Some of you women have been aware of this for a while now. Thanks and love to all of you who have offered love and support to me. You are amazing and fabulous women.
So here goes....the science and the hard bit.
I have cancer. The doctors are reasonably sure it is ovarian. I'm still waiting for a full diagnosis after a biopsy to stage the cancer and identify the primary site. It has spread. There are metastases on my liver and omentum. There is a tumour surrounding my whole uterus. There is another mass behind my bowel, ceacum and possibly in my appendix. It's a party of cancer in here. I only went to the doctors with a tummy ache and a bit of swelling and I'd put on a few pounds for no reason. But here I am. 6 weeks later I have no idea what sort of future awaits me.
My daughter is numb. Sidekick is devastated.
When I got the diagnosis - as elusive, unfathomable and uncertain as it is at this point - Sidekick asked what I wanted to do.
I had just the one answer. "Let's get out on the bikes. I'll ride for a murdered woman. Let's do something positive." He nodded. So I did.
Here is the picture of that. Inside me is cancer ... on the outside I am a woman honouring the life of another woman.
The first frightens me. The second terrifies me. Men are still killing women at an average rate of 2 a week in the UK. After today I will have ridden for 84 women murdered by intimate partners or family members in 2017 - (this does include 3 women not murdered in that time frame but I rode for them at the request of their friends/family).
Women have volunteered to continue the rides for me. That is very kind. I don't want that though. I need a reason to keep focused. Honouring women on my bike is what I do. I intend to do it for as long as I can. If I have to stop it will feel like I failed the women. I can do this. I can get through this. I may not be riding as far or as fast. I may need to take a break for surgery and chemo. But I will be back on my bike and I hope you will support each ride by continuing to retweet and spread the love of the lives of these women and their terrible stories. If you want to help ... donate to the fund and help other women get free before they are added to these shameful lists. https://www.gofundme.com/ride-for-murdered-women
What I still have is a love of life. I love the countryside. I love the sky. I love my daughter. I love my beautiful, kind, gentle, funny sidekick. He put his hand on my back as I rode the other day to push me up the hill. He is my lead out man. I just have to keep pedalling. The night before last he bought some chairs to take me to sit on a hill I love. He has called it a mobile pub and will seek out the best views to take me to. With a glass of wine of course. He will see me through this. And if I don't come through it he will make sure he helps my daughter onwards towards the glorious woman I know she will become. With or without me. They will love each other even if I'm not there.
Please don't come to tell me that a man can be a woman. If I was a man who simply said I was a woman because I feel that way.....I wouldn't be facing death. The cancer is in the very part of my body that only a woman has. I can't identify out of this disease. Being a woman has been and will continue to be a magical and wonderful thing.
I am a woman. This is a woman's body. It has not failed me. It gave me a beautiful girl. It has taken me through abuse and delivered me to the door of sisters who healed me and continue to inspire me. It brought me towards the arms of the man I love. A man who loves me quite beautifully in return. Now why would I not love such a body?
And lastly a poem.... Life doesn't frighten me.......
Be fearless my sisters. Love to you all. Let's keep fighting and let's keep loving.