A runner’s story of speedy lung cancer recovery

LAST Christmas Morag Murray had 40 per cent of her right lung removed after being diagnosed with cancer.

The 54-year-old was back up and running, literally, within months, as in May this year she took part in the Hastings Half Marathon.

She then went on to raise £2,384 for the Roy Castle Lung Cancer Foundation through a three-part cycle, walking and running challenge.

Morag, a service director for the Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, puts her speedy recovery down to an early diagnosis and her fitness level, and said: “I consider myself very lucky.

“Because I was fit, firstly I knew something was wrong, and secondly, I recovered quickly.

“At the end of 2010 I was saying ‘I must go on a diet’. After Christmas I just started losing weight.

“I knew it just wasn’t right. A friend nagged me into going to the doctor.”

A chest X-ray revealed Morag had a shadow on her lung, which turned out to be cancer.

Morag, a member of Hastings Runners, who already had 10 marathons under her belt, refused to be beaten.

“On December 23 I had 40 per cent of my right lung removed and was back home for New Year,” she said.

Luckily, Morag did not require chemotherapy following the keyhole surgery, and within a week of leaving hospital, friends from Hastings Runners had her up and about for short walks. She was back at work within seven weeks.

“Because I was so fit going into it, I thought I had to have a target,” she said.

She got stuck into training for the Tri-Challenge, a 50-mile bike ride in Liverpool, a walk over the three highest peaks in Yorkshire, followed by the Great North Run, in August, all of which were in support of the Roy Castle Lung Cancer Foundation’s Women Against Lung Cancer campaign.

Lung cancer kills more women than any other cancer in the UK, claiming the lives of 15,000 every year.

The symptoms of lung cancer can be quite non-specific, including a constant cough, breathlessness, fatique and weightloss, meaning it is often dangerously late by the time people consult a doctor.