New Year Focus

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by Angela Morgan

I have just returned home after dog sitting for two weeks over Christmas. I feel fitter as I have been out walking on the Downs or along the seafront three times a day. It was great when it wasn’t raining, but Barney didn’t seem to mind the rain as much as I did!
I have mixed feelings about New Year, it is the time of year that I went into hospital for a biopsy to find out how much my bladder cancer had spread. I was diagnosed with bladder cancer just before Christmas four years ago. The first biopsy was followed by two more, then chemo, before I had my bladder removed in July 2014, which is when I got my urostomy.

Angela Morgan blog photo - hammer

At this time of year I always decide which competitions I would like to compete in, I throw the hammer and occasionally the shot and the heavy hammer (7.26kg!) Last year my throwing was slightly below par, whether that was training or age, who knows? I have been going to the gym all winter, but I have not been throwing. I have spent my time at the track coaching the youngsters in hammer, shot, discus and javelin. Sometimes I feel as though I am going round in circles! I always start my own throwing in January, hopefully it will not be too wet as the circle tends to collect all the water at the track. 

This year I will start throwing after I have had my stent changed in two weeks’ time. I have a stent between my kidney and my stoma as the tube has scar tissue that will not stay open by itself. A new year, a new stent! I go to the track with a friend during the day when we can throw without other people around, this is one of the advantages of working part time. I wear support underwear all the time, but when I throw I wear the heavy-duty support as I have a parastomal hernia. The only concession I have made since I had my stoma is that I go for quality not quantity throwing. I will spend the first few weeks working on my technique, I am hoping to work on two turns as this might help throw further. This is my New Year’s resolution.

My first two competitions are in March. The first one is the British Masters at Lee Valley, not quite as exotic as the next one which is in Madrid at the end of March, this is the European Masters Indoor Championships. They have the outdoor throws at these champs to get the throwers there. I am very lucky that the headmaster has given me time off to compete, I haven’t broached the subject of the World Championships in September yet!

One thing I have really noticed since I have had my stoma is the toilet facilities at athletics tracks. Some are fantastic, but at others I hope I don’t have to use my emergency supplies to change my pouch. Luckily it doesn’t happen very often.