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Chipping Norton friends take 55-mile bike ride in Cotswolds for charity Bowel Cancer UK

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Chipping Norton friends take 55 mile bike ride in Cotswolds for
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Cotswold Cycle Challenge organizer Chris Belcher right and Nick Leader

Cotswold Cycle Challenge organizer Chris Belcher right and Nick Leader

Cotswold Cycle Challenge organizer Chris Belcher right and Nick Leader

Chris Belcher, from Chipping Norton who organized the bike tour, said: “Our original plan was to run 55 miles (88 km) in the London to Brighton cycling event. Due to the pandemic, the event has been cancelled. This has undermined our determination to raise funds. for such a brilliant charity (according to government guidelines, of course).

“Bowel Cancer UK is a charity dedicated to saving lives and improving the quality of life for those with the disease. A cause close to our hearts as we support our good friend Sarah (Townsend) in her battle with cancer.”

The 55 mile bike ride starts and ends in the Cotswolds.

Sarah Townsend, who is battling colon cancer, and her family

Sarah’s partner, Nick Leader, is one of 12 cyclists accompanying Chris on the charity ride.

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Bowel cancer is the second largest cancer killer in the UK, claiming more than 16,000 lives a year, killing more than 44 people every day.

Colon cancer is the fourth most common cancer in the UK, after breast, prostate and lung cancer.

Colon cancer is treatable and curable, especially if diagnosed early. Almost everyone diagnosed at the earliest stage will survive colon cancer. Early diagnosis really saves lives.

Sarah Townsend, of Chipping Norton, shared her touching story as part of the fundraiser.

She said: “In October 2019, at the age of 37, I kept having stabbing pains under my ribs and on the right side of my body. I went to the doctor several times because I knew something was not right.

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“The first doctor advised I had anxiety. The second doctor treated me for a urinary tract infection, although I advised I had no pain from weed. The third went on stronger antibiotics but advised that she refer me for an ultrasound from my gallbladder.

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“I was supposed to have my ultrasound on Friday, but on Monday I felt awful, very tired and generally unwell. I went back to the doctor and luckily he sent me straight to the hospital for the ultrasound, but by the time we got it hospital it was out of hours and the ultrasound ward was closed.I was advised to come back in the morning but they took my blood sample.

“My ultrasound in the morning showed that I had a very healthy gallbladder. The consultant called me to tell me that although the ultrasound was completely clear, my red blood cells were low, so he wanted me to have a CT scan.

“We waited in the hospital for about four hours – thank goodness for NHS WIFI, I was able to watch on TV. The CT scan took place, we went to eat and waited for the results.

“When we were called in, my partner Nick said, ‘Shall I come with you?’ He had no other meetings, so I said ‘no, it’s okay.’ Then the advisers said, ‘Maybe you should do that.’

“The consultant had a nurse sitting with him. They both looked at me and I knew something was wrong, but what was to be heard changed mine and my families forever.

“‘We found a small mass in your gut and we think you could have colon cancer.” I mean I wasn’t expecting this at all I hadn’t even heard of colon cancer I thought they would tell me I was just constipated I had no blood in my poo or any symptoms other than the pain.

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“They left me and Nick in the room together and we were speechless. I’m only 37 and I have two babies to raise, this can’t happen. We drove home crying in shock.

“The following week I was booked in for a colonoscopy and a biopsy of my liver. I had no real doubts about the liver biopsy at the time. The end of that week I was booked to meet my oncologist.

“It turned out that I didn’t need a liver biopsy as my oncologist confirmed I have colon cancer and it has spread to my liver. They said they couldn’t operate on the liver because there were too many spots and they couldn’t remove the liver.” colon tumor because it will destroy the liver tumors so I had to start chemotherapy.

“We discussed side effects and what to expect. It wasn’t the best conversation I’ll ever have, I asked her if I would die from this and she said ‘yes, I think so’.

“My chemotherapy started in December 2019, a session before Christmas. This was actually ok. I was tired, but I wasn’t sick or anything.

“I had five more rounds and then another dreaded CT scan. I’m so nervous/anxious about CT scans now. My oncologist confirmed she was happy with the results and the scan showed a reduction in the tumor. However, when I asked if we could still operate on the liver, she confirmed that there are still too many spots scattered about.

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“As I write this, I’m just coming out of round 12 chemotherapy (learned this term from a fellow cancer patient), and this is by far the hardest round yet. I’ve been in bed for three full days, can’t my feeling fingers (neuropathy), having sore feet and a mouth full of sores.

“I have to do another CT scan soon – again more anxiety.

“My side effects from chemotherapy were mainly plagued by fatigue, not great considering I am a mother of Elphia who is four and Rafe who is seven. But looking back, I have been really lucky with my side effects compared to other people’s stories.

“My journey continues… wish me luck.”

The post Chipping Norton friends take 55-mile bike ride in Cotswolds for charity Bowel Cancer UK appeared first on Notesradar.

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