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24th October 2018
As the 23rd May 2018 drew nearer, arrived and has now passed, our thoughts can’t help but jump to the 23rd May 2019… when, after what will be 3 years and 4 months of treatment, Isaac will take his last chemotherapy drugs. It is such a long treatment time from the day of diagnosis back on 2nd a February 2016, but it’s surprising how all the different drugs, hospital visits and routines become part of normal life and how quickly that time passes. Although we are looking forward, getting excited and making plans to celebrate, we are so conscious we don’t want to wish time away but be grateful for every day. That said, there are plans afoot…
Mud – As the last big fundraiser in treatment, #teamfell will be out in force at the Rat Race Dirty Weekend just days before end of treatment
Food – 5 phases of treatment, 5 meals to celebrate
Sun – Just days after the end of treatment, Cyprus!
We thought we’d go out with a fundraising bang as Isaac’s treatment ends next year and have our last big fundraising push at the Rat Race Dirty Weekend. The weekend features the Full Mucker: the world’s largest obstacle course consisting of 200 obstacles over 20 miles, along with the Young Mucker course for the kids.
Rat Race (who do a number of events) are in partnership with one of the #teamfell charities, Children with Cancer UK, and their Dirty Weekend 2019 event is on 11th May, less than 2 weeks before Isaac ends treatment, and it’s a race that has become linked closely with part of Isaac’s journey, so it seemed fitting.
We discovered the Rat Race just before Isaac was diagnosed. In May 2015 I did the Full Mucker with a group of girl friends as a crazy challenge. As the date got nearer, Rat Race announced they were to launch the Young Mucker that same year so Isaac and his friend Kyle entered. So there the crazy Rat Race adventure started… we loved it! I entered again for 2016, at that stage having no clue that training would end up stopping before it had really even begun with Isaac’s diagnosis, and the official charity that we’d raised money for as a nice gesture in 2015 would become extremely personal.
Isaac was unable to enter the Young Mucker so I had a new drive for completing the Full and #teamfell was born. We set up a fundraising page to raise funds for 4 amazing charities working so hard around childhood cancer, including Children with Cancer UK. Not only that, but we had a whole team of friends who also put on their #teamfell shirts to race the Half, Full and Double Mucker, including Isaac’s grandpa (my dad) and Kyle did the Young Mucker, with friend Joe. Despite the treatment, Isaac was well enough on the day to support and enjoy the event.
As the Dirty Weekend in 2019 is only days before the end date of treatment, how could we not have it as our victory lap? We are having a big #teamfell muddy party courtesy of Rat Race. We already have a big team booked in with others joining and Isaac and friends will be doing the Young Mucker. Feel free to join the crazy team!
Isaac’s treatment has been divided into 5 phases, the first 4 were part of his intensive treatment, and the 5th is the maintenance phase that he’s been in since September 2016 until the end of treatment. At the end of each of the first 4 we marked the occasion with a family meal out. This last phase has been a long time to wait for that meal, so what better idea than go to our 5 favourite restaurants! It just so happens they are in Cyprus….
As a family we love Cyprus. My parents have an apartment there and we have had many happy family holidays there making great memories and Isaac and Noah have seen it as a home from home. For the duration of Isaac’s treatment he’s not able to leave the country so when he was diagnosed we had to cancel our trip in the summer of 2016, and have eagerly awaited when we can go again. We have always had in the back of our minds that May half term is only days after the end of treatment and wondered whether, desperately hoping, we would ever be able to go that soon. Isaac has been so well during the maintenance phase of treatment and so his consultant has said we can plan to go! It would be dependant on his blood levels but they can adjust his doses a few weeks before if they look like they are dropping. So… the planning begins! What better celebration than 5 meals at our favourite restaurants there! When we shared this plan with family they immediately jumped at the idea of joining in the fun so planning now needs to not just be our flights but flights for everyone and accommodation, not forgetting what could be a time consuming search for travel insurance. And it will come as no surprise that running features heavily on our trips to Cyprus, so we will also have a mass family run up the Oriklini hill!
As I said at the start, as exciting as the anticipation for next year is, we are so grateful for all we have in the here and now. We have been blessed beyond measure with support and generosity, too many to list and thank yous owed that words cannot properly express. We have had an army of pray-ers surrounding us on all sides from all over the globe, and we have known of God’s presence with us throughout and have all grown in our relationship with Him. Even if we have not felt God’s presence at times, we have rested and relied on what we know, not what we feel. We know we are not immune from hardships and trials but can rely on Him and His love and faithfulness and be faithful in return.
From the Bible app, the verse for the day (or verses) is Romans 8:31-39 –
“What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things?
Who then is the one who condemns? No one. Christ Jesus who died—more than that, who was raised to life—is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? As it is written: “For your sake we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.” No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
Or, as Pete Greig summarises it in his book ‘God on Mute’: “Not angels and not demons. Not cancer wards and not concentration camps. Not loneliness and not fear. Not bankruptcy, not bereavement, not barrenness. Nothing we endure, says Paul, has the innate power to tear us away from the ultimate reality of the fact that we are loved eternally by Abba, Father .”
This article was reproduced by with permission from author, [Liz] and was originally published at: