorts
ProGel Cycling stretch shorts
Pre Ride Chamois Crème – Ugly thought but an ESSENTIAL!