Welcome to Bushy’s Bike

Firstly I would like to explain, for those who don’t know, what Bushy’s Bike is all about.

By the way, apologies to the Apostrophe Police for one missing on the website address… it can’t be inserted!

The mission

Many cancers if diagnosed early can be treated successfully, as indeed was the case with my Prostate, so the prime purpose of this venture is to encourage you good folk (Gents AND Ladies) to have regular health checks.  I assure you there is a noticeable lifesaving benefit of doing so!  Right now prostate cancer is a subject very much in the public eye.  Elton John, Rod Steward and news reader Bill Turnbull have all had prostate treatment.

The secondary objective is to raise money for Cancer research, awareness and I repeat, to persuade you all to be aware of what your bodies are telling you and do something about it.

How?

To cycle 3000 miles (5K km) across Europe. Route details will be revealed in the fullness of time, although it is evident that the trip starts with a ferry from Portsmouth to Bilbao followed by a little cycle over the Pyrenees to Barcelona.  Silly me, why not start in Holland?  Arrrrrgh!

The reason

Two years ago at 63, it crossed my mind that it was about time to have a health check. I readily admit that I have not done myself  what I am now preaching to others.  Par for the course then!  However I was lucky enough to be “just in time”.  Earlier regular health checks would have been more prudent.  Anyway, I was led to The Mary How Trust, a charity who do top to toe health checks. This is free to those who cannot afford it and for those who can, there is in my view, a reasonable fee for the service. Good value for money bearing in mind my outcome; you might argue it’s even better value if you have an “all clear” result!

The test was entirely unobtrusive and easy (sorry Ladies but I have to say this to the Gents… no fingers were brought into service). The staff there are very friendly and explained everything when I was short on knowledge, mostly!

The upshot was that in my blood test a high PSA reading was found, this is not conclusive evidence of prostate cancer, just one of a number of “flags”.

I was then referred back to my Doc and put through the NHS who were as you would expect completely brilliant. I was sent to the Royal Surrey Hospital in Guildford. After all tests were done the offending item was removed by remote keyhole surgery;  meaning the surgeon does all the work via a computer, a bit like Gamestation (whatever that is?). There’s hope yet for our youth with the skills they are acquiring on their joysticks.

The most worrying part was waiting for the bone scan result to see if the cancer had spread. It hadn’t… phew. It’s funny but this anxious time makes one do a lot of soul searching…. Have I done good, or bad? (I came to the conclusion of course it’s some of each, not necessarily in a preferable ratio) Am I comfortable/happy with what I have done in my life? Also of course homing in on what is important and what is definitely not! Thinking about all this was very cathartic and I urge you to do the same before the process is forced upon you as it inevitably will be.

Anyway, the whole procedure was amazing and a testament to the skills found within the NHS and makes evident what incredible things can be done nowadays. In my case there are some post operation after effects, not to be mentioned here, but preferable to the alternatives that were on the menu.

So the message to all you Gents AND Ladies….

GO HAVE A CHECK UP!!!

If just one life is saved by an early diagnosis, all of this peddling will be worthwhile!,

My inspiration

In September ‘17 daughter Tori came back home having cycled 25,000 miles, through 33 countries, around the World by herself. Re-read that and take in the enormity of it.  I might be in trouble for mentioning this as quote: “It was nothing Dad, lots of people do it”…. Yeh right !!!

If you want a brief summary of her achievement see her homecoming video below – for those of a tearful disposition (like me nowadays) you might need a tissue.

Tori’s return. from Richard Bush on Vimeo.

If you want to find out more see her blog littlebluebike.co.uk. Forgive me…. Dad speaking here…. it will bring a smile to your face, see for example “How to be a cactus”, and more serious at times discussing racism in USA and an enlightening post on Pol Pot’s Khmer Rouge and his Cambodian genocide.

There are lots of great pics, it will be tricky for me to attain her high standard in this respect, and videos: – see “It’s been a day”, (another tear-jerker).

Anyway, having re-read her blog I thought I should attempt one leg of the trip before its too late…. America perhaps? Then the C word raised it’s ugly head and in due course the trip was brought to Europe.