Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Aaaaaaand breathe

We've been a bit busy. Actually that's an understatement, we've been running around like people possessed, but finally I think we're about to hit a bit of a clear run.

We finally moved, but part of the issue is that Nicky's been taking Eben back to preschool in Streatham, which is an hour and a quarter each way. We felt it best from a continuity perspective for him to finish along with all the other kids at the end of term, rather than him being spirited away at the end of one week. I'm glad we made the decision, because he's had his fun day and graduation ceremony (funny little 3 and 4 year olds running around in paper mortar boards and scrap material gowns) all of which bring a finality to things which I think will really benefit him, but it has added to the timelessness of everything.

The move went well, we're now fully paid up Reigatians and without doubt moving out is the best decision we've ever made. My mind was made up when I was running in the woods behind our house and my path was crossed by a startled roe deer.

Although we did an awful lot of research about where we were going to move to - in fact it took us a year trawling around the country to all sorts of different locations as far afield as South Manchester - I don't think we quite realised just what an unbelievable location we'd chosen. When we decided on the exact set of streets in Reigate we knew it was 5 minutes to walk to the town centre, to nthe boys prospective school, to the preschool, to the rugby club, to the cricket club and to the woods. All in different directions, but everything on hand.

However the woods has become an utterly magical place for me. My running has become something I look forward to with glee and think about almost constantly. The woods are set at the bottom of Colley Hill with Pilgrim's Way running at the foot of the North Downs and the North Downs Way running across the top of the ridge. In fifteen minutes I can run up the 200 metre elevation from top to bottom and stand at what seems to me like the top of the world and look across the Mole Valley to the whole of South Surrey and into Sussex, it's quite the most incredible buzz I've ever had. Now to put this in to perspective it's still one of the most populus places in the country, the M25 runs about 400 metres behind the North Downs way at that point and as close as 50 metres at some points further along and this aint the wilds of Highland Scotland, but for a South London boy, who was worried about moving out, it feels like the wilds of the Himalayas. I feel like I've won the lottery without realising I'd even bought a ticket.

I've finally bought a new road bike which will cope with the climb to work, but when I was buying it, it struck me that i really ought to get a mountain bike as well so that I can ride some of the trails out the back. They're well worn routes used by mountain bikers and it would mean i could explore a lot more than on foot. It pretty arduous running with the hills and boggy old bridlepaths and I've only got about 7 miles - and that was circular - without being absolutley knackered, plus it takes bloody ages and I wouldn't fancy getting stuck down some woody footpath after dark.

Nicky and the boys are loving it as well, Nicky's been out running alot, which really isn't her passion at all. But, it's the fact that everything's in touching distance during the day, without having to haul the boys in and out of the car to get everywhere that she's loving. I think once she's stopped hacking up and down to school 4 days a week and gets time to sit still and find things to do with the boys during the week she'll be loving it even more.

I am looking forward to things settling down a bit, which once summer is over should help (we're away for 4 1/2 out of the next 6 weeks). We've got some great neighbours, lots of kids the same age as Eben and Louis, so loads of opportunities for friends and plenty of babysitting potential (hoorah).

In terms of me and the leukaemia, well we're getting on great. Well... I'm getting on great and the pernicious little bastard is starting to bugger off. My reaction to the Gleevac - which you may remember as the very targeted chaemotherapy/gene alteration treatment - has been superb, my blood counts came down to within a normal range within 4 weeks and they normally aim to have that sorted within 3 months and we are now into monitoring my BCRable count. Bascially this is a measure of the presence of the mutated gene in my bloods. I started out at 20/20 and the idea is to get that count down to 0/20 or undetectable. This is the point at which they can class me in molecular remission. My next measure of this is in early September, but in the meantime my clinic appointments are down from once a week to once a month which is fantastic news and apart from a sickness bug I picked up which took a little longer to clear up than it should have I have been fine.

As you can tell from above my training is back in full swing, I've been given the all clear to swim again which i haven't been able to do for 3 mnths for fear of infection. I'm probably over-doing it actually, but that's cancer or no-cancer, not because of the cancer itself. However what's heartening is I'm seeing my fitness levels increase on a weekly basis and prior to my diagnosis it didn't matter what I was doing I simply couldn't get beyond a certain point. So I'm definitely back aiming to do a triathlon, although I'm not sure I'll get one in before the end of the year now, so I'll have to wait until the season starts again next year, which isn't so bad as I'll be absolutely ready by then.

And that's me, I still haven't posted any pictures of the boys and I will do that in the very near future, I might include one of Louis's absolutely horrendous chicken pox that he's just getting over at the moment.

9 comments:

Paul said...

Hi Six. That's great news about your health, I'm really glad that you are responding well to the treatment and can get back to swimming. Reigate eh, not to be confused with Reigate Mozambique (old Python joke) - good to hear you've settled in and are making the most of the countryside. I think the Downs Way links Canterbury and Winchester - or is that another Way (Pilgrims?).

Anyway, good to see everything going fine for you and your family.

Six Years Late said...

It is Pilgrim's Way but Pilgrim's Way is actually jus 200m from our front door. There's a private road of that name that runs right up to the trail itself, which runs along the foot of the North Downs with the North Downs Way running along the ridge.

IsobelMagsBuchan said...

I know where you are! We have friends that live a few miles further south from where you have moved to (she actually works in a building society in Reigate)and when we stay with them we often walk in those woods with the children. I have some photographs somewhere of us all sitting at the top. I'll let you know next time we are down there so that you can avoid the woods!

May I recommend the views from Leith Hill too? I used to love walking around there, especially in the autumn when the mushroom picking was second to none and there used to be a lovely pub that did fantastic meals in Coldharbour

So pleased that the move went well and that you are settling in. It is a nice part of the world and I hope that you all enjoy it for years and years to come.

Very pleased to hear about your health too. You've come a very long way already and it is heartening to see you write in such positive terms.

I hope that you enjoy the holidays ahead and that the weather is good to you.

Keep well.

xxx

Sarnia said...

Glad that your health is improving so well and that the move has been so positive.

It's essential (with young children) IMO to be within walking distance of: shops; schools, parks etc.

Les Paul Junior said...

Hi Six,

Good to see you blogging again and it's really great to hear that the treatment is going so well.

It sounds like you've moved to a really nice place. We were really pleased when we moved here 16 years ago and we still like it. Although if I went for a run I wouldn't bump into a startled deer : it'd be more likely a drunk having a pee!

Gavin Corder said...

Excellent news Six! I glad for you.

Span Ows said...

Me too...late as usual...I know Reigate too. Pearlman family live there, I knew them in Venezuela. Lovely blondish, long-legged daughters...hmmmmm

Gavin Corder said...

Oh for goodness' sake!

Still better to come late than to come early!

Curmy said...

Six, I'm so glad that your move went well, all the family are happy, and that your health is improving.
(hugs)