Perseverance

This Christmas my Mum gave me her signet ring. In the last year her fingers have swollen up meaning it no longer fitted. The swelling was caused by problems with her lymphatic system and ultimately the return of her cancer which she is now fighting with chemotherapy.

The ring has the Mackenzie insignia of a stag’s head because that was her maiden name. If you can’t read the motto in the photo up there, it says, “WE PERSEVERE” (yeah I mirrored the photo to give you a chance). At the moment those feel like pretty important words to remember for both me and my Mum.

The reasons are fairly obvious. I know I’ll go through some dark spots and it will be tempting to give up. For Mum her treatment is a long slog and while the cancer markers are coming down there is still a way to go before she come off the drugs. In the meantime life is one of compromises such as avoiding crowds due to the risk of infection – while the chemo drugs kill cancer they also damage your immune system but not quite as much.

I’m going to wear the ring on a chain around my neck for the Transcontinental so the motto and bit of Mum is near me on the way. I could have got the ring enlarged to fit my fingers but once my trip is over and Mum’s treatment finishes I plan to pass it back to the hand it was made for to be worn for many years to come.

Before I go a reminder that I’m raising money for Cancer Research UK with my ride across Europe please click here to donate.

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