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NIEUWS van Augustus 2002
To all my running friends:

Most of you will know my story of the last and longest ultra beginning in January 2000 when colon cancer was discovered, the blockage surgically removed and chemo started. It moved on from that start to take in two more Comrades, a London to Brighton and no end of other races, as we were told firstly that we were cured, then that the invader had returned.

The next lot of chemo started just before we moved from South Africa to Australia in February this year. That too was thought to be successful and liver surgery in April was an attempt to cut out the tumour which the chemo had shrunk. Again we were told we were all clear and that no trace remained, only for our new freedom to be taken away as blood tests showed the villain was back in residence. This time it had gone beyond the colon and liver, which ironically may both be clear, and had made its first home in the lungs.

There is no moving back and escaping from this one. The next question is how long have I got. The average time for someone with metastases, (a medical term for secondary tumours), in the lungs is 15 months, but the oncologist is confident I will beat that. However it is a fact now that there is now no cure, only remission while chemo slows down the tumour spread. Eventually, even the most efficient chemo will not work.

Now you all know exactly as much as Meg and I do. I shall carry on running as long as my legs will move and we are going to enjoy what is left of our brief life together. We have not given up hope completely and will be trying supplements to boost the body's immune system, which is in for a hammering from the chemo.

Last week I managed my first marathon since the liver operation, next will be a visit to Adelaide for a week at the beginning of September. Then I will start the third different sort of chemo treatment. Then we will see who can still run -

So, it looks as though I am on the last lap of the last ultra, even though we don't know how big the circuit is. I have had a great time running all over the world, meeting so many wonderful friends and enjoying myself thoroughly.

Please do not feel sorry for me - as I say I have had a wonderful life and we all have to go sometime. Its just that mine is a bit sooner than I would have liked - I would have liked to get 300 marathons up!

Yours still on the trot,


Responsible publisher
Anton Smeets

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