Hitting the brakes

In my last post I spoke about the bike I was about to order. I considered the spec emailed through and had arranged to make the order last Tuesday – 6th March.  Sadly a phone call received the evening before changed that and as a result will have a significant effect on the trip. My mother was confirmed with secondary breast cancer. It is not curable and the initial prognosis was devastating. I rushed immediately to the Midlands to join her. While disappointed that it looked like my planning had been in vain that was nothing in comparison with a much greater sense of loss the call initially indicated.

While to date all is not certain the meeting with the consultant last week brought hope and optimism.  The initial news it seems was an absolute worst case and given the next appointment falls after this time you can imagine the massive sense of relief. It really was the toughest week I’ve ever faced but with it has come a number of positives and the chance to look at moving forwards for us both and with wider relationships impacted as a result of conversations prompted by such awful news.

A number of people have often commented on my resilience. I guess that’s part of the attitude required to sign up for a cycle trip like this in the first place. It comes from my mother. Following her consultant appointment on Friday the next day we went on an 8.5 mile walk which she then followed with a traditional barn dance later than evening.

She too had felt upset that my trip may be cancelled and of course depending on appointments in three months time it may still be severely delayed. There simply would be no other option. However, as she strives to continue in a positive mindset I too am continuing to plan. It will change the original route and proposed  time away. I do want to ensure I will quickly be able to get home should I need to.  Missing a Christmas may now be something I really don’t want to do. I am now thinking of doing the trip in two or three stages so I’m not away for 11 months solid. I won’t finalise flights until after the next appointment. You have to be positive. You have to live life. You have to ensure you also spend time to appreciate and value the people you love.

Later this week I’ll be meeting my trip companion. While of course I have much to thank family and friends for their amazing support in the past week (I hope they know this outside from this bike blog!)  I also need to say thank you to a man I have yet to meet for his support and understanding at this difficult time. I always knew this trip would be a emotional journey as well as a physical one but this was beyond the unexpected. I now feel even more confident that I have a travelling partner with the mental ability for such an adventure. This trip will be more than helping each other cover the bike miles.

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