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.

How to find an imbalance in the daily grind

29th September 2015: Sydney, Australia

‘About a Boy’ is a British film starring Hugh Grant who plays a single man in his thirties who has enough wealth to sustain his lifestyle without the need for employment. Obviously, the story expands from this very extremely minute description of the film, however, the fact he is unemployed is crucial to the comparison about to be made with my life. Just to note, I am definitely not in the same financial position as the character.

An interesting point taken from the life of the character is the way he dissects his days. Each day consists of separate units forming a total number for the day. Clearly, a major difference to the typical day lived by many whereby the demands of a job/career/study provide the structure. Ok, just to be clear, another major difference is the fact that I wish to be working, however, am yet to be in a position whereby my health warrants a return to the workforce. So, basically, the only comparisons with the film are the fact we are both single men in our thirties, and separate our day into units.

I only started making the reference to units last week when telling a story to some friends, however, I see major benefits in applying the rule into my life. Admittedly, I do not have a rigid approach to each day, and would put an estimate of units in my day as totalling seven. For arguments sake, we can say a unit equals approximately an hour, or less if a task is demanding or stressful. I feel the concept may be more accessible if applied to my life, and will show how difficult or tough weeks can be balanced with positives to avoid becoming overly stressed. For instance, yesterday was very busy for my current life so I ensured a portion of my day in the afternoon was dedicated to simply hanging with a friend in the sun while we were chatting. I acknowledge it all may sound superficial, however, the social aspect of my life was not given sufficient attention after my initial surgery. Instead, all focus was directed internally, and consequently there was an impact on my social life and mental wellbeing. To others, I would recommend you think about the way time is spent throughout the week in an attempt to outline whether an existing imbalance needs to be focused upon 😄

 

Future vision for work

4th March 2015: Sydney, Australia

Recently, I have been thinking about a model to base a private consulting practice upon. The idea consists of having two separate arms, targeting both people with Cancer and others in the community with varying concerns. The two populations would be served by two separate theories. Namely, the Sunflower Framework for people with Cancer and the MESA principles, another model I devised to work with young people or adults with any number of concerns. The separation caters to a wide range of the community, with an underlying theme connecting the two principles together.

Obviously, a lot more work is required to bring the idea to fruition, with advertising, the creation of a website and other factors to be considered, however, it seems a realistic, achievable and feasible option to explore when I am ready to renter the workforce. I understand the theory has not been explained, and is untested. Therefore, further focus and attention is required on the matter, including the undertaking of a process (peer reviews and consultations with other professionals/academics) similar to the efforts involved in launching the Sunflower Framework.

Further updates will be provided as and when attention is directed to the matter.

Questions about who I am..

18th February 2015: Depot Beach (New South Wales East Coast)

It seems an important aspect of removing myself from Sydney with a good friend to such a quiet location has facilitated the process to concentrate and later discuss in confidence a number of matters that have been at the forefront of my thinking. Namely, my relationship and place in life, and not just in a context of a person recently single after my breakup, however, my relationship with the story that defines me as a person who is on treatment for Cancer.

I must acknowledge, there are times whereby doubts about future prospects are ever present, and consequently I am left to live between paradoxical states. I also recognise, it is impossible to just define my relationship with Cancer in an instant. Admittedly, I do feel opportunities, such as the life lived in the current surroundings greatly promote a deeper understanding of the connection had with myself, and lastly, the option of just allowing my body and mind to drift into the tranquility, slow pace and peace available on offer in my current environment acts comparably to a spiritual retreat whereby every chance is available to both seek and receive many questions relating to who I am as a person.

Prospect of failure

13th November 2014: Sydney Australia

I have come to realise a slight obsession has been directed towards the Sunflower Framework, and upon reflecting on the matter, it seems that I have bought into the programme to such a degree that any failure was not considered an option! It wasn’t till really taking the time to look into all the tasks needed to launch the programme that a lack of enthusiasm has crept into my consciousness. I was under the impression a study on the model would be possible via a university, however, failed to consider the fact of the framework meeting a sufficient standard or holding the necessary academic qualifications to undertake such a study programme.

The brief enquires made about study options left me with feelings of disappointment, regret and failure. As noted, I had bought into the idea so much that no longer was I to simply operate these groups in the community, but a research project would be completed with measurable questions to be designed. An endless scope of opportunity awaited! How foolish.

The very essences of setting myself up to failure whilst seeking gratification was applied. My mind was in overdrive with ideas whilst seeking feedback, and now consequently I am left in a position whereby there is a reality the framework actually may not eventuate. The decision to not pursue the framework from the current state to possible future options is naive, however, an adjustment of my goals and the manner in conversing about the planning is essential. I feel some lessons have been gained from it, namely the sharing of ideas without becoming to obsessive about it. Moreover, it is imperative how I proceed with my first rejection, an undeniable factor previously foreseen, however, overlooked from the ego-driven ideas about the endless scope of the project. In summary, a refined approach is required, and hopefully a more realistic and achievable outcome will be obtained. Finally, the process is a reminder about the power of the ego when giving free reign to create grandiose plans with limited attention placed on the smaller steps in life.

Decision to commence journalling

27th August 2014: London, United Kingdom

The date of the entry is fairy self-explanatory, marking today as the starting point for sharing the thoughts and feelings collected over the past eight months. My reason bending sharing these entries mirror the feelings for embarking on a mission to track the experiences of haing Cancer (a point to be later revealed). With that short introduction finished, the below content and future entries all follow a chronoligical order recorded on the date provided at the beginning of each entry.

Prior to commencing a number of points need to be established. Firstly. I’m not going to have rules governing the entries in this process, i.e. everyday an entry needs to be made, the content needs to relate to my situation or a sequential pattern needs to be followed. A prime example of not adhering to a sequential order will be demonstrted by not following immediately with a second or third point, and instead look more closely at indirect reference made above. ‘My situation’ is otherwise known as the Cancer that was inside my body at the start of the year. By not labelling it as Cancer questions whether I have accepted the reality of the situation or if the terminology is used as a strategy to undermine it’s influence whilst enhancing my own control. From this very initial paragraph it is evident that this and many other topics require continuous revisiting and also establishes a theme about the somewhat subtle and more direct attempts I make at finding a stratergy to manage my health and overall life.

Second point, and being brutally honest is about the audience and purpose of these entries. Yes, the use of ‘these entries’ indicates a commitment to continuing this process, which then leads me to wonder whether my ego is largely at play here, screaming “it’s showtime, lets put this together to write a book or use a guide when running the groups that I have envisioned”. The group is a seperate idea whereby focusing on supporting individuals with Cancer and ideas for how individuals & carers both understand, process and prepare for their upcoming or present situations arising from their Cancer diagnosis. I am fully aware that the idea requires timescales and deadlines to actually see the idea become a reality. Otherwise, it will is just be like the market stall in London, the creation of an app or numerous other ideas that have gained my full attention than faded quickly into a past of thinking ‘what if’.
So back to the journal, the purpose/audience and the need for honesty. I would like to think that it may be useful to collect some of my thoughts and then someday, who knows, why not dream big and think that groups will be running and a selfhelp book can be published. Already, a degree of fear is noticed whilst writing this first entry. Consciously I will write, ‘how I will use the material’ opposed to ‘how the material will be used’. I feel this terminology places me in a position that creates a future for me, a future of life and to hijack words by others, a future of survival. All sounding very dramatic, however, it is the features of my stratergy to work towards achieving long-term health and well-being. Furthermore, in a more pragmatic view, it can be used to track my thoughts, reactions, celebrations and challenges to equip me for future scenarios.

Third point, the timing of the journal. Why didn’t I start writing once ‘my situaiton’ started? Well, it seems rather simple, and is clearly demonstrated by two key words, motivation and meaning! Many direct/subtle remarks about writing a journal were made from the very beginning. Plus, the message was reinforced in a book read from Dr Ian Gawler (how to cure cancer), however, there was a lack of any motivation in undertaking the activity. Furthermore, it had no meaning in my life. Interestingly, I have tracked the physical exercises completed, symptoms and my eating/drinking habits prior to the escalation of hearing the news that I had Caner, yet, I didn’t have the need or could not find purpose in writing a journal. The logical question surely then must be, why now? I think as noted before, it is whether I use this for personal reflection to track how I was thinking and what I have applied throughout the process or if this in someway takes shape to help others. Already, a sense is felt whereby both examples outline the main obstacle requiring attention. The obstacle is whether I am going to survive. The response must entail a level of normality in these thoughts, however, recognising that I cannot entertain them. Instead, I need to create, dream and focus on that loving, happy, wholesome and healthy life awaiting me.

A shift off topic occurred again. Maybe the prior passage speaks for itself, i.e. that my motivation wasn’t focused on writing a journal. Rather, my belief and energy was directed completely to getting through it all. The reason for writing now, well, is it optimistic to think further entries will follow symbolising a future and the realisation of my dreams. Also, the thought came to me and like many aspects of our lives, there needs to be a number of elements in place to the formation of a tangible item, whatever that may be. So why now, eight months after surgery did I start writing? It followed a discussion with a manager at work. Before we got onto the speaking about cases, we were having one of those engaging conversaitons where you can bounce all the accummulated informaition onto someone and also listen to what they are saying. Mind you, he has also had a close personal encounter with Cancer. Therefore, a degree of comfort is found, and he simply asked whether I am writing any or all of this down, to which I replied no. When leaving, the thought came to my mind and seemed like a completely necessary task to start working on.