Cancer turned Lee’s life “upside down” but with support from nursing staff he will be running his first 10k next month
- Credit: Archant
A man who says his life was “turned upside down” when he was told he had cancer is preparing to run his first 10k.
Lee Lucus, 41, from Fenstanton, was diagnosed with stage three throat cancer in November 2016 and devastated to learn the disease had spread to his tongue and the lymph nodes in his neck.
"I started treatment shortly after my diagnosis and it was one of the most harrowing things I have endured to date. I was unable to eat for six months and lost the ability to speak for a period during my treatment."
Lee's wife, Heather, had heard about the Hunts Community Cancer Network (HCCN) and decided to contact them to see if they could offer Lee any support.
HCCN is made up of specialist nursing staff who work with people from the point of diagnosis, through their treatment, providing support to enable them to take back control of their lives. HCCN also has a charity arm that works to provide resources and equipment for people.
"My wife contacted the team and the nurses came to visit within a few days," said Lee.
"Immediately they gave me advice about the medication I was taking, talked about helping me recover both physically and mentally. They visited me regularly helping with prescriptions, looking at solutions for the continuing side effects I was facing. "For a time during my recovery I was unable to get out of bed. Having the HCCN nurses available to visit was invaluable. Nothing we asked was ever too much for them, and they were always there to help. Their support has continued long past my all clear two years ago and still does to this day. Without HCCN my cancer journey would have been much harder, and I am eternally grateful for their help and support."
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Lee is now determined to raise as much money as he can for HCCN and has signed up for the Asics London 10k on July 21. He will be joined by Heather and HCCN lead nurse Karen Moseley.
Lee said: "HCCN is an amazing and incredibly worthwhile charity and I am doing this not just to say 'thank you' but to ensure the invaluable work of the team can continue to help other cancer sufferers. It might not seem like a huge distance, but it will be huge to me.
"My treatment has left me with a chronic dry mouth and I cannot leave the house without a bottle of water in my hand as my mouth dries up within minutes. So running 10k with my condition will be a challenge, but I'm determined to do it. I'm hoping there will be lots of water stations and toilets on the route."
HCCN lead nurse Karen said: "On a daily basis, I meet patients who are going through such difficult times. These people always amaze me with how strong they are. Truthfully, when I started the job I didn't do much exercise myself, but we are always promoting the importance of exercise for people with cancer as we know it has an impact on effectiveness of treatment and their emotional and physical well-being. "My friend Lucy became my 'gym wife' and having somebody to exercise with really helps your motivation to get out there and do it. We started running together and then joined the gym and I've never looked back. It has helped hugely with my own mindfulness in what is a very stressful and emotional job."
HCCN says a cancer diagnosis can leave people feeling alone and out of control, but help is out there. HCCN was created to help people feel supported, keep them symptom free and in their own homes or able to continue at work and to help them to strengthen their bodies and emotional wellbeing.
If you use a doctor's surgery in Huntingdonshire and have cancer, you can ask for a referral to HCCN or refer yourself by contacting Amandavia e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or call: 01480 416410.
INFO: If you would like to donate to Lee's fundraising page, go to; www.justgiving.com/fundraising/Leelucas.