Like Gollum I am drawn to something…

9th December 2014: Sydney, Australia

I will persist with this theme till I rid my body of this cold/flu. An emergence of a deflated mood and associated thoughts has surfaced. Perspective is most definitely needed on my circumstances, and I refuse to spiral down the depths of my thought process for such normal occurrences. Instead, the matter was just needing to be mentioned, adding my clear intentions to move on. The question posed though is how do I just describe my feelings and move on? Instantly, I seem drawn to negative aspects that seems apparent within my thinking, similar to the insatiable desire Gollum has to once again obtain the ring. My limited knowledge of The Lord of the Rings needs to be raised, and admittedly the comparison may not have truly represented the lack of motivation and negative overall outlook on life seemingly evident within my thinking. The incapacity to exercise, complete yoga or surf appears to be an antecedent to a certain chain of thoughts, however, interestingly, the process of writing, albeit brief has already relived some of the destructive patterns circulating throughout my mind.

The relevance of exercise in my life most definitely stems from the narrative created about the need to progress and evolve in every-way possible. Again, focus is on the physical aspects of my life, yet, it stretches far wider. For example, the lack of motivation to either write a journal entry or commence preparation for the imminent meeting at Sydney University for my group proposal shows I am not completely dedicated to progressing in all areas of my life. In addition, if we were to look at my social connections you would see a detachment from those around me, and finally, the renewed focus on meditation has again limited with it difficult to obtain a state within my body and mind allowing me to direct attention. I feel a counter argument is to follow, and in essence the basis of the argument relates to how a cold/flu effects other people. It would not be inaccurate to suggest similar changes would be noticed when others are not feeling the best. Although, I recognise this, I am still unable to separate myself from the need and importance I place on trying to excel in my life. Whether this is actually being implemented or not is obviously debatable, and external feedback would only be the real way of quantifying this neurotic and maybe delusion view on my life. I wonder what degree of neuroticism would actually exist in my life if I did seek this external feedback.

How a garden can draw similarities to Cancer

21st November 2014: Sydney, Australia

I took a picture of my garden exactly three weeks ago before any plants were grown, and now after three weeks, most if not all vegetables and herbs have rapidly grown. Admittedly, the bean sprouts were the only actual item grown from seeds, with the remaining being tiny seedlings. The point made, is the entirety of the patch currently thriving. It is no surprise. The soil had been proven to a past success, ample exposure from the sun is on offer and the levels of water have been changed according to the heat, i.e. more water on days when temperature reaches thirty degrees. In addition, the chicken wire has so far withheld an anticipated invasion from the many creatures in the area, particularly the possums who are thought to be salivating at the prospect of seeing a new garden patch appear on the street.

I understand the entries may have slightly digressed over the past few days, and from the very onset it was established no set structure would govern the writing, however, just writing about a garden over three weeks seems a tad off topic right? Opinions may differ, some may draw on the supposed therapeutic benefits of having a garden. Benefits including, the accomplishment in seeing the growth of the herbs and vegetables into edible items; the sense of purpose obtained in maintaining the garden; the connection with nature, and the structure provided into your daily routine. I agree with all the above points, and could easily write specifically about the garden, especially the matter of maintenance, a factor seemingly not given sufficient attention in the planning and preparation stage. One point I failed to fully consider was the comparable growth of weeds with the vegetables and herbs.

On a personal level, the process with the garden has brought about similarities to my experience with Cancer, particularly, with attention on the attention placed on planning, however, my narrowed focused resulting in me overlooking an essential and blatant point of the whole process. Maintenance!
One would expect a person with any intention of starting a garden would be considering maintenance, and in some ways this had been a feature of my thinking. Again though, a narrowed vision lead me to solely focus on my priority of making the garden organic by not using pesticides. Ultimately, this limited my thinking about the importance of weeding. Hence, the similarities drawn with my Cancer experience. I definitely had a plan, vision and priorities established from the beginning, yet, the matter of longterm maintenance was not given equal thought. Yes, I had a belief in my approach being sustainable overtime, and a belief is of course a necessity. The question I ask myself though, is how strong will that belief remain overtime and whether if indeed it is sustainable, especially when the needs of focusing on my health slide from the top of my priorities list. I acknowledge the early stages of my Cancer experience are currently being endured, and I could easily be criticised for making such remarks at such a novel stage within my longterm journey. I think the likely unfolding scenario is bound to happen whereby family, work, financial commitments and an array other life stressors will raise in priority as time passes. Undoubtedly, there will always be a place for Cancer in my life, however, I do not foresee it not holding the same significance overtime. In saying that implicitly draws attention back to the matter of maintenance, especially when introducing the topic and relevance of complacency.

I recognise a slight change in approach (i.e. less attention on certain areas) already after 11 months, leading me feel further changes are bound to occur. I would like to think the changes have resulted from deploying the very strategies I propose in my Sunflower Framework, however, there have been times, very recently where I had to think about what is important to be implementing for my wellbeing and what is missing compared to what was featuring in my life during the periods of March or April of this year. Is that not a clear example of complacency creeping into my life? Particularly after 11 months! I am not at all suggesting, a direct focus on Cancer needs to be present for the entirety of your life as this could be counterproductive. I am reinforcing my belief about a place needing to be made for Cancer, inclusive of markings ingrained into your life to ensure you are making health promoting decisions throughout the entirety of your life. To conclude, I do not see this in a negative manner or in some ways a reflection of living a life in fear. In contrast, the promotion of general well-being and healthy living, a point I believe should remain consistent throughout all our lives, regardless of living through Cancer or not.

Has Cancer become your life?

4th September 2014: London, United Kingdom

In response to the email exchange, my chemotherapy increased today. An immediate measurement on the impact it had is difficult to define. It should be noted, I am aware the chemotherapy I receive differs greatly to others, and I can only empathise with those going for rounds of chemotherapy whereby the body is literally attacked, leaving the person in a state of ruin. As stated, I do empathise with those individuals and families and praise their strength and am working towards this not featuring within my future story.

In relation to my symptoms, I did have my usual afternoon crash, feeing very tired with my muscles and body both rigid whilst my mind was ticking over. The question is whether the relatively small increase in medication lead to these feelings or it is a matter of my mind telling me to expect feeling tired. One of the main messages needing to be established is the need to have an understanding of your thinking. The message is the very essence encompassing my outlook to Cancer, and is actually not solely applicable to Cancer but all aspects of life. It is not by any means a new idea, however, it is pivotal to my story thus far, and seems to be necessary to reinforce as it will hopefully will provide ideas to others about working their way around the seemingly unshifting boulder that has been placed in their middle of their road.

When discussing the matter of having an understanding of your thinking, it is ultimately due to feelings held about Cancer becoming your life. Well, it has become my life. I’m not in fear, and you certainly won’t hear me stating ‘why me’ nor will you see me searching and hoping for a cure. I must note at this time, this is my specific story and I know others won’t share the same view about their own Cancer and the Cancer ravaging their loved one’s, however, I am encouraging all to tap into their mind, using it to reshape their view and understanding of Cancer. In some cases, it is a heart breaking event causing the loss of life. For others, myself included, it strangely becomes liberating. For example, what are the first words you associate with the word Cancer? Just to share, the word that comes to my mind is life. Life, a total appreciation for it, a newly found learning curve, a challenging of beliefs, all of which is accompanied by a fresh perception of everything deemed to be health promoting or a contributor to undesired, insignificant and a detrimental stressor to my body.

How does this all link to my mind and the reshaping of a perception built about Cancer? Well, after the initial shock of hearing, and in my case seeing the news (look on doctors face, spoke volumes abut the seriousness of the circumstances without a word uttered), I was placing the illness, treatment and recovery all in a position whereby I would be ok, and would get through it. I did not know what it would entail and in a sense was naive, however, I did not get anchored into negative patters about death, worry and dying. Was I scared? Am I scared? Of course. In response, I am finding a place for it within my life, and I am achieving this by better using my thinking and linking this with my growing understanding of how the body works. All of this, has been sought from various readings, and is guiding me to my destined life of health and wellness. I think the idea of being positive needs to be connected to this point because I’m sure these words, deriving from a good place, need more explanation. Are we just to be positive about everything? Is being positive about everything normal, especially when faced with the prospect of dying? Of course not, as humans we experience a range of emotions, and to say ‘be positive’ in a sense dismisses what you are experiencing. It is not at all intentional and it partly arises from the discomfort some of us can feel when faced with such events, however, it is to be expected and is normal to not feel positive about everything. My advice would be to allow yourself to experience the emotions involved with your circumstances, however, be resourceful in equipping your mind with information and tools essential to intervening at the point your thinking becomes destructive. There is no magical set point for all of us, it is the preparation completed in advance to truly know yourself. I have a belief that my mind and body will be in the best position possible to protect me should an attack be launched again. Over the many readings, there are many points that have stayed with me, one of which is about the complexities of the mechanisms involved in you reading this. Take a moment to think about whether you are controlling your heat beating, your digestive system at work or the cells regenerating within your body. It is simple. No you’re not! The body is an amazing, resilient and evolved design, built to serve you. Therefore, it is in your power to further your learning about what you can do to know yourself and remain healthy.