June has arrived and with it plenty of sunshine and a half-term week. Perfect for getting in lots of riding in preparation for cycling across Europe.
The countdown has started…
I get butterflies when I think that in just over two months we’ll be in Nordkapp in Norway ready to begin. The buttleflies are a mix of nerves and excitement, but mostly excitement. I think it would unnatural not to feel nervous when embarking on something huge and lifechanging like cycling across Europe.
But as I said, the strongest feeling is excitement. I cannot wait to get on the road and explain to people we meet on route why we are cycling. I will take every opportunity to share awareness of womb cancer and Lynch syndrome. Because early diagnosis makes such a huge difference in survival rates (95% at stage 1 compared to 50% at stage 3), I want people to know the signs and symptoms of womb cancer.
They also need to know that womb cancer isn’t an older women’s cancer. Whilst it is true that a large percentage of womb cancer cases are diagnosed in women who have gone through menopause, women can develop womb cancer at a lot younger age, too.
But unfortunately, the signs are often misdiagnosed or dismissed because ‘they are too young to have womb cancer.’
To find out more about the symptoms of womb cancer, you can read my post about them here.
Equally important is telling people about Lynch syndrome.
Scientists estimate that 1 in 300 people have inherited a genetic fault called Lynch syndrome. However, only 5% of those who have Lynch know it.
I had never heard of it. Neither had anyone in my family.
Often, families with Lynch have a history of cancers linked to Lynch syndrome including womb and colorectal cancers. Looking at my family history, it seemed unlikely we would have a gene that increases our risk of certain cancers.
But there was no denying the results – I have it, my sister (read her story here) has it and my mum has it. Which of her parents was the carrier we might never know as they both passed away from non-cancerous causes.
I say might because there might be a way of finding out which side of the family it came from. My grandad’s brother passed away from cancer and the genetics department told my mum that they still have his samples they can test. If he had the gene, then it is likely that the mutation came from my maternal grandfather’s side. I actually need to ask my mum if she has heard anything more about it.
It is important that more people are aware of Lynch syndrome because they can request to get tested if there is history of related cancers in the family. And knowledge is power as with it comes a screening programme that will help diagnose any cancerous growth early. And, at the risk of repeating myself, early diagnosis saves lives!
You can read more about living with Lynch in this previous post.
And let’s not forget we are raising money with our ride, too.
I apologise in advance. Now we are entering the final countdown to the start of the ride, I will mention the fact that we are raising money for the Royal Marsden Cancer Charity more often.
A LOT MORE often because want to raise as much as possible and you can help us with that.
You can donate here if you are feeling generous. All donations, great or small are gratefully received. You can also help us by spreading the word. For example, by sharing our blog posts or our social media posts with your followers.
Any share or donation will help us spread awareness and raise money for the amazing work they do at Royal Marsden.
Royal Marsden is one of the leading cancer hospitals in the world and their research helps cancer previvors, patients and survivors around the world.
And to help me prepare physically, here comes June challenge.
After May was a washout and I managed to clock 35o kilometres only, I’m hoping June will be much better. And in preparation for cycling across Europe, I have set a new distance goal for this month: 1,000 kilometres.
Having a half term week will help to kickstart the challenge and then every weekend I will need to do 100 kilometre – or longer – rides.
I have also decided to do another dry month. With the sun out and pubs open again, it would be too tempting to wonder into a beer garden for a couple and end up spending the whole day! So to avoid the temptation, I’m sticking to alchol free drinks this month.
Except for the last weekend of June. We are actually going to a live music event! It is a birthday treat to Justin and we are using it as an opportunity to go away for a couple of nights. And spend a day shuffling – let’s see if we can still do it 😂.
I will keep you posted on how the cycling goes this month. Also coming up are posts on cycling and mental health and the promised post on the perfect ride for tourists in London.
Here’s to two month countdown until cycling across Europe! 🎉🎉🎉
Thank you for being here and reading the post.
Until next time!