Every Mile Matters

Every Mile Matters
by Marie Smith

Every mile matters,
but it isn’t just about how far you go.
The journey is an experience,
With each foot-fall you throw 

Be it a run, jog or walk,
you’ve taken that step to go
Relish the sights and sounds,
You’d otherwise not get to know.

 Sun rise, or sun-set,
In wind, rain or snow.
A mile is just a measure,
It’s the experience that makes you grow. 

Enjoy the music of your feet,
that hit upon the ground.
Discovering not only the hidden world around you,
but also that there is a little part of yourself to be found.  

marie smith

Marie Smith is one of our Moon Joggers and our January virtual race this year is dedicated to her: M’s RUN: Klingons Against Cancer 5K.  Read her story below.

Hi, I’m M. At the beginning of 2014 the world was at my feet. My family had recently moved from the UK to NewZealand in the August of 2013 and we were looking forward to all the adventures our new home  had to offer, swimming with dolphins, staying overnight in a penguin colony, tramping around Arthur’s Pass, endless adventures and once in a life-time opportunities.

Then the bottom dropped out of our world in the March of 2014, biopsies from an endoscopy undertaken for chest pain revealed I had stomach cancer and a pretty aggressive kind. There was little option open to me, chemotherapy, followed by stomach removal and then more chemotherapy. We were all on shock, I was 37, extremely fit having only just left the British Army and being Vegan ate all the right foods. But there was little time to dwell as I had to go back into hospital for further biopsies to confirm how much of the stomach was affected and then straight into chemotherapy. Unfortunately the chemo regime didn’t agree and so on June 3rd I returned to hospital where they removed 90% of  my stomach.

As soon as I woke I was determined to get back on my feet, this wasn’t going to defeat me and the family and I will soon be out undertaking those new adventures. On day one I started walking and with the motivation of Moonjoggers behind me I was soon doing several laps of the ward. I spent just under a week in hospital and then, six weeks after the operation I was back on chemotherapy, all be it a different regime. I’ve had two cycles so far and at present have one more cycle (two sessions) to go.

Tests undertaken on my removed stomach revelled it had penetrated to the stomach wall but they couldn’t see it anywhere else in the body. I know now my life will involve many hospital checks but am determined to life and enjoy every moment. I have a wonderful wife, Angie and four beautiful children. Life is too short for regrets, yes I have cancer but that hasn’t stopped me, in fact it makes you appreciate life more. One thing I will say though, never put of that visit to the Doctor. Stomach cancer is normally diagnosed too late and often presents as chest pain. I was lucky, mine was caught early, but it’s not often the case. Beware those silent killers.

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