What went wrong?
What went so wrong for me? This was the summer, the summer I was going to get back in to shape and really kick on with my running. After not getting too far with my running last winter I made a good start to the year, by April I was aiming to run the Wexford Half Marathon by the end of the month, I was in very good shape, it was going well, but things started to change. I was getting more and more tired, I wasn’t able to run as much, my distances were dropping every week during April, I was losing my body, the energy wasn’t there anymore, so what was going on…
Well, 6 months later I finally know the real reason, my post transplant vaccination schedule. It’s the reason why I couldn’t run the Wexford Half, it’s the reason why I had to cancel the Rock ‘n’ Roll Half, the Terenure 5 Mile, The Longwood 3/4 Marathon, and most disappointingly, the Dublin Marathon.
Taking part in the Dublin Marathon again was one of the things I thought most about while I was in hospital, I would dream of crossing the finish line and getting my medal, it’s one of the things that helped me keep my focus and determination while I was being treated, I wasn’t going to let cancer stop me achieving my goals. Although I won’t get to run Dublin this year, I have a nice plan for net year but I will just have to wait and see how things go. Running Dublin this year wasn’t an unrealistic goal, but once the vaccinations began I quickly watched my chances dissipate.
The vaccination schedule started on the 11th of April, and that’s around the exact time my running took a nose dive. It’s a 2 year vaccination schedule however during the first 6 months it was very top heavy and I was getting between 3 or 4 vaccinations each visit, I really didn’t realise how much of an effect it would have on my body. I realised that my body would take a hit for at least 1 or 2 weeks after each vaccination, so I wasn’t able to run for most of the summer as I just didn’t have the energy. Thankfully I was able to do some yoga which kept me happy, if I can’t get out running I will always look for an alternative that will still benefit me, and yoga really helped while I couldn’t run. My specialist explained to me that as my immune system hasn’t recovered yet, the vaccinations were having a harder, longer effect on me.
Now the 6 months of vaccinations are over, I’m so relieved, I have ran 3 times a week for the last 5 weeks and things are looking good again, however, winter is looming.
My Winter Worry
Come on then winter, let’s get this over with. Maybe spending the winter with my mask on and under a blanket would keep me protected?
I have the immune system of a 2 year old apparently. It’s not something I can do too much about really as time is the healer with this one, my body needs another year for my immune system to build back up after the transplant, so I just need to get through this winter and hopefully my body will have recovered sufficiently enough to keep me protected going forward. My specialist explained I might always be immuno-supressed forever, but once I get to about 2 years post transplant it should have recovered enough to give me a relatively decent amount of protection and resistance. 2 years is also her target for me, that if I make it to 2 years post transplant then my survival rate is very high, so it’s something positive to think about, especially considering I am already well on the way top that point now.
Until then, I am most likely going to pick up everything and anything that’s going around during the course of this winter, bugs, colds, the flu, whatever it is I’m open for business. There’s only so much I can do to avoid picking these things up so I’ll try my best, but one way or another I just can’t avoid being taken down at some point through the winter, either way, I’m hoping that if it happens, my body will have a little bit of fight to lessen the effect it has on me.
It is just 18 days until I return to work, I’m really looking forward to it, it will be the last step in getting my life back on track, it’s going to be a tough one for my body to work through but I’ll get there, it’ll just take time.
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