Goodbye London!

24th January 2015: Sydney

This time last year I would be sleeping in my bed for the last time before packing up my life in London. I vividly recall the moments of the entirety of events fairly vivid. I was advised on a Thursday in a meeting after approximately two weeks later testing that it was very probable the large tumour inside of me was cancerous. As noted in past entires, this message in no way hit me as hard as initially discovering a tumour was growing inside me. The moment was actually rather jovial, with complete focus on recovery, and I sense of knowing I would be ok. Possibly my approach to everything over the past year can be linked back to this meeting. After the meeting I remember thinking, “why am I not crying, I have just been told I have Cancer”. Also to note, I had already made a decision to return to Australia, with flights booked for two days later. Therefore, I had one day to pack up all my belongings, come back to the hospital to obtain all the necessary certificates and say my goodbyes.

A number of goodbyes were had with varying people. On one occasion, I went out for dinner with a few people, and called my parents noticing a stark difference in their approach. No longer were they seeming to be asking questions, rather a very practical conversation unfolded about getting me home. It was definitely a type of conversation needed. The next day I hurriedly attempted to finish off some outstanding work to ensure my cases were left with some direction to follow and then pack all my belongings. The day was coming to a close, and I was now package all my clothes with a giant appetite growing. It was at this very moment whereby the longing for home was ever so strong. My recollections consist of walking to the local Tesco in a snow jacket, with my hood pulled over my head to avoid the trickling of rain. The point, nagging at me was the thought of walking in this weather on my last night to firstly shop at a Tesco before cooking food. I would have left straight away if given the opportunity, and walked into a warm plate ready at home. Instead, a cooked some meal and went to sleep. In the morning, goodbyes were said to my housemates who were excellent throughout the period, and a goodbye kiss was had with my girlfriend on the doorstep. I had to drop my belongings at a friends house, who had prepared a fresh juice and a Cumberland Sausage sandwich in advance. I then walked down to Highbury Station to catch the tube to Heathrow Airport, and also met a friend along the way whereby further goodbyes were said. Next, I was loaded with my scans and medication whilst wearing ridiculous stockings to avoid clotting on the plane and held back the tears when watching a documentary on a snowboarder called Keven Pearce. I must have drifted off to sleep for a while because my memory is hearing the ever comforting announcement of almost touching down in Sydney. Finally I am home.

Patterns changing

24th September 2014: Changi Airport, Singapore

How fast patterns can shift. It was only 12 weeks ago when I endured the 30 hours of transit time from Sydney to London. Over the course of the flight, I got up to stretch at least five times, was insistent on my dietary choices and regularly integrated mindfulness techniques into the journey. Now, I’m sitting at the airport only halfway through the flight with tired eyes and a stiff body compounded by an overactive mind stuck on thoughts about the excessive luggage charges that easily could have been avoided should I have adequately prepared. Furthermore, disillusioned feelings are being experienced about my bodies health due to the dietary choices made leading up the flight, and the compliance in eating the standard food when I previously placed an order for the vegan option. Why the vegan option when clearly my food journals contradict the vegan approach to diet and nutrition? My reasoning is that airline food isn’t usually the best, and an accidental introduction to a vegan airline box lead me realise the nutritional benefits of a vegan option compared with other available choices.

The apparent shift in focus is believed to exist as a direct consequence of the limited recent movement in my life. I believe a correlation is evident between a lack of movement and the limited journaling, increased stress, inability to meditate, poor dietary choices and lowered immune system. Furthermore, it has reinforced the need of an inseparable approach to health and well-being rather than an isolated and fragmented approach only targeting one specific area of your life. Just to note, when saying poor dietary choices, it’s not a case of eating junk, rather decisions not consistent with a belief in making health promoting choices at all times. In summary, yes I have noticed a shift, however, this has only normalised the process for me, demonstrating how easy it is for patterns to shift and importantly furthered my learning and understanding about how to be better equipped for when a future change occurs in my weekly schedule.