Change

14th November 2015: Sydney, Australia

It is strange to consider a week has passed without a post added, especially considering the attention placed on writing throughout the past 18 months. I have definitely had a lot on my mind, and typically have used this platform to share my thoughts, however, it appears I have come to the position of seeing my writing as directly correlating with the need to seek support from others I connect with online. As noted, it has been extremely helpful, particularly in processing past feelings, fears and emotions, but I now feel changes are needed in my life. Consequently, meaning a change in my writing may be needed to facilitate this change. Yes, I will continue to write, however, hopefully a different focus will be evident. A focus, not saturated in despair and the questioning of every little detail of life. Rather, a more balanced blog that will lead to an evolution in my actual life 😄

Yes… Swim (part two)

18th October 2015: Sydney, Australia

I understand the message yesterday was a little militant, and the style may have polarise some of you, however, regardless of whether it is something you enjoy or not, there are benefits just waiting if you would accept the challenge. Admittedly, the thought of swimming laps, wading through the water or completing other exercises does not always evoke an eagerness or joy, however, the intended target of this experiment is to both psychologically challenge the mind whilst hopefully encouraging whoever is reading this to reap the health benefits associated with completing some form of movement in the water. Similar to running, or other exercise pending the interests of people, the thought of swimming can be too mundane or not something previously deemed a valuable inclusion in your weekly plan of movement. In all honesty, it is not easy, but either are the challenges in life. So, accept the challenge by jumping in the water, push through the doubt, and finally reap in the awaiting benefits.

You should swim

17th October 2015: Sydney, Australia

The content about to be delivered is entirety captured in the title. Simply, I believe swimming or some form of activity in the water should form part of your exercise routine. Just to note, I am writing this knowing some people will already click away, and maybe there is something greater occurring in the thinking behind the actions of those seconds away from deleting this post from their minds. Most notably, whether a correlation exists between the reason for clicking away and the reluctance to follow the advice provided. To state it as simply as possible, for some, I believe the thought of swimming is too hard or not something you enjoy. I must acknowledge, the only group of people excluded from the post are those with no accessibility to a pool or place to swim. To everyone else, I challenge you to commit to swimming within the next week. Obviously, if modifications need to be made, due to varying capacities, then modify as required. To the rest of you. Swim!

Goal setting

16th October 2015: Sydney, Australia

Firstly, I should note, I am writing this post without a specific population in mind, however, feel the content may resonate to those in process of achieving a particular goal. Also, prior to continuing, I must acknowledge that many similar messages are widely available on the Internet. So, obviously I am by no means claiming to be writing anything revolutionary. In contrast, the message is extremely basic, and in the most simple format, it can be introduced by sharing a comment recently directed towards me. The comment has repetitively been heard over the past 20 months, and it is typically structured in such a way that suggests I should be resting more and not over-exerting my body. Therefore, in an attempt to understand the reasoning behind the comments, I pose a number of points. Do people think comments such as the one mentioned or other similar messages directed towards you stem from:
a. Concern for your welfare?
b. Fear for the success you can achieve?
c. Jealousy of the drive and commitment had to achieving in your goal?
d. Other (please comment).

A new test for my family

14th September 2015: Sydney, Australia

I have always referred to the widespread impact a singular Cancer can have on many, particularly those closest to a person, and unfortunately, it appears my initial worries have manifested. I heard the news when getting into my car after having my latest scan. It was my mum calling as usual, however, immediately I detected something different this time when she said, “I don’t want you to worry but”.

Information surrounding my mum has come to light with further testing, and she is scheduled to have a Cancer removed tomorrow. Personally, I see a correlation between the recent turn of events and the stress associated with the challenges endured over last 20 months. My reasoning derives from research read when first discovering I had Cancer. The exact findings of the paper are not remembered in full detail, however, a trend was noticed in a Cancer diagnosis leading to an increased risk of health concerns for significant others. I am not at all seeking sympathy from others, merely, attempting to highlight the importance of looking at Cancer on a larger scale, especially how loved ones need to make space in their lives to care for themselves whilst having positive, healthy and appropriate avenues to channel the stressors involved in the circumstances. Lastly, I wish to outline the very pivotal point of remembering what worked for me may not be the best for her. Therefore, I need to take myself out of the situation, and simply reciprocate the unconditional love and support shown to me.

Tomorrow is not D-Day!

8th July 2015: Sydney, Australia

One more sleep separates my current life to the new normality awaiting me. I feel as prepared as possible for surgery, with my mindset playing a crucial role in maintaining overall homeostasis, however, the surrealism of the entire experience is still difficult to comprehend. Namely, the actual details of the reality awaiting me. I must mention, my predictions entail rising from surgery heavily sedated, with weeks to follow stuck within this incapacitated state, however, ultimately I have no idea of what they may find or whether any complications are associated with th surgery. Admittedly, my intentions were to reference tomorrow as D-Day, however, when thinking about the connotations, I did not see the tittle as fitting to the day ahead. Yes, I will have a procedure, and will be experiencing temporary pain, however, on a permanent basis, I have belief in being stronger in a physical, mental and emotional sense. Therefore, tomorrow is not D-Day. Instead, just another day, and the beginning of my new normal.

Motivation

1st July 2015: Sydney, Australia

I have commenced watching motivational clips virtually everyday, and it seems to have helped make positive shifts when comparing my mindset at present to how I was functioning prior to my previous surgery. Currently, I feel an overwhelming sense of finality, as this being the final stage of the process. I can completely understand how absurd it sounds, especially upon hearing the Cancer has also appeared on my lungs, however, my belief in my longterm health and wellness is not comparable to anytime in my past. There are many areas to contribute where these positive feelings derive from, and at the top end of my list would be the range of motivational videos being watched on a daily basis. The positive feelings and lasting thoughts anchored into my consciousness are the very reason for deciding to dedicate an entire wall in my room to motivational quotes and pictures. I am currently in the process of collating images and will show updates throughout the stages of development.

How to achieve stillness and find peace in face of adversity

4th June 2015: Bali, Indonesia

I am wanting to write a brief entry to remind me at later times of the complete stillness held within my current thought process. I contribute the obtainment of the present state of mind to the idea of compartmentalising certain thoughts in my life to particular periods in the day. Obviously, the main chain of thoughts causing potential damaging chatter to intrude my consciousness derives from the fear gripping me. The process of compartmentalising thoughts allows me to feel the fear whilst blocking it from taking over my life. Consequently, I then can remain focused on the hope and belief in being-well, and it appears the strategy of directing attention to health and life is more effective than directing all my thinking towards Cancer. My situation may fluctuate, and I need to accept this, however, hopefully this short entry can trigger some of the memories and emotions associated with this period whilst acting as a reminder of how peaceful life can be.

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.

Cancer, balance and life

5th November 2014: Sydney Australia

The initial draft of the Sunflower Framework has been completed, and is now being reviewed by trusted peers. Ultimately, the feedback will assist me in forming a decision on whether to pursue the programme. If not, the whole process will still be seen as a positive as I was able to adhere to a relatively decent timescale, eliciting a feeling of accomplishment whilst also paving a way forward to keep myself accountable in all areas of my life. I do not want to get ahead of myself due to the very real possibility of the programme not succeeding, however, if it appears others agree there is some scope for the programme to come to fruition, then some scope for implementation may exist. Another positive note was the enjoyment and stimulation stemming from the process of putting together the programme. Also, the whole process has been a massive learning curve whereby I have gained a brief introduction into all the aspects needing to be factored into future projects. It is easy to think that a programme can be designed and run, and disregard all the practical steps needing to be considered. Mind you, I am only referring to points I can draw on so it is inevitable many other factors will come to light.

In regards to other areas of my life, I have found that balance in my relationship! If an entry was made yesterday, the best possible way to convey my thoughts would have been to pick up a blue pen to rapidly draw circles in an unsystematic fashion. Pure anger was felt. I have not experienced a level of frustration comparable in a long time. With regret, I admit an explosive conversation resulted in a calmer conversation with both of us explaining and listening to one another. I say regret, as I would like to think this could easily have been avoided if we approached it in a varied manner. Furthermore, I do not like to raise my voice, or if being completely honest with myself, then recognising that I was in fact yelling! An ugly trait I do not associate with myself, however, it surfaced yesterday, and is a key point in my life to definitely work on eliminating entirely. There may be reasons contributing to the frustration yet no explanation for such actions.

A third point intended to be discussed today, and one a little more targeted to the area of Cancer. I was advised that my Cortisol levels were too high, resulting in another change in medicine to commence from tomorrow plus there was a lengthy waiting period till a response was heard from my doctor. Both legitimate areas to discuss, however, personally they were of little importance to another point raised during the conversation with my doctor. Details won’t be delved into, however, in summary the matter of prognosis was central to the conversation. My doctor noted that speaking in terms of the statistics on the Cancer I have, he would be confident in saying that I do not have a life expectancy beyond two years. I do not believe this, and I am also confident he will expect to still be seeing me for years to come, witnessing me flourishing as time passes. Admittedly, a stain was left on my conscious. It was like I needed to tell others about it, however, what was this about? Is it a case of reminding others, “hey, I’m still that guy with Cancer, don’t forget about it’. It makes me consider whether it has really become my identity as I’ve read about, and maybe this process of writing is just another representation of that identity? The process of thinking it through lead me to think that I seek some enjoyment out of hearing the news as it is a challenge, instilling a sense of self-belief and reassurance of being the 3 out of 10 people who will survive! Upon reflecting on the previous statement, there are two very clear points. Firstly, I am extremely confident in my belief about survival or I am in complete and utter denial. I think a very apt sentence to conclude the entry will be to refer to the smirk on my face whilst writing this. Yes, an arrogance to some, for me, confirmation of my challenge and belief of survival!