A CAPPAMORE man who had never taken part in a half marathon decided to run his first one while undergoing chemotherapy.
Trevor Lynch, 43, was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer, non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, last January. It is the furthest stage.
“It was everywhere - lymph nodes, spleen, liver and skin. I didn’t know the first thing about cancer, I just thought, like everybody, ‘This is it’.
“There are good treatments for it now and I went on to chemotherapy straight away,” said Trevor, who is married to Suzanne. They have two children Aishling, 6, and Kieran, 2.
He had six months of chemo and despite the nausea, sickness and lack of energy he continued to run.
“I didn’t stop running. I decided early on that I wasn’t going to stop exercising. I played GAA with Cappamore years ago and I love running, the doctors didn’t say don’t do it.
“Some days after chemo I’d just go for a light run to see what it felt like. I felt better after that than any drugs they gave me for the rest of the day. I felt almost normal,” said Trevor, who was joined in Dingle by his brother Michael.
Michael ran the Dingle marathon to support his brave brother. Having a goal also helped Trevor through his treatment and he accomplished it an impressive time.
“I loved it. Dingle is such a beautiful place, the whole run was out the coast road. My aim was to do it in 2 hours and I did it in an hour in 49 minutes so I was really happy,” said Trevor.
Amazingly he kept working at Carphone Warehouse’s head office in London during his treatment.
“It was a great distraction as well and I wasn’t sitting at home feeling sorry for myself. I remember it was my birthday on a Friday in February and by the Monday my hair was gone.
“I work in a big office so you can imagine the looks,” said Trevor, whose parents, Michael and Pauline, live in Lisnagry.
“It was tough and of course I felt very sick. I’d go back every three weeks and it was like its own mini-cycle.
“You get chemo for the day and feel pretty crap after it.
“Part of the treatment of the chemo is five days of steroids. Coming off the steroids you go into withdrawal symptoms as well. That was the worst part of it for me. I lost all my energy,
“I didn’t want to do anything,” said Trevor. Through it all he kept the goal of Dingle in his mind.
“I’m in remission, they won’t say it is cured because the version I have they don’t know how to cure it.
“I just have to wait and see but as far as I’m concerned I’m completely normal now,” said Trevor, who managed to raise over £1,000 for Stoke Mandeville Hospital.
Many people in County Limerick are going through exactly what the Cappamore man has been through and his advice is to stay positive.
“If there are any people worried about it, it will be tough but it doesn’t have to be the end of their life as they know it. Keep exercising and staying positive and you will get through it.”