Here comes the Battle Bus

How things change in 5 years! You look back on what you were doing, clothes you were wearing, TV programmes you were watching and even mobile phones you were using and everything is different sometime scarily so.

Yesterday I went to sign my consent for treatment at my local hospital Airedale near Keighley. Google says its 20.7 miles one way and 38 minutes – Google has never driven on the A65 and had to contend with caravans, tractors or at the moment the roadworks that are a plenty, this is a long journey when you don’t feel well.

Knowing that this was going to be a regular haunt of mine from now on for treatment did fill me dread but what can you do. But as I said things change in 5 years and I have seen that cancer patients locally have been given the option to have treatment in our local supermarket – well the carpark, not amongst the apples and pears!

On the side of the bus it says Hope for Tomorrow . Thats what we all need HOPE. They can treat 20 patients a day on board. In these days of COVID its saves the risk of going to a large hospital, less stress with all the travel and the biggest thing it reduces the waiting times for cancer patients receiving treatment in hospital.

I have been told my next treatment will be on the bus 5 minutes from my house in BOOTHS car park every Thursday. Our bus is called Linda and was launched in 2018 and name on behalf of Linda Conley who died from cancer and was a supporter of Hope for Tomorrow.

Now I shouldn’t get excited about it but I am as its the START, 3 weeks on medication 1 week off and an injection to help strengthen the bones. Blood tests are even to be done locally instead of the hospital so I can still work with hopefully little impact.

In the weeks and months I will be featuring the people who have made it possible for me to get through all of this. Many were with me at the start of the treatment and a few have been friends for many years prior to this.

Today my focus is Aileen and to some extent her other have Dave as they always seem to come as a package. Now if my memory serves me right and this is where usually I need people reminding me as I have a rotten memory, Aileen and I were in on-line running group called RUN FOR FUN. The only thing that I found fun was the people I met as I had a ball meeting people at races even though I didn’t do many.

Aileen was there when I had finished treatment in 2016 and wanted to do a whole load of races for charity, both turning up unexpectantly cheer me me on at the end of the York 10 mile – I was in such a daze I didn’t hear them shouting when I ran or rather hobbled straight past!

But she came into her own in the September of that year when she offered to run the Great North Run with me. As we stood together waiting for the race to begin the Red Arrows flying over I knew that I couldn’t have asked for a better friend to be running what is for her a local race.

When things got tough and it did, the effects of the chemo and radiotherapy still there, an invisible hand was pushing me on my back and words of encouragement were wildly spoken. When at the roundabout of mile 10 I was with the medics and it looked that this was the end it was she who helped me up and got me down to the sea to receive my proudest medal. Not quick but fast doesn’t always win the race and I was a winner in much more things.

I will gloss over London Marathon 2018 when she came down to surprise me but I ended up on the medics bus from mile 3 and she had to wait 7 hours for me to get to the end! Most people would have gone to the pub!

Aileen is a nurse and from what I have been told a bloody good one, she never pulls any punches with me, no sugar coating but is honest and when I was told in July of my diagnosis both Aileen and Dave booked to come to Settle so that I could talk – face to face. This made such a difference.

Now she has gone and done it again. Bucket list number 2 is going to be ticked off on November 20th . I am going to be a bride – well without the groom and without the church and massive party but I am going to try on dresses!

We are going to Ashleigh Richards Bridal in Nottingham.

GIRLS NIGHT APPOINTMENT NOW AVAILABLE Not getting married?! No problem!!!You can’t beat a good girls night with your besties and what better place to spend it than in our beautiful bridal boutique 🥰💃 Available Monday to Saturday 💃🥰 £80 for 4 people 🥰Includes;❤️ exclusive use of the entire boutique for 3 hours (7pm – 10pm) ❤️ bring your own alcoholic beverages (glasses provided) ❤️ beautiful buffet including savoury and sweet goodies ❤️ use of all our gorgeous bridal gowns for a fabulous fun filled photoshoot (take as many pics as you like) make memories to forever treasure whilst having lots of giggles with your girls ❤️ Props for pics during your appointment❤️ Music, disco lights and a dancefloor Make it even more special and order in your fave take away (not included in the price) Get dolled up or come in your comfies, have a pj party…the choice is yours 🥰Enjoy a safe fun filled night with the girls stick to your social bubble with your besties and make magical memories together to treasure!!!

As this was a bucket list that 2 friends Denise and Anjie said they were interested in organising I asked if they wanted to come unfortunately due to other commitments Denise can’t (we will send you the photos) and Anjie is our official photographer. Now to get hair and make up sorted!

One thing that this has taught me is that despite COVID time is precious, to make the most of it and all those special time with special people. I am lucky that I have so many around me. Aileen is one of them.

Watch out for your names in lights!!!

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