After a hard winter training it was time to enter my first 10mille TT. I found myself however back in Oxford on the 14th for the 5 month MRI with contrast to check that all is ok with my spinal cord and no sign of any tumour.


The last scans at the end of 2013 showed that the scar tissue had growing, so I was a little scared of these scans. Each time you go for the MRI it brings back all the memories of the first time you ever lay in the scanning machine and the first time the Doctor walked in and told me what they had found. On the drive to the hospital I could taste the contrast before it had even been put in me, I hate the stuff but know it is pretty important. Before I knew it I was walking along the corridor toward the MRI unit.


This day in my life stops, you will go about your daily life as per normal, but for this moment my whole life stops, nothing else matters as time feels like it has stopped and your in a different world. 


You lay onto the MRI machine and then have your head clamped and slowly moved into the machine before the first few images are done. There is lots of noise and you can not move, however this is the best part. After that you have the IV put into you and then the contrast dye put into your body which carries lots of its own risks, and recent research coming out advises only have this if it is an absolute necessary. 


So scan day leaves you feeling pretty wiped and sometimes brings a tear to your eye with emotions running through your mind. This is such a rare tumour there really is not many answers out there for all the things that go on in your body before and after surgery.


This is a moment of mixed emotions. One of Gratitude for having such a fulfilling life and another of fear of what if and the memories of surgery and Rehab.

Before you know it your in the machine and the next 50min of your life is one of the unknown. Your mind drifts to thoughts of life and dreams.


I like to think I always come out of the MRI a better person and with more Gratitude. Racing the night after was probably not the wisest moves but I found myself with Big Jon at a road race in Lancaster where I had to drop out after 45min as I was totally burnt out.


Then the TT. My first ever time trial race, I was looking forward to the mental challenge of the pain and the enjoyment of been out on the bike racing against the clock and other cyclists. You feel a bit strange as you have a space looking helmet on a skin tight suit, I can only imaging what the people are thinking as they drive past. it was a great feeling though back racing and leaving the memory of the scan back in Oxford with the sole focus on going faster.

david smith