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.
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.
An undeniable disparity exists between the time taken to obtain the current level of mobility compared to the period post-surgery 18 months ago. I strongly believe the difference contributes to the maintenance of my overall health since making changes to my lifestyle. I recognise many may disagree, citing a belief that a second procedure on the same area on the body is less demanding. Admittedly, I can the logic in this stave, however, will stand firmly in believing the major changes derive from the mindset created leading up to the surgery, compounded by a reduction in stress surrounding the entire process. In addition, the focus placed on nutrition and movement over the past year has surely placed my body in the very best position to heal and recover in such a short period of time.
The factors mentioned above reinforce the need to invest further on varying aspects within my life, including an emphasis on fuelling my body wholly with real food. I must note that again I will not subscribe to any diet. Instead, the belief of promoting my health through eating whist placing the least amount of stress on my body will be continued.
For those interested, please message for details of a typical approach to food adopted on a daily basis for those interested.
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!
I have found the following quote extremely useful in helping find a place for my actions and behaviours over the weekend. I must also add, it makes me also appreciate this exact moment, and not be burdened by perceived past failings or potential future fears.
The quote was made by Damien Echols, a member of infamous ‘The Memphis Three’. Echols stated, “The thing I like most about time is that it’s not real. It’s all in the head. Sure, it’s a useful trick if you wanna meet someone at a specific place in the universe to have tea or coffee. But that’s all it is, a trick. There’s no such thing as the past, it exists only in the memory. There’s no such thing as the future, it exists only in our imagination. If our watches were truly accurate the only thing they would ever say is now”.
I was extremely surprised with the ease of leaving my place in Bali to arrive home in Sydney. Obviously, I would have liked to be jumping off the plane after returning from another month surfing waves in Sumatra. In saying that, current circumstances are what they are, i.e, Current! Thus, unchangeable in the present moment. Moreover, questions of ‘what if’ in the context noted above will not change anything whilst symbolising a sense of loss, regret, and failure. All points not beneficial to my view of the upcoming period as another challenge, and importantly my pathway to greatness.
The approaching time away in Indonesia will see a change of climate, with daily temperatures approximately 30 degrees. A point, definitely eliciting a feeling of happiness when considering I will miss most most of the winter here in Sydney. Interestingly, it seems my infatuation with the need for more sunshine stemmed from the fairly lengthy spell in the UK, and it it possibly intensified by reading about the benefits of receiving a regular dose of natural Vitamin D. In addition, the fact of me currently not working results in having more time to pay attention to the environment around me. Therefore, noticeable difference in aspects of the environment, including the amount of sunshine are observed.
Another factor associated with not currently working relates to the current pace of time, and although I am happy, content and attempting to cherish the present. I would lying if I didn’t feel excitement about the prospect of heading to Indonesia, coming off my medication or commence working again. Always whilst on the topic of timeframes, a specific reference comes to mind. It was made by a holocaust survivor whom stated that his life today resulted from a belief of being ok, however, never allowing hope in regards to certain timeframes of a release to be the focus of his thoughts. The person in discussion saw others firmly focused on being released at certain times, and consequently became further deflated and even lead to death upon discovering their time in Auschwitz would not come to their desired end date. Interestingly, the words will remain with me forever, yet, I am unable to implement the advice into my own life.
The decision to rest yesterday has proved beneficial with all pain associated with my chest region passing, consequently, leading to a complete reduction in worry and concern. The decision to rest is not always easy as I’m continually focusing on improving my strength and willpower. I must note, my acknowledgment of both factors not being specific to physical capabilities, however, the lasting effect of the surgery has placed me into a position whereby I wish to surpass all previous levels of health and well-being, inclusive of my physical strength. The tracking of all my daily movement is greatly supporting my ability to schedule rest into the week, and I feel the shoulder injury sustained prior to leaving London definitely acts as a reinforcement to ensure rest features within my week. Therefore, it would be extremely naive to overlook the frequency of days within the week when I fail to rest.
The feelings today were enhanced by other positive news in regards to the Sunflower Framework. There is no certainty of the framework progressing from an ongoing piece of work stored in my inbox, however, both a representative from Sydney University and Chris O’Reily’s Lifehouse have contacted me with out the outlook of further discussing the idea. It is rather encouraging, especially when recently my focus surrounded all the barriers involved in making the idea a reality. I am hopeful there will be some momentum over the coming weeks/months, but, am very realistic about the challenges ahead and the difficult to be faced. The contact with both parties has provided the necessary motivation to continue working towards producing a finalised quality product. I could simply say it will just be a case of wait and see, however, that would already in some way symbolise a mediocre outlook to the whole project, and an acceptance of the project not progressing at all. In summary, it leads me back to the need of being focused whilst eliciting a sense of accountability. The project will not advance without my drive, hardwork, and importantly the essential support from my close friends and family. I also need to recognise the input of Dr Lawrence Tahm and Marcus Pearce from a podcast called ‘The Champions Mind’ in really helping my mind-state get in a position required to write this journal, work on the project and take the steps necessary towards making the idea into a success.
1st October 2014: Sydney, Australia
The flu symptoms are still continuing to have a firm grip on my mind and body. I can only describe it as what I imagine a forceful wrestling movement deployed by trained military personnel would feel like when being dragged into submission. My body is immobilised, throat gagged, mind numbed and aching from head to toe. Yes, a massive over-exaggeration, and simply just the common symptoms felt when struck by a cold. It is testing my will though, particularly as a churning in my stomach and a whisper of the fear lingers in my consciousness. The fear derives from thoughts about the likeness of the current bodily sensations compared to the period leading up to being placed in what I deem a modern age Bedlam.
Modern age Bedlam! Details won’t be disclosed about the location of the hospital nor will criticism follow, yet, the sharing of a ward with five other men, two of which who had dementia are just the beginnings of a picture built to portray the surroundings of the hospital I was first admitted to after last experiencing a sore throat, bodily aches and fatigue. It should be mentioned that a stabbing sharp pain in my stomach also was factoring into the decision to be hospitalised, and I recognise this is not present, however, an uncontrolled mind can entertain the possibility of certain signs holding much greater significance then just a cold or flu.
The certainty believed in knowing it is just the flu is an underlying feature of my Sunflower framework, particularly the focus on a clear and directed mindset. The question to be posed though would entail the degree of hypocrisy attached to only knowing I am ok when the MRI scheduled for next week produces these results. Is that not a contradiction to having a certainty built in my mindset? I had a feeling of invincibility when approaching my last scan, with a certainty of my body not under any attack, however, the flu and shoulder problems have both placed me in a position whereby I am looking forward to the MRI next week. A positive result will enable me in the future to have the knowledge to normalise certain circumstances whilst reinforcing the positive belief held that I will fall into the 30% of people who survive the type of Cancer previously inside me.