Myfanwy Schenk wants to share the story of her Mum, Laurel. We all have people in our lives who amaze us with their strength and resilience, and for Myf, it’s her Mum. These are her words…
In October of 2017, I felt well and strong. I was running or walking almost every day and doing parkrun each Saturday. I had done over 140 runs and was looking forward to my 150th. Then I was notified that I was called up for jury duty and was looking forward to that too.
I then noticed that I was feeling a little thick-headed and little slow in making decisions. On Saturday 18th November I was on set-up for parkrun. I had run there almost 100 times and done set-up many times. That day however when I came to put the cones out at the first turn around point I found I couldn’t work out which of the half dozen or so trees was the right one. Even though the confusion only lasted twenty seconds or so it concerned me, and I thought I should not do jury duty beginning in nine days.
On Monday the 20th, I went to the GP and asked for a doctor’s certificate to excuse me, but the doctor said that I was probably recovering from a virus. However, he sent me for blood test and at the last minute he decided on a CT scan ‘just in case’. I had these on the Wednesday and the next day he rang me and asked me to come in after his last appointment. Alarm bells started to go off. When I saw him, he said a number of areas of anxiety showed up in my brain. Life changed in those few seconds.
On Monday 27th of November instead of jury duty, I was having major brain surgery. I had been diagnosed with stage 4 melanoma from a non-visible site, with almost no symptoms, not even a headache! While waiting in hospital over the weekend I remember asking my husband Bill, if he thought they would let me leave to do parkrun and complete my 150th run. With the unknown of brain surgery ahead of me I didn’t want to finish on 149 runs. He said that the doctors wouldn’t release me and that I wasn’t to ask anyway!
Daughter time again. It’s been almost two years since that surgery. It went amazingly well. Mum has had some radiation treatment and fortnightly immunotherapy. Ten months later, my Mum was told that she was in remission.
My mother is the most determined person I know.
Less than 48 hours after her brain surgery she was walking around those hospital corridors getting her 10,000 steps for the day. She did get to her 150th parkrun, and in just a few weeks on Saturday the 9th November, I am so excited and privileged to be running with her as she completes her 250th parkrun.
I know the team at Wishart parkrun are motivated and encouraged by her tenacity. To finish in Mum’s words again, “Providence used jury duty and parkrun to extend my life. I am grateful. SDG”
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