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.

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Can the antioxidants in red wine be helpful for Cancer?

4th August 2015: Sydney, Australia

Two days ago the topic was Cannabis oil, yesterday we touched upon sunshine, so it is rather fitting to make red wine the focal point of discussion today. Upon first waking up this morning, I was researching about the varying types. Obviously, my intention was not to awkwardly shuffle my way to a bottle shop in order to purchase some wine for the day. Rather, further explore the supposed health benefits associated with red wine, and decide whether a glass of red wine aligns more with my future planning compared to say, a cider as was being consumed prior to finding out the tumour had regrown. In all honesty, I would be really stretching the meaning attached to ‘thatsortofhealthyguy’ if the first thought I had when waking up revolved around ways to obtain some alcohol!

My initial interest in opting for a glass of red wine over a beer commenced when first making lifestyle changes following the initial surgery. Supposed health benefits of red wine are commonly thought to be accurate, and my interest sparked when reading about specific options, particularly, the anticancer properties associated with certain wines from different regions around the world. The interest did not last long, mainly due to a feeling of acidity within my stomach when drinking a glass. Ultimately, I chose to virtually stop drinking, before a cider or two gradually began to feature within my social life.

I am now at the stage of revisiting the topic of red wine for future planning, and a review of the information saved from my previous research lead me into purchasing a bottle of Malbec. I actually enjoyed the wine, experienced no side-effects, and will be looking to buy another in the future. The information I have read suggests red wine, especially Malbec from Mendoza in Argentina or Madiran from the Gers region in Southwest France has some of the highest concentrate of Oligomeric Proanthocyanidin (OPC), making it a better choice of alcohol for my situation. To my understanding, OPC is derived from grape seed extract, and is alleged to be the most powerful known antioxidant. It is thought to reduce tissue damage, strengthens blood vessels, improves blood circulation, reduces inflammation, detoxifies the body, multiplies the effects of Vitamin C and other agents, protects and brain and nerves, and forces Cancer cells to commit suicide.

I should note, it is naive to consider a glass of red wine as a magical cure, however, when weighed against other options if opting to drink, then it does seem to be the better option. My hope is some people much more knowledgable than me in this area read this blog, and add some comments to help me and others make more informed choices in the future.

A walk down memory lane..

17th January 2015: Sydney, Australia

I had thought attention on my Cancer has been decreasing over time, and had hoped for this to continue throughout the many more prosperous years to follow. I still don’t think an example today needs to shift my future course, however, an event to possibly reconsider the situation in terms of the impact rather than the attention. A conversation with my mum yesterday brought me to this position. For the first time, my mum provided details of her feelings during the three days after receiving the phone call when I informed them that I had a tumour. On a personal level, I was happy in revisiting some of the decisions made, including the avoidance of going to full details with my parents over the phone, namely in relation to the size of the tumour. One specific moment was the initial contact made when holding a conversation with my dad, and to note, I knew the tumour was approximately 15cm, and was thought to be Cancerous. Parts of the conversation entailed:
Dad: Well how big is it?
Me: Pretty big
Dad: A grape?
Me: bigger
Dad: Orange?
Me: bigger
Dad: Grapefruit
Me: Yeah about that, it’s pretty big

Now, some may argue honesty was needed, however, I completely disagree. The main points were conveyed, namely, I had a Cancer, and secondly, it was fairly large. In addition, plans were exchanged about my care and when results would be available. The interesting and upsetting information for me was what followed. Mum said that Dad went to the city the next day and cried the whole day, then the following day, both mum and dad followed the same route as the day previous, yet this time they were both crying. For me, that right there is evidence of the impact of Cancer!

I also feel a chain of events directly caused by that conversation unfolded throughout the weeks and months to follow. Similar to any grieving process, evident negative events seemed to surface, and in this instance, an increase in stress and worry compounded by the drinking of alcohol seemed to have featured within the family home. I am not at all meaning to highlight the negative points. Simply, describe some of secondary factors associated with Cancer. On a positive note, the support that continues to be accessible seems unmatched, and the very factors in life that are invaluable and forever remembered. It must be noted that the focus are all internal descriptions, and I wonder what factors will be remembered and live on for my parents. I imagine, our memories will greatly vary!