The Bubble

This blog title could insinuate many things: Have I been online shopping for a human-sized bubble to live in, to protect against germs?  Have I wrapped myself in bubble wrap and taken my road bike for a spin? Well, the answer is no. I am referring to a different type of bubble: The Cancer Bubble.

During different stages in life, we all create and live in a ‘bubble’. The bubble may be created because of many factors: our jobs, our relationships, our sporting endeavours, our families… You eat, breathe, and sleep in your bubble. As life changes, the need and reason for the bubble will change. It may also change in size: shrink or expand to allow for your changing needs. As you can imagine, cancer, and cancer treatment, is one-big-bubble! Some days it’s all I think about. It’s all I talk about. At the moment, my cancer bubble is most prominent the days leading up to, and the days following chemo. It’s so heavily inflated I could roll down a hill without feeling a bump. As days pass, and the side effects wane, the bubble starts to deflate. I no longer have to breathe the ‘cancer bubble’ air, or drink the ‘cancer bubble’ water. I step outside.

It’s easy to step outside the bubble when you have other things to focus on. Luckily for me, I have a number of exciting things happening in my life. If a physical bubble actually existed, I would have take a needle and prematurely caused it to deflate. You all know I’m a little impatient… The past few weeks my mind has been working overtime with non-cancer related thoughts and ideas. It’s extremely refreshing!

So what has been causing my mind to spin around wildly, you ask? It all started way back in September. I spoke briefly about the idea in one of my earliest blogs: It’s not a holiday. If you remember, I took on a little (read: turning massive) project. When I moved back to Australia, I had the idea to start a parkrun event locally in Ipswich. I knew I wouldn’t be working, or running for an extended period of time. I wanted to still feel involved in some way. I took a deep breath and clicked “register new event” on the website (the day before major surgery – of course). Well.. it’s been a steady and continuous process. Some weeks I’ve been busy drafting proposals, harassing council, liaising with the parkrun coordinator AND walking a lot of 5km routes. Two weeks ago, the final piece of the parkrun puzzle fell into place: I received the funding required to officially make this happen. What an amazing feeling. It’s no longer a dream; it’s now a reality.

Some people may have thought I was a little mad for taking on such a big project during treatment. Shouldn’t I be focusing on myself, not others? Don’t be silly… Parkrun has actually done wonders for my treatment. It has kept my mind and body active. Yesterday a few friends rang to check how I was feeling after my last round of chemo.

“Great. I’ve just been out for a 5km walk/jog working on the parkrun course.”

Not what they were expecting to hear…

Parkrun has also been a blessing in disguise for another reason. It has given me an opportunity to reconnect with the Ipswich community. Through this process I have met a lot of amazing people. (There are 128 likes on the Facebook page, I think I’ll be meeting a lot more people in the New Year!). To my surprise, there are an abundant of initiatives to promote healthy living in Ipswich, and the running community is enormous.

Now for my selfless plug…

Ipswich QLD parkrun is launching on January 25th. Yes, Australia Day long weekend. It’s perfect – a 5km run allows you that extra sausage from the BBQ or ice-cold beer, right? All the details can be found on the Facebook page.

For those of you who live in Ipswich, I look forward to seeing you there!

** Random bit of information: I was researching to see what others had to say about living in a ‘cancer bubble’. It turns out, there’s an animated character whose name is Cancer Bubble (image below). The things you find on the ‘ol internet…



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