I have my new bike! After much deliberation and consultation I have finally got myself a new bike delivered last Saturday. I have named it Alfie. Trekkie and Alfie have already met but I am not sure if Trekkie has taken it very well. Only today I found him lying on his side, not sure why but I had to gently lift him back into an upright state and make some reassuring noises. In due course of time he will become my “pub bike” – think he liked that!
Alfie had his first outing the next day when I rode 63 miles in the Meon Vale Sportive for Cyclists Fighting Cancer. It was a beautiful day with early spring sunshine but some tough hills with steep gradients. It felt good as Alfie seemed to be just flying. The ride went through some very pretty Cotswold villages like Chipping Campden, Stow-on-the-Wold and Moreton-in-Marsh.
I have lost another pound and now my total weight loss is 13 pounds – just another 15 to go. This week and next I have a lot of training rides to put in before the next group ride – more of that next week.
Meanwhile donations are coming in and with each one I get an overwhelming feeling of gratitude. Every pound raised means that extra push up the Alpine ascents! I intend to carry a list of all my donors with me just in case the flesh shows any sign of weakening.
The Shepshed-Domont Twinning Association have pledged to support my ride for which I am utterly grateful. For those living in and around Shepshed this is a wonderful organisation and a great bunch of people who have done so much to promote friendship between Shepshed and our twin town of Domont just outside Paris. Membership is open to anyone and is an opportunity to get involved with many social events. Visit their website for more information.
One of the aims of this blog is to educate and inspire people. My main stress is the importance of exercise and weight reduction in preventing cancers, improving health and brain function and also updating my progress. Please refer to previous entries – links to the left of the main body of this blog.
I also like to touch upon topical issues. Currently Angelina Jolie’s decision to have both ovaries and fallopian tubes removed to reduce her risk of developing Ovarian cancer is in the news.
Angelina is a brave lady who has not hidden behind her celebrity status but has used it to highlight an issue that affects one in 500 women in the UK and worldwide – of inherited breast and ovarian cancers. Doctors, geneticists and charities have talked about the “Angelina Jolie effect” as more and more women (and men) with strong family history of cancer have come forward to get advice. Read this article about what the top ovarian cancer doctors are saying:
One cannot stress less the importance of seeking medical advice if there is any family history of multiple cancers. The general 3, 2, 1 rule applies. The 3, 2, 1 criteria are: three affected relatives with the same/associated cancers, across two generations, with at least one person affected under the age of 50.
In the case of breast and ovarian cancers the main mutations (amongst some other rarer ones) are the BRCA1 and BRCA2, and these also slightly increase the risk of prostate cancer. Many people wrongly think that these gene mutations are inherited from your mother’s side only. In fact you have an equal chance of inheriting this risk from your father’s side too. Unfortunately many GPs or other Primary Care staff are not fully versed in genetics, and one wouldn’t expect them to know everything. But if you have a history that concerns you please ask to be referred to the local geneticist. Most genetic departments have highly trained staff who can obtain you history over the phone and if appropriate offer an appointment and counselling.
The other story doing the rounds is about a study by Macmillan Cancer Support that shows cancer survival in the UK, even though it has improved dramatically in the last 15 years is still lagging woefully behind the rest of the developed world. There are of course many causes for this but it is important that action is urgently needed on three fronts: better prevention; swifter diagnosis; and better treatment, care and aftercare for all those diagnosed with cancer.
With elections coming up we can ask individual candidates what are they or their parties going to do for cancer care in the UK over the next five years. And we can all ask ourselves as to what we can do to eliminate our and our families’ risk.
We can make a contribution locally by supporting Hope Against Cancer. For online donations please visit http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/team/Hopesitalianjob
Sponsorship forms also available at Charnwood Pharmacy, Ryatt’s Optometrist, Hall Croft Opticians, Blooming’ Marvellous Florists, Field Street Newsagent, Dilip’s Megastore and The Black Swan.
Lets all keep exercising and watch those calories!