Cancer free

3rd December 2015: Sydney, Australia

Results of my scans have been shared, and I am both fortunate and happy to say it was all clear. Ultimately, I can finally use the results to my benefit whereby I am able to normalise future scenarios, and hopefully not have such a fear associated with the results. Now, focus will shift to the frequency of scans, especially with one doctor being of the opinion that scans only add to the anxiety of the situation, possibly causing unnecessary stress. Personally, upon hearing news similar to this morning alleviate all stress. Therefore, I completely disagree with the advice of my doctor, and hope my other doctor sees my reasoning before deciding to schedule in the next scan.

I do acknowledge a major step to overcome is the comfort in not having regular scans, however, I am yet to be in such a position. A lot can happen in a year, so let’s see where I am this time next year 😄

Walking away from Cancer

30th November 2015: Sydney, Australia

I want to walk away from this life of Cancer, actually a more apt description would entail me running away with only one destination insight. Interestingly, my intentions seem to be clear about moving on from this chapter in my life, however, I still hold onto parts of the narrative. For instance, my scans were completed today, and many of my close friends were notified about this in the preceding weeks. The question circulating throughout my mind centres upon disparity in my intentions and actions. If I really wished to move on from this, then would I still be telling people close to me about the upcoming scan? Would it not be similar to attending a dentist for an appointment! Obviously, differences exist, and I am looking forward to celebrating the positive news at the end of the week, however, I feel next time, no mention of the scan will be made.

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 😄

Not simply a new chapter, rather a new book

25th October 2015: Byron Bay, New South Wales, Australia

A new dawn has arrived. Admittedly, it is rather vague entry, and hearing I am fatigued and battling a sore throat only seems to add a level of intrigue to how this can be deemed a new chapter in my life. If you are a little confused, then stay with me to hear my explanation.

Previously, an entry in these circumstances would have been saturated in a fear and worry about what these symptoms meant about my health. In contrast, I have been able to shift my interpretations of the symptoms to plainly seeing the sore throat and fatigue symbolising a return to the times of BC (Before Cancer). All throughout my teen and adulthood, a sore throat was the first sign of my body fighting an infection, and opposed to making a correlation between the sore throat and Cancer, I view the sore throat symbolising the beginning of the new narrative I frequently comment upon. In all honesty, I initially did switch into a mode whereby I automatically experienced concern, and of course, I could easily still be stuck in the destructive pattern. The driving motivation behind switching my thoughts derived from a belief in the need to approach my situation differently compared with how I lived after my first surgery. Really, if I am constantly worried and link every little symptom to Cancer, then how am I ever going to live a normal life? Lastly, I also think about the laws of attraction, and ponder whether so much mental energy placed on Cancer actually encourages it to resurface. Surely, it is far better to normalise my situation, and simply bring to fruition this new narrative I frequently reference.

Importance of rehabilitation

22nd October 2015: Byron Bay, New South Wales, Australia

Two weeks ago, I briefly talked about a form of exercise called Tabata. My opinion on the type of exercise has not changed, and it was proving to be extremely beneficial till deciding to modify the routine. The decision to make changes stemmed from a desire to further intensify the range of exercises, however, it appeared my body was not prepared for the additional load. Consequently, I had to have a week of rest, and was sent for an ultrasound to see whether I had damaged my abdomen. Fortunately, the results were positive, meaning there was no serious damage. Instead, I had placed a significant amount of stress on the abdominal region of my body without it being in a position to take such a load. At a very basic level, I can easily look back on the situation with regret, feeling the decision to intensify the exercise was premature. Some may agree with this explanation, however, I believe my body would have been ready for the changes if I followed my rehabilitation plan from last surgery. On reflection, it seems I was naively under the impression of seeing myself as progressing much faster than last time. Admittedly, many areas may superficially support this position, however, the key point being overlooked was a misdirection in my focus. The best way to articulate my point is to make comparisons at varying stages throughout my two recoveries.

So, after the second surgery I started swimming at six weeks before adding yoga, tabata and surfing into the schedule. I gradually starting swimming faster and a greater distance, and mentally felt better than last time. Now, at 14 weeks, a disparity exists between where was I was last time compared to my current position, and it results entirely from being totally blinded by my objectives. Last time, each step was concentrated on based on what was required at that time. This time, I wanted to pass all the steps in favour of recommencing the belief held about the goals of rebuilding my body still being incomplete. Consequently, I am now needing to work backwards, and it reinforces the imperativeness of thoroughly adhering to a rehabilitation plan.

How technology can support to illness and disabilty

13th October 2015: Sydney, Australia

How technology can enhance the social component of Cancer
I have frequently made references to the secondary factors associated with Cancer, especially the significant, and at times crippling impact these factors may have. By secondary factors I mean the impact of Cancer on relationships, career, housing circumstances and capacities. The following passage will focus on one area, namely, the social impact of Cancer.

Often isolation and vulnerability are labels attached to a person experiencing some hardship in their life, and it seems someone with Cancer definitely falls into this category. Similar to the themes of other posts, it would be likely to see a number of negatives outlined, however, I feel it it may be useful to complete an exercise whereby a story can be told about the switching of the topic from a negative to a positive. One means of achieving this is by placing emphasis on the benefits of technology to ensure you can still feel connected and partake within group activity regardless of your capacities. To anyone feeling any isolation, how about considering a review of how you can remain, repair or renew a social connection in your life, and then if comfortable share your brief story with others in the comments section?

Cannabis vs Chemotherapy

6th October 2015: Sydney Australia

I have spoken extensively about this topic, so the basis of the entry is for others to share their views. Basically, the question relates to why people are so receptive and understanding to the use of Chemotherapy whilst opposing the use of Medicinal Cannabis. Personally, the introduction of Medicinal Cannabis has alleviated ALL SIDE-EFFECTS associated with Chemotherapy whilst also hopefully (no evidence currently supports this) working to support my body to heal. Honestly, I frequently need to provide an in-depth description about the benefits of using Medicinal Cannabis due to suggestions people make about my decision to trial the option. Interestingly, it is rare to be questioned about the use of Chemotherapy, and even rarer to stimulate a giggle when telling people I am putting such a toxic drug into my body.

I do recognise the bias position put forth, however, hopefully educate and inform others about the potential benefits of choosing to use Medicinal Cannabis when faced with a Cancer experience. It is a topic discussed in the past, and seems to have split my small audience. Therefore, it suggests to represent the opinion of the wider community. Please share your comments if reading, whether you are pro, against or undecided about the use of Medical Cannabis.

How to define me as an Australian?

26th September 2015: Sydney, Australia
A quote I have recently been able to connect with stated, “Australians are modern day Aztecs who worship the sun”. Admittedly, it is a fairly superficial and individualistic means of expressing my connection with my current of origin, however, it perfectly summarises the attraction to the powers of the sun. Furthermore, the specific focus shows some disconnection with mainstream attitudes and beliefs seemingly predominant within Australia. If refocusing on the sun, there is honestly a significant disparity in my overall outlook and energy when the sun is shining compared to consecutive days where it is cold, wet and dire. The pull towards direct sunlight makes me revise my thinking about this insatiable appetite, and I believe this desire stems from past readings about the proposed healing benefits of receiving natural Vitamin D.

The topic also leads to a questioning of whether living in London for almost four years influenced this longing for the sun. I definitely recall times when I missed the sun, however, the novelty of the experience, combined with the many cultural and social activities kept me occupied. The emerging point from a rather trivial topic is how my priorities have changed over the course of the past 20 months. Furthermore, the chain of thoughts leave me in a place doubtful about my capacity of adapting to such an environment again, even if that means loosing the opportunity of living in one of the most interesting and vibrant cities in the world. In conclusion, it is known that life does not exist without the sun, obviously I am stretching the application of this belief, however, my life seems to depend on the sun, ocean, family and friends. I life definitely wished to live for many years to come.

Does Cannabis actually benefit people on chemotherapy

22nd September 2015: Sydney, Australia

I feel the need to express my attitudes towards people on chemotherapy taking Cannabis to control common side-effects, including nausea, fatigue, appetite and the general mindset of the individual. It seems a disclaimer is needed to ensure I am not misinterpreted. Firstly, I am basing the entry from a completely personal experience, and am not suggesting it will suit all, however, do advocate for it to be trailed in combination with chemotherapy to limit the common crippling side-effects. Secondly, I have been fortunate enough to secure Cannabis oil, meaning it is less harmful for my body compared with smoking the plant. Finally, the Cannabis I used was all grown outside completely unaided by any fertiliser or other item to promote rapid growth or potency.

As noted, I am in favour of the use of medicine Cannabis, especially in the oil format, however, I have felt a reluctance to advise certain people about using Cannabis for fear of their response. It seems there is still a section of the population who simply view medicinal Cannabis as means for people to get high or an avenue for regular smokers to lobby government in an attempt for legalisation. A point found extremely interesting is the trust people have for pharmaceutical products compared to a natural plant that has clearly proved so effective in relieving any side-effects associated with my treatment. Personally, the matter is straight forward, and the 20 months of diary entries can demonstrate how use of the oil directly correlated with a removal of all side-effects from my life. A discussion with my Professor provides an accurate synopsis of my experience. To simply summarise the content of the discussion, I noted a removal of rancid odours from my body, an increase in energy and a return to a normal palate. In addition, the constant endless nausea has now been replaced by feelings of relaxation throughout my body prior to sleeping whilst also a little a jovial. Lastly, and importantly, I have finally been able to feel a degree of normality in my life. A feature missing for 20 months, and a point not to be underestimated. Now, considering these experiences, I would be very interested to hear from others, and to note, I simply wish to open dialogue so am open to all opinions.

 

An inseparable future for two people

18th September 2015: Sydney, Australia

I received confirmation my body is clear of any Cancer. A point to usually to celebrate, and admittedly, I am of course extremely pleased with the results, however, it does not feel like the time to be experiencing joy. Of course a focus needs to centre upon my health and wellbeing, and neglecting my own feelings will inevitably result in an imbalance within my body. It just seems so hard to be experiencing happiness knowing my mum is suffering. In saying that, I do recognise a place needs to be found whereby the emotions associated with my mum are better managed whilst also ensuring sufficient attention is placed on my personal growth and development. Furthermore, it is essential to think of the circumstances unfolding on a wider scale. No longer is it possible to solely focus on my journey as it now appears the futures of my mum and I are interconnected. Therefore, it is pivotal to support my mum in many ways, including the necessity of sharing my personal successes and strength. Ultimately, this strategy will ease her concern about my wellbeing, allowing her to focus more on herself, and importantly, will hopefully support the both of us to thrive in the future.