A few days before Doug Limbrick is to run a marathon he receives a diagnosis of colorectal cancer. The large mass has been there for some time and must be removed at once. What a shock for a healthy, fit man who hasn’t had a sick day from work in twenty years and has been a runner for thirty.
In his memoir, the author shares what it is like to have major surgery that impacts him both physically and psychologically. Six months of chemotherapy and five weeks of radiotherapy bring complications. Yet Doug returns to running during chemotherapy in an attempt to regain some fitness and distract himself from the side effects of weeks of continuous infusions. He runs while carrying a black box that delivers the chemotherapy drugs through a tube in his chest at predetermined intervals.
Living through more surgery and complications from septicemia and pneumonia, he leaves the hospital after two months weighing 115 pounds (52 kilograms). The long process of rehabilitation begins, with the help of some very good friends.
Doug raises some important questions. Why did he get cancer? Why did he survive? And what did he learn? The final chapter looks at life after cancer and the lessons Doug gleaned from his illness and recovery.