The magnetic attraction of Cancer

7th October 2015: Sydney Australia

I am coming to understand a Cancer Diagnosis can have a similar function to a magnet. I do not wish to offend anyone, and am generally happy to talk with others about a Cancer experience, however, I do not always want to be surrounded by stories about Cancer. Seriously, it can be rather tiresome to constantly hear about that poor fellow or that lovely lady who suddenly found out they have Cancer. Yes, I feel for them and their loved ones, and at times would be more than happy to give the undivided attention needed to listen to the story people feel such a need to share with me, however, at other times, I simply do not have the energy or wish to know about the ever increasing tragic stories.

I hope not to have offended anyone. It is just a mood I am, partly due to the fact of the time not even being midday, and already I have heard two stories about Cancer. On reflection, maybe it is somewhat contradicting to be writing about my experiences whilst simultaneously developing a programme for people with Cancer, yet blocking myself from the stories of others.

I wonder how others manage if they encounter such situations?

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Questions about the timeframes for my body to heal all

5th October 2015: Sydney, Australia

It is extremely difficult to compare the progression of my physical capacity from my first surgery to how I am after three months since my second surgery. The point was not previously registering, and only came to my attention today when a pain was felt during the completion of a fairly basic movement. Prior to this moment, I was under the false impression of believing the period of recovery was much faster.

Upon looking back at my calendar, it is evident that a period of almost four months passed till I was in the position of having the ability to properly exercise again. At present, I have been slowly adding further degrees of movement into my life, however, obstacles continue to be faced on each attempt. The surprising point about the incident today was the fact of knowing I could have completed the movement at the same amount of weeks last year. Just to note, I am not overly stressed, and know my body will heal. It is more a curiosity surrounding why my body is not making better progression, especially when other tasks have been easy to reimplement into my life. In summary, a positive can be drawn from the waiting process, namely, the motivation to start implementing my full planned routine. A routine designed to land me in a position of reaching a level of optimal health.

Is love the missing piece of a complex puzzle?

22nd August 2015: Sydney, Australia

The quote below leads me to wonder whether a truly happy and healthy life can be obtained whilst single. What do others think?

“Dating is fun and a necessary time of play and exploration. But once we have found the one love and said ‘yes’ to this love, we enter a common reality, the naked truth of who we are in ordinary life, with the potential of deep personal growth in this connection”.

Questions about life

14th August 2015: Melbourne, Australia

I am currently in Melbourne for a two day summit hosted by the creators of a podcast called, The Wellness Guys. There is no guessing what the theme is based upon, and honestly, the timing could not be more apt. A lack of writing over the last week resulted from a questioning about the direction in my life. Admittedly, it may sound rather strange if reading the last post, and it should be noted I was in a very tranquil state when away, however, the mood quickly shifted upon returning home. All week an emphasis on my narrative was at the forefront of my consciousness, and I can truthfully say a belief surfaced about the need for a change in my life. An overwhelming sense of simply stagnating in a hole of limbo with limited prospects currently available in my life was present. Importantly, the whole system of thoughts and worries stemmed for an emphasis on a narrative about my life. I have personally seen my story recently based on strength, positive changes and personal growth, however, I questioned what evidence supports this. Some may argue I am overly hard on myself. In response, I would say this is a favourable explanation, and in no way represents a narrative based on strength and overall progression.

Hospital is becoming a too familiar environment

2nd August 2015: Sydney, Australia

My eyes opened this morning to the type of pain I have come to understand requires immediate attention. I opted to attend the local hospital, opposed to being naive, and simply numbing the pain with medication. Luckily, to my relief scans revealed the pain stemmed from a small collection of fluid and internal bleeding, a fairly typical outcome for the surgery. On reflection, I possibly overreacted, however, the peace of mind is priceless. Furthermore, the circumstances reinforced the need to cease current attempts at weaning off my pain-relief medication.

As noted yesterday, I commenced a course of Cannabis Oil as a means of working I’m conjunction with my Chemotherapy to ensure I remain Cancer free, and currently it seems there are other advantages in taking the oil. Most notably, the alertness remaining in my thinking and interactions throughout the day. Moreover, I am not feeling heavily sedated or having a sense of loosing a degree of control over my behaviours and actions. Obviously, I acknowledge it is very early in my three month trial, and the primary goal will be difficult to gauge, however, admittedly, I am very pleased with the outcomes thus far, and hope for similar feelings to be experienced over the coming months. To conclude, I would encourage those to comment on my recent decision, regardless of whether they agree or disagree. Personally, the most important aspect of this is to connect with others to hopefully support others who are yet to face the battle some of have already encountered.

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?

Complete intoxication is not the right coping mechanism

29th June 2015: Sydney, Australia

I once made reference to a quote stating, “some people in the world need a tap on their shoulder to make changes in their lives”. Initially I played with the phrase, adjusting it to my own circumstances by adding, “some people in the world need a tap on their shoulder to make changes in their lives whilst others needing a gigantic push”. Now, I pose the question of what happens if nether the tap or push is sufficient to lead to sustainable change? Does it then just signal no other chances at living will be provided? I ask these questions following a night of behaviours and lifestyle choices I thought had been in my past. Just to note, I am not referring to anything malicious. Rather, complete and utter intoxication over a period of two days. Interestingly, it happened in the midst of all this waiting. I ponder whether some significance is associated with the decision? If so, will the direction be an inevitable death at a much earlier age than I ever hoped? Alternatively, will it be a moment, recognised as a coping mechanism, implemented unconsciously to block out all the uncertainty awaiting me? Finally, could it just be evidence of me changing on a permanent basis, and the night was a singular necessary step backwards to ensure the long lasting life does in fact become a reality.