"Since I was a young boy in England, I have participated in sports. Although it was a school requirement that we don our “plimsoles” and “gym gear” and run, I enjoyed the activity. My father was a superb athlete and won many medals. He provided inspiration. I have vivid and happy memories of running across open fields in the school cross-country championships.
As I grew up in Canada, I continued this active lifestyle,running marathons and moving on to triathlons.
It is ironic, then, that my experience of myeloma came, in 2013, on a training run beside the Capilano River in West Vancouver –a sudden excruciating pain across my back.
A fast visit to an informed GP, a very quick diagnosis and rapid access to treatment -a vertebra had fissured.
A stem cell transplant, Hickman line insertion, chemo and superb care from sensitive, skilled staff at Vancouver General Hospital ushered me through a traumatic and taxing treatment. My wonderful daughters played a very significant role in my care.
I was in remission for five years and then, two years ago, my counts began to rise. Just a little. I am now back in treatment.
However, I feel very well. And, most importantly, I am back to training for triathlons and the Tour de Victoria. The consulting company in which I am a partner is busy. I am physically and intellectually involved in life.
Experiencing myeloma and the associated treatments has intensified my appreciation of music and art and all that is around us. This journey has encouraged in me a more compassionate, deeper understanding of the value of others.
I still run beside the Capilano River. However, I also sit there on a bench, watching the water, listening to some wonderful music and reflecting upon how fortunate I am. How fortunate we all are."