An ultra run and prostate cancer
Man Up / Man DownDecember 07, 2023x
54:0549.53 MB

An ultra run and prostate cancer

Another first for Man Up / Man Down. Our first returning guest.

Andy Delderfield runs the Alcohol Free Runners Facebook community and also coaches those interested in the alcohol-free lifestyle, but need one-to-one support.

Andy came on the podcast last year to tell is about his amazing transformation from booze-guzzling rugby fanatic to alcohol-free (4 years and counting), vegan, ultra runner.

Sadly, at the time, Andy had also been recently diagnosed with prostate cancer. But rather than taking it easy, while receiving intensive treatment, Andy decided to enter a 250km multi-day, ultra event. Running across the Namibia desert.

Andy explained that it had been an eventful year, and that it had only been two weeks since his diagnosis when we recorded the first interview, so he had still been processing the diagnosis.

Andy spoke about the range of emotions that he’d felt at the diagnosis: fear and uncertainty; confusion anger.

He said one of the issues was that he’d gone for a check up to see precisely how healthy he was after many years of “clean living.”

As expected, his blood pressure, cholesterol and all other health indicators were fine. However, the tests revealed the possibility of prostate cancer, which proved to be correct.

Andy said that men do need to be a lot more proactive about getting screened, particularly as men don’t visit the doctor as much as women; for a variety of reasons.

However, he said his experience as a Positive Psychology Coach helped him through – sticking to the advice he’d give to his clients when they’re overwhelmed.

This was to “control the controllable.” Obviously, he couldn’t control what was going on in his body lots and lots of different emotions that kind of came through um when I got that diagnosis. But he could control how he reacted.

Andy said he was overwhelmed with information, which goes into a lot of worst-case scenarios. Essentially, he was left with two options – have the prostate removed (which would require invasive surgery) or targeted radiotherapy.

While the radiotherapy had its own side effects, this was the option Andy went for – mainly because he’d already entered the Desert Ultra and didn’t want his treatment to rule him out!

Andy then told us about the Desert Ultra. Despite training in Spain (where he lives), Andy said the heat impacted him more than he was expecting and thought he might have to give up mere kilometres into the race.

He said that the negative thoughts entered his head – that he shouldn’t be there, that he didn’t deserve to be there.

Thankfully, after intense rehydration, Andy got past that first check post and completed the race.

To hear the full account of Andy’s hugely inspiring battle against cancer and the blistering heat, check out the episode.

He is also raising money for Prostate Cancer UK, so please donate here.

You can also see his brutally honest video diaries in his Facebook group and Instagram account.

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