Hi Tom, I also wish you well. Like Constable I was diagnosed with breast cancer, 3 years ago age 47. Like you was in the peak of health. Double mastectomy, lymph nodes out, then 5 months of chemo (FEC) and some very short slow running. Without a doubt running kept me going, it was something else to focus on, my first tentative run was fantastic, for the first time in months I was something other than a cancer patient. My fitness undoubtedly helped me cope physically and mentally with the rigours of cancer treatment. Running also helped shift the focus for recovery which is a difficult time, the assumption that you are 'getting back to normal' ha ha, but getting back to running and racing, that was a much more tangible goal.
Like Constable I race a lot more now (very slowly!) including two successful VLM ballot entries in a row - retribution, somehow.
Good luck and keep spreading the word. It takes courage to 'come out' about the less savoury realities of treatment. I feel truly lucky that my cancer was in a part of my body easy to isolate and treat. Cancer treatment is still largely a matter of cutting off, frying or poisoning. But early diagnosis is ABSOLUTELY key, get ANYTHING suspicious checked out, if it is cancer it's not going to go away.
the first Wimbledon half had the Womble and the second had the tennis racquet, the womble was such a hit they had them at the second race for anyone that wanted one. I already had the Womble from the first race and was kinda hoping it would be a different Womble, but it wasn't, so I had the tennis racquet, which is pretty cool too. They've promised something different for the third race in October. I would have done the Richmond Pk half to get a deer but 5 circuits of the (mostly uphill) parkrun course would have killed me. Brilliant medals and lovely low key races.
I can't comment on your race but I'm 3 years post cancer, again not as bad as yours - surgeries and chemo for me - but running gave me a lifeline and focus so it wasn't just about getting over the cancer and treatment but also about getting my running fitness back, and I think that really helped. Go easy on yourself, accept that your performance may be well below your best, enjoy every minute and be extremely proud of yourself. It will get better. I see from your other thread you're doing Ealing - I'll see you there