Trisha determined to beat cancer

Trisha Goddard Yippeee! I'm half way through my regime of chemo. Just another nine weeks to go. My mindset is the same as when I'm in the gym and Jason the personal trainer tells me to do 20 repetitions of some particularly challenging exercise involving heavy weights: “Righto!” I think.

Trisha Goddard

Yippeee! I'm half way through my regime of chemo. Just another nine weeks to go. My mindset is the same as when I'm in the gym and Jason the personal trainer tells me to do 20 repetitions of some particularly challenging exercise involving heavy weights: “Righto!”

I think. Then half way through my mind starts with the “I can't! I can't!” stuff. That's when I get cross with myself and say: “Shut- up! Stop whinging and just do another few!” Then I listen to the music playing in the gym, or stare at a poster on the wall - anything to stop myself focussing on the pain and go somewhere else in my head until, hooray! Just a couple more pushes and I'm finished! The sense of achievement is fantastic, as is the feeling that I've created my own muscle definition and sculpted my figure in the way I want!

Thus I get cross should people tell me how “lucky” I am with the way in which my body's coping with chemotherapy. Tell you what, come be “lucky” with me at 6am in the rain while I jog through the park feeling sick from the chemo session I had a day or two before.

But so what? The nausea has gone by the time I get back to the car; my eyes are sparkling, and as using energy makes you even more energetic, I'm ready and raring to go and any residue of fatigue is banished!

I'd say that forcing myself to get fit half a life-time ago was one of the best things I've ever done. A lot of what I've learned through exercise I've used in life's goal-setting. I've passed the same lesson on to my younger daughter when I've taken her on a gentle trot through the woods. When she tells me she's tired, I get her to focus on a particularly interesting tree or a swan or someone walking ahead. That's our goal and when we get there I heap her with praise and remind her that a few moments ago she never thought she'd make it.

Most Read

So wow! What else can she do that she hasn't yet considered?

Let's try for the next landmark, but this time let's skip for fun! And so, before she's even realised it, Madi's run, skipped and laughed further than she could ever have imagined and has a mummy who's justifiably proud of her staying power.

Thus, academically gifted as she is, the words that impressed me in Madi's school report described how, although she dislikes swimming lessons, she'd gritted her teeth and steadfastly completed the long distance swimming task the class was set.

As my illness has taught me well, one of the most useful things we can teach ourselves and our children is that (to quote my late mother) there's no such word as 'can't' because dogged, planned determination will always surprise you by showing you how much you can.

t Payment for this column goes to Home-Start Norwich, a charity supporting families.