My pact

4th October 2014: Sydney, Australia

The last few days have seen snippets of information detailing the discovery of the tumour. It is a rather powerful and emotive process, forcing me relive some of the memories associated to this stage of the journey. Therefore, it seems relevant to also mention a decision made prior to the whole hospital experience. Again, with most topics, I guess how each reader interprets the information will differ, however, it is personally seen as a critics moment of my life. The topic in mention regards a pact made with myself on the night of New Year’s Eve 2013.

On the night of December 2013, I was staying in an incredible place with my girlfriend and family that overlooked the snow fields of France. Typically in such places, there wouldn’t be a care in the world, on this night though, a pact with myself was made consisting of a promise not to drink any alcohol or eat any red meat for as long as it took for normal health to return. The pact may not have come to fruition if I hadn’t been starring disappointedly over the snow fields from my sweaty bed following weeks of ill health. The significance of that New Years Eve night alone in my bed almost delirious from a high temperature is reason for presenting at the hospital back in London, early on the 12th January 2014 with no alcohol consumed the day before. Why the significance? Well, I believe that pact ensured the stomach pains and flu symptoms were treated as genuine concerns and not just a poisoned post-festive season liver screaming for attention from the assault received over the past weeks.

In reality, regardless of the Cancer or not, I feel modifications to my lifestyle would have been made. An evaluation of my lifestyle and health at the time of diagnosis would show a generally health conscious person whom regularly exercised, however, the alarming feature would be the amount of alcohol passed through my body on the weekends. I am now able to identify myself in terms of the relationship I had with alcohol as a binge drinker. Would I have considered myself different to others surrounding me or others in general around London? No, not at all! In my mind, I didn’t drink midweek, exercised and ate relatively healthy, so would have actually probably had a blurred perception of what healthy living entailed. I do remember wanting to cut out either a session at the pub on either a Friday or Saturday as countless beers would usually would have been consumed, and I think having the Cancer just accelerated some health related decisions into my life. Now, as noted previously, I don’t have the sessions in the pub, more being comfortable with no more than one or two drinks. Consequently, I have found to have a renewed love for other aspects of life, including a sharpness that appears to have returned in my thinking, greater focus, more time and an overall more positive approach without days spent hungover. Yes, I have had some ill health of late and haven’t been as energetic as preferred, however, I feel a return to a full-time schedule will occur next week. In summary, the pact made with myself clearly targeted an area of my life needing attention, was a key step to accurately being diagnosed, and has placed me in this fortunate position whereby I have been able to make the changes needed to actually work towards living a healthy and full life.

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