21 July 2021

This year, Ovacome member Allyson has taken on the challenge to walk 1000 miles to raise money for our ovarian cancer support services. Join her Walk With Me club to raise awareness and feel the benefits of walking.

I’m still walking, whatever the weather and I love it!

It’s now coming up to 7 months since I decided to walk every day in 2021 and have walked in all weathers, the snow, wind, rain, hail and more recently in the heat and humidity.  I thought I would prefer the sun, but with the recent high temperatures, this has made it quite difficult, particularly if I walk later in the day and then I find the walks very tiring.  I am learning!

As you know I walk the same route every day, starting when we were in lockdown, was it 1 or 2, I’m not sure, all the days have been the same for someone like me who is identified to be an ‘extremely clinically vulnerable person’, but taking on the challenge and setting a goal of walking every day has been life changing, in so many ways.   I know when I’m feeling good mentally, I walk with strength and at pace and at one point in recent weeks, walked at a speed that I’d done prior to my diagnosis!  This happened after seeing my oncologist and being told the maintenance treatment was having a positive impact on the remaining cancer.  However, I have noticed that when I’m not feeling as strong emotionally, or at times of a wobble, I can really feel the difference as I walk, I am slow and struggle to walk the inclines.

It’s scan time again and I’ve recently had another ‘wobble’, which lasted a few days.   It started after having the scan and being told, there was a delay of 3-4 weeks until they would be reporting.  The inner chatter starts again, it’s not ok, its ok.  It’s torture, a torture that you inflict on yourself.   Slowly I am learning to accept the wobbles as being part of this new chapter of my life, they do just come, the feeling of being so very emotional, with the tears when you least expect them, but accepting them has helped me, as I learn to manage the fears of living with this chronic disease.  I can do this.

So out of all the weathers to walk, I prefer the cold, but of course there is cold and cold!  What about you?  I am at my happiest walking wrapped up in my 3 layers not 5 as I did in January and February, with my scarves and woolly hat, this was of course a necessity when I didn’t have any hair, after the chemotherapy.   Pleased to say I now have my hair back and have enjoyed two haircuts so now when I look in the mirror I see me, not cancer staring back at me!

What I do know, is that whatever I am feeling at the start of the walk, even after a few tears, I can stride it out and recite my positive affirmations over and over to myself, ‘I can and I will do this’ and by the time I finished my 4 miles, I feel so much better. 

I also know I am not alone; I am walking with other ladies with ovarian cancer, which feels so very special.  We support each other in the WhatsApp group.   It doesn’t matter how far you walk, it’s the getting out and feeling the benefits of the nature and the fresh air and knowing other women with ovarian cancer are doing it with you. The quotes from the ladies who have joined ‘walk with me’ are quite inspiring, check them out and join us.  I promise after a few days you would feel the benefits to your emotional health and walking will become quite addictive in a positive way!

Every day I walk it’s another one in the bag, another that takes me closer to my goal. My initial goal was to walk 1000 miles in 2021 and am on track to achieve 900 miles at the end of this week and then the 1000 miles around the time of my 27th wedding anniversary, that will be such a great feeling to do it around that time and it just happened at the time, which is extra special for me.  Early in 2021, I found I was able to walk a marathon in a week, so the seed was sown could I walk 52 marathons in 52 weeks and so far I’m doing it, in fact with the extra miles I’ve been doing, when I achieve the 900 miles I will have walked 34 marathons in 29 weeks.

Hope you will want to join other ladies with ovarian cancer walking, it is a great feeling, you set your own goals of how far or how long you want to walk, it’s your call, join the group here or via instagram @ovacomecharity @walk.ntalk2021 to support each other as we walk

Allyson Kent

July 2021