How we experience loss, and does a sense of loss dissipate overtime becoming the new normal?

27th December 2014: Sydney

Christmas is behind us till next year. An overview would show a fabulous time was had with lots of laughs by the entire family with a playfulness between my dad and two brothers reminiscing my early adolescence. The two days are clear examples of the obscurity in my thinking, namely, due to emphasis in my thinking about what was missing over the period compared to previous years whilst also being able to state the additions enjoyed. Consequently, the mixture of feelings demonstrate how simultaneously I am placed in a position of joy whilst also feeling a degree of loss or difference.

Various examples could be drawn upon throughout the Christmas period to further explain this thought process, however, attention to the broad term term of lifestyle will provide a platform for discussion. The aspects associated with lifestyle include alcohol consumption, energy levels and participation in family activity. Topics not dissimilar to content covered in previous entries. In some ways, a really pleasant feeling was experienced upon waking up without the effects of alcohol being present. The same could be said of the ease I felt at just enjoying the company of my family whilst not having the need to share a drink with any of my family members. In contrast, a level connection seems to emerge from the social context whereby alcohol is enjoyed with others. Therefore, it was hard not to notice the difference that occurred in my social interactions, eliciting a sense of loss or disengagement from the environment so familiar to me.

The main point from all these thoughts is when, or better yet will I ever again live out my past days, and if the time comes when I am not on chemotherapy nor feeling fatigued, will I return to my past behaviours or will have the shifts become permanent that no longer any loss is experienced?

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My first Christmas…

24th December 2014: Sydney, Australia

I am approaching my first Christmas at home in five years, and of course it is inevitable that changes are to occur over such a period, however, I doubt it would have been anticipated that such changes have would been thought as a possibility. Tomorrow is going to be my first major full day of celebration since my operation, yes, there have been occasions whereby I have been with my others to celebrate varying occasions. Christmas is something else though, and it is the first of several times over the coming week whereby these changes will be evident. The obvious point in mention relate to my lifestyle and attitudes to such events. Undoubtedly, I am extremely excited about the coming week, yet, admittedly, there is some discomfort lingering in my mind about how the days will unfold, especially in regards to my fatigue, nausea and overall mental preparation. I guess this derives from both family/social norms about how the festival season is celebrated, and the way I have approached this time in the past.

It seems to always come back to two main points for me, namely, the elimination of alcohol from my life and the comfort about the prospect of placing fatigue on my body from insufficient rest. Both points directly relate to social situations, and I am unsure of whether I will return to a place within my mind when these thoughts dissipate, leaving me to just enjoy the celebrations without any invasive thoughts. The interesting point is that no direct connection is made between the thought process and the Cancer that was inside me or a fear of reoccurrence, it just seems to have left a huge stain upon me. I do recognise this as a relatively normal response to such circumstances, however, am wondering whether the stain is permanent or will fade, and eventually disappear over time?

Again, it seems a negative undertow surrounds my thinking, and in some ways it doesn’t really reflect how I am feeling. These words just flow when I start typing. Possibly it is normal to be focusing on such issues, especially approaching moments such as my first Christmas since the surgery or it might just be the case that it is easier to write or be attracted to certain issues discussed in my entries compared to times of joy, love and life.

Does anyone talk about complacency????

21st December 2014: Sydney, Australia

I am still yet to refer to the early months of the year to make comparisons with my eating patterns, and have come to see this as evidence of the shifting needs we hold in our lives, particularly how susceptible we are to varying ideas pending our present emotional state. The thinking driving the decision to discover differences in my eating pattern was made after a period of two weeks whereby I was yet to recover from the cold/flu symptoms, however, a return to seemingly normal health has diminished most if not all intentions. The initial thought of finding some magical discovery may be viewed as an attempt saturated in complete and utter desperation. Regardless, the process lead to me considering the concept of complacency for people with any kind of difficulty, and the essential point of sustainability featuring within a plan designed for anyone facing difficulty or challenges in their lives.

The matter of complacency within the context mentioned places me in a position wide open to criticism, particularly by people who wish just to be back to normal again, even if that normal was viewed as destructive or unhealthy during the period when experimenting their difficulty or challenge. As noted, it is an extremely debatable point of discussion, and obviously a choice for each person to make for themselves. I must also acknowledge the early stage within my own personal journey, and am confident in stating the limited experience compared to many others. Therefore, it may well be the case that in one, two or five years I am taking a completely contradicting position on the statement made. If so, at least I will be better informed about the varying stages I have progressed through, and hopefully will be more equipped at supporting others in their individual journeys.