Why why why!

9th December 2015: Sydney, Australia

Does anyone else have feelings where they are intent on entering a 100 metre sprint, but instead find you are actually at the starting blocks of the hurdles with many obstacles ahead? My reasoning for the above question stems from the disappointment encountered when visiting my Professor today. Prior to the appointment, I was focused on having discussions based around the timeframes for my chemotherapy to finish, inevitably placing me in a position whereby I am capable of re-entering the workforce in the new year. How circumstances can change. I walked out of the hospital with another two month supply of chemotherapy whilst weighed down by future predictions about how I can support a future family and find satisfaction in my choice of employment if needing to stay on chemotherapy for an indefinite period of time. Admittedly, I may be a little over dramatic, and should note my appreciation for life, especially in the short term, however, at times it seems the cloud of uncertainty hovering over me can temporary blind me to the love and gratitude I currently have for my life.

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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.

Fermented foods

27th August 2015: Sydney, Australia

My first attempt at exploring the area of fermenting foods is now in progress. The above picture shows my initial batch of homemade Kombutcha. Now, it is a matter of waiting till a week passes before I discover whether it was successful. If so, I can commence slowly adding the Kombutcha into my daily intake whilst proceeding to use the contents of the jar to make Kim Chi and Sauerkraut. Recent conversations based on the concept of both making and adding fermented foods into my diet has resulted in mixed responses. In many ways, it is very similar to how I first reacted when hearing about the method approximately a year ago. The question circulating through my thoughts relate to a hypothetical question of whether we were able to fast forward time to a year from now, and compare the responses of people then to now. My prediction would be for a lot more knowledge to exist on the area, and the introduction of fermented foods into menus and some forms or mass media are evidence of the momentum gaining on the area.

My day has not all been about fermenting foods, I have also found myself experiencing pain for the first time in a couple of weeks, and it seems to result from not adhering to the schedule of taking Cannabis Oil on a daily basis. I acknowledge the initial purpose was to work in collaboration with my body to kill any mutating cells should there be microscopic remains left, however, I was most definitely naive in overlooking the duel impact it was having. Most notably, the capacity of the oil to relieve the pain from the surgery. The reading on the oil before starting all seem to indicate I would not experience feelings commonly associated with consuming Cannabis. It is somewhat comical for this point to not be clearly reflected within the readings, and I feel this is essential for people to make informed decisions if they are to choose to explore this particular avenue. In saying that, I would like to finish the entry by asking people to place aside any preconceived ideas they may have about Cannabis, and solely focus on the benefits it appears to have in eliminating any nausea, fatigue or other side-effects associated with Chemotherapy. Points, I want others to not underestimate when hearing more in the future about the possible medicinal benefits of Cannabis, especially bearing in mind the openness many people have to all kinds of medicines in tablet form.

We all want a timeframe, the question is though.. Are they actually harmful?

17th July 2015: Westmeed Hospital, Sydney, Australia

I believe I will now finally adhere to never focusing on timeframes in terms of my recovery. It was a point heard very early in my Cancer experience, and continually I have failed to apply the term within my life. Consequently, low periods surfaced when a timeframe was not met, and as a result it felt like the foundation of my belief system slightly crumbled with each disappointment. Numerous examples in regards to the topic of timeframes can be drawn upon, and recently, my time in hospital has reinforced the need to not think of timeframes.

I was meant to leave hospital on Saturday with all three procedures complete. I was then informed the departure date would be two days ago plus an additional admission was required, and now I won’t be out till Tuesday (at earliest). Although it is a small matter, it is another example of delays and possible disappointment. I was literally five minutes away from having the needed procedure that was the reason for keeping me here till Tuesday, and I was just informed the surgical team did not read the notes provided by the Endocrine team regarding the levels of Cortisol essential for the procedure. So, now it has been delayed till the appropriate levels are administered intravenously. Obviously, major differences exist between a slight delay and other more important areas in my life. Plus, I am possibly overreacting, however, it has again made me consider the very poignant point first exposed to at the beginning of my Cancer experience.

Are patients empowered during their hospital stay?

14th July 2015: Westmeed Hospital, Sydney, Australia

I honestly believe the compounding events have resulted in a sense of me feeling like I have lost my voice. For instance, is it ok to not have a warm water when showering? Is it ok to simply submit to the nurses when trying to administer drugs you do not wish to take? Is it ok discard the lecture provided yesterday about having Liver Cancer as just a mistake?

Maybe some leeway is needed on the latter point, however, I strongly feel my input seems to have been removed from most, if not all decisions recently made regarding my health. Furthermore, when putting the circumstances into context, it seems the level of care does not reflect the situation for someone living in Australia with premium private health care. The conundrum then becomes one pondering the type of circumstances for many of those in a less fortunate position. I acknowledge how fortunate I am to have private health care, however, if I feel a loss in my input, then I am curious about the capacity for people to voice their opinion when severely impaired, lacking in support, discriminated against or simply overwhelmed by their circumstances?

To conclude, I hold grave doubts about the intentions behind certain policies when the focus is meant to foster empowerment in people, however, conversely the reality seems to ultimately result in people losing control over their own health. I would greatly appreciate words and other experiences to collate information as a means of gauging the current systems governing us?

Drowning in opiates…

12th July 2015: Westmeed Hospital, Sydney, Australia

I am writing in a dazed and confused state from the events endured last night. The circumstances seem evidence of the obstacles to be faced over the coming period. It commenced at approximately 10pm when a sensation of being utterly lost in a cloud of opiates became overwhelming. Consequently, a negative mindset surfaced whereby I felt extremely vulnerable, and when reflecting it is difficult to describe, however, basically my pain increased to an almost intolerable degree, and it was not till 5am when my medication was changed, knocking me asleep.

I am now awake, have had blood collected twice, feel heavily dazed, and not in a position to do anything except lie in bed focusing on past quotes to keep me balanced. The feeling is a perfect example of what I have been trying to explain to staff members about the need to find the balance between having the capacity that allows me to engage in activities whilst keeping the pain away. Hopefully, someone will soon understand this predicament!

A hospital room or scene from Kill Bill

11th July 2015: Westmeed Hospital, Sydney Australia

It has been two days since surgery, and honestly there is no comparison to the healing process post-surgery last time. An overview of my circumstances demonstrates an increased mobility, awareness and energy whilst having an appetite. Furthermore, my bodily functions have already reconnected, meaning there is no need for any concern about a possible future enema 😄

So, some details about the procedure and the planning will assist in grasping the current situation. Firstly, two similarities exist between the recent surgery and the previous surgery 18 months ago. Namely, the expected waiting time for my family exceeding the estimation by approximately eighth hours. Secondary, the epidural did not work, meaning a fair bit of pain was experienced when the anaesthetic wore off. In addition, the news I later received was that the operation was reminiscent of a scene from a Quentin Tarantino film with blood bursting out everywhere. My doctor actually stated, ‘the outcome seemed positive, it just reminded me of how surgery was completed 20 years ago’. Upon hearing the news caused little bother, the reassurance the surgery was successful nullified any concern for how the procedure was completed. In summary, I am very outcomes based, so am extremely happy hearing the end result seemed positive, regardless of the amount of blood spurting from my body. The next steps include, two more procedures under local anaesthetic to remove the spread of the little buggers to both my lungs. I have said it once, and believe the latest antics only demonstrate my previous thoughts about Cancer being quite the narcissistic character!