During Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month in March this year, we featured a blog by QN Allyson Kent – who has been living with ovarian cancer – and her challenge to walk 1000 miles in 2021. This is an update on that inspiring endeavour.

‘I’m still walking & it feels so good’

My phone still pings reminding me to get out and walk, but I’m now past that, I just want to walk & nothing is going to stop me.  I am walking every day & in all weather’s, it’s never the wrong weather to walk, it’s just making sure I’m wearing the right clothes!  Walking first thing in the morning if I can, sets me up for the day.  This has helped me physically to be stronger, but more importantly helps me with my head as I come to terms with this devastating diagnosis.

I walk the same route every day, isn’t that boring I hear you say, absolutely not, it’s always a different experience, sometimes grey skies, sometimes blue, the different shapes of the clouds, the birds flying in an out of the hedges, the hares in the fields, occasionally I see people and chat in the new socially distanced way, always something new.

Hearing those three little words ‘You’ve got cancer’ takes you on a rollercoaster of emotions, with the inner chatter box going 24/7.  Walking has been my salvation, alongside the support from family and friends and the Friday tribe @Ovacome.  It is something I look forward to everyday and am able to get into the rhythm of walking and slow down the inner chatterbox going on inside my head.  This was initially all doom and gloom, but as I walked, I have been able to give ‘myself’ a good talking to and return with a reframing of the issues, feeling refreshed and calm.

Hearing those three little words ‘You’ve got cancer’ takes you on a rollercoaster of emotions, with the inner chatter box going 24/7.

Allyson Kent

When I first started walking, I listened to music, to block out the inner chatter box, sometimes singing out loud to silence the ‘noise’, at other times I was able to just walk – in silence, listening to my breath and the sound of me just walking, this helped me to reach that calm, almost meditative space as I walked.  One day I recall experiencing ‘scan anxiety’, common for ladies like me with this diagnosis as we await the results of the scans.  I was able to go out for a walk, manage the inner chatter and after singing the song by Gloria Gaynor ‘I will survive’, the tears came, then the laughter, it felt so good, I had marched 2.9 miles down a country lane and returned home with a new perspective and luckily didn’t see anyone that day!!

I still have ‘wobble days’, it can happen when you least expect it, but go with it, we are human, I remember seeing a post on Instagram ‘ovarian cancer is not for wimps’ and it is so not.  Even strong women of which I consider myself one, needs to cry, have a coffee or have some duvet time, we are human, it’s a devastating diagnosis but the walking helps as I am learning to manage my fears, ‘I can handle it’ but one day at a time.  Positively I am now having more good days than not.

I hope you will join me walking, it is a great feeling, you set your own goals of how far or how long you want to walk, it’s your call, join me https://www.ovacome.org.uk/teal-walk-challenge or via Instagram @ovacomecharity @walk.ntalk2021 to support each other as we walk.

On 26th May,  I completed 21 marathons in 21 weeks yesterday, this was exactly one year after I he​ard the words “you’ve got cancer”, a bitter sweet day!

I am continuing to walk, whatever the weather and my new goal is 52 marathons in 52 weeks.

Allyson Kent QN

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