A little help from my friends

Cancer survivor Lucy shares her story

June 15, 2021


Have your own GoodGym story to share with the community? Email getinvolved@goodgym.org and we'll be in touch.

When Lucy Booth was diagnosed with cancer at the start of the year, her GoodGym family were there to offer support.

Fast forward a few months, and the 51-year-old is cancer free, completing a half marathon and back to her GoodGym sessions.

Here she shares her story …

I met my partner, Duncan on a dating website in 2016. He was a member of GoodGym Worthing. I went along as a guest a few times and joined in July 2017. I actually live in Portsmouth, so was excited when GoodGym Portsmouth started, and went along to their inaugural group run in 2018.

As a child I would devise numerous ways of avoiding sport at school, probably only running to avoid being caught doing something I shouldn’t have been! I always enjoyed walking and being outdoors though. Duncan is also a keen ‘parkrunner’ and was instrumental in setting up Worthing parkrun. Suddenly Saturday mornings changed to Parkrun mornings. No more lie ins and big breakfasts!

  1. Lockdown strikes. A very odd year for everyone. Work at the pharmacy was very busy and for GoodGym, group runs stopped but the WhatsApp group flourished. There were offers of support, errands run for those in isolation or shielding, relay runs (passing virtual batons) and one member running a marathon around her garden. From gardening tips to recycling clothes, you could get advice about anything and it confirmed how diverse and positive a group it is.

In January 2021, I was diagnosed with invasive ductal carcinoma (stage 2, grade 3) having found a lump in my underarm. I’d gone in for the check assuming it was another cyst, as I’ve always been prone to them.

I shared my news with GoodGym friends soon after my diagnosis. There was nothing but positive support - comments, messages (on the group and privately), cards and a fantastic pin handmade by Angela Chick from GoodGym Portsmouth.

Family and friends were brilliant. They dropped meals round, cake, flowers, cards, walked my dog, phoned, sent messages - and I include all of my GoodGym buddies from Worthing and Portsmouth in that reflection.

Following a mastectomy and various tests, I was told chemotherapy had no significant benefit and since I had no breast or lymph nodes, then radiotherapy wasn’t needed either. Thanks to all the amazing research into breast cancer I didn’t have to go through any gruelling treatments. I am forever grateful to the NHS, the fundraisers, the charities and the clever scientists. We have made such amazing advances. I just happened to be alive at the right time and in the right country – I count myself very lucky.

Shortly after, I had the small issue of whether I could train for a half marathon across the downs (The 3 Forts Half Marathon), postponed from May 2020. I had opted to do a virtual race instead but once I realised I needed no further treatment I decided I’d like to actually run it. I started training on April 5th so by May 23rd I was not as fit to run it as I’d have liked but put no pressure on myself. It felt great crossing the line in 2 hours 7 mins 45s. It was my slowest half marathon but with some steep trail runs. What better way to recover than with a mission with GoodGym Worthing the next day.

Today, I’m cancer free and ready to face the world.

Have your own GoodGym story to share with the community? Email getinvolved@goodgym.org and we'll be in touch.
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