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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Misdirect goal setting

7th November 2015: Sydney, Australia

Personal development is all about progression in any identified area in your life. Typically, the process of establishing goals is seen as an essential step towards achieving your goals. Now, bearing this in mind, I am curious as to whether my recent chain of thoughts have been misdirected. Basically, the entirety of my focus was to remain alive. If we were to break down the meaning of that goal, I think it is actually a rather harmful state of mind. It is not like I am scrapping for food, in need of shelter or avoiding danger. Really, my goals seem to reflect an underlying vulnerability. A superior approach would have been to be more specific. For instance, what do I want from my ideas/career, how do I want relationships in my life to look, what type of lifestyle am I seeking, how do I want to be progressing in my physical/emotional rehabilitation, and what do I want to be fuelling my body with. On reflection, my goals were once structured in such a way with timeframes underpinning each goal, however, I allowed myself to drift into the abyss of confusion and uncertainty. Ultimately, placing me back to a state of mind not conducive to really make the intended changes in my life.

Saltwater is the ultimate cure

21st August 2015: Sydney, Australia

Today, I once again had the feeling of my bare feet walking upon the heated gravel whilst the sun spread its warmth and glory upon my wet hair. It was a familiar walk, one completed for over twenty years, however, one aspect separating the walk from many other occasions was the pure joy experienced in knowing I had just completed my first swim in the saltwater since my operation. Honestly, on reflection, I believe the smile beaming from my face could have competed with anyone in the world.

The walk appears to have reinforced the reality of the circumstances unfolding around me, especially the progress made in six weeks. Limited restrictions were felt throughout the entirety of the swim, with a close only resulting from an intention of not wanting to push myself. In conclusion, I feel extremely fortunate to be back utilising the natural environment in the hot sun, and am filled with excitement of what awaits over the summer months.

My own retreat!

6th August 2015: Hunter Valley, New South Wales, Australia

Yesterday, I made reference to my current dwellings resembling a retreat, and on reflection, an avoidance of initially labelling the place a retreat resulted from a modern interpretation of the meaning associated with the term. Namely, an exclusive and expensive place whereby your health is promoted via a range of differing options. Now, if we were to make a comparison from my current dwellings to anywhere else, I do not feel any more benefits could be obtained. In reality, my friends and I are on very our own retreat, and fortunately, the typically exorbitant costs associated with a retreat have been eliminated. We are secluded from the wider community; engrossed within a natural landscape; eating hand picked fruit and vegetables, and living a life operating on a pace whereby there is ample opportunity to safely explore the concept of “self”. In addition, the company of close friends has considerable advantages, especially bearing in mind my current need to have people supporting me.

The significance of having close friends should not be underestimated or categorised simply as a selfish need due to my limited mobility. Of course, it is extremely helpful to have support to ensure I do not over exert myself, however, the company of my friends play a vital role in assuring my family members that I am safe whilst importantly establishing a joyful and positive atmosphere for the entirety of the group. Furthermore, the complete independence and freedom allows the creation of an atmosphere where no time regulations or stress are placed upon us. I completely recognise the biased stance put forth, however, I honestly feel this place is the ultimate environment conducive for my current circumstances, and would most definitely opt for this place above and beyond any alternate available options.

Recovery time from hospital

19th July 2015: Westmeed Hospital, Sydney, Australia

It seems a lot of the contributing stressors in regards to my admission in hospital have ceased whilst the pain is also lessening by the day. In addition, further positive results were obtained from the latest blood samples. Ultimately, meaning I am ready for the first burning procedure scheduled tomorrow. Personally, the unfolding events reinforce the strong belief I have in terms of my future prospects, and I honestly feel I will simlpy be able to reflect on this stage of my life in years to come. The increase in optimism has shifted my thinking towards the period of discharge, and in the first instance my focus will be to recommence gentle yoga once permitted. A change in location is also being considered, namely, a temporary move to Byron Bay to get a taste of the summer earlier than Sydney while also providing an overall environment conducive to my healing and recovery.

The recent dealings with the Australian Government surrounding my benefits has most definitely influenced the decision to temporary explore alternative domestic warmer locations to reside. I will not go into great depths about my recent dealings due to the refusal of allowing such negative emotions to further impact my wellbeing. A brief overview of events entails significant frustration at the inconsistent information received on numerous occasions, a stop of payments, and finally, notification of having the right to travel overseas removed till September 2016. It should be noted that the decision even excludes me from going overseas to seek health treatments to support my health and wellness. A point I strongly disagree, however, as noted, I will not allow such circumstances to negatively influence my outlook. Therefore, all thoughts about this will cease. Instead, I will begin planning for period after my discharge, including where I will live and what goals will be established to work on surpassing any previous levels of health, wellness and success achieved in my life.

Physical, emotional and mental strains of Cancer…

1st May 2015: Sydney, Australia

A possible flaw has been identified in the framework I designed to help others with Cancer. Initially, my planning was based on the idea of challenging attendees in a similar manner to others in the community who engage in group work, however, recent circumstances in my life brought the matter to surface, namely, the limited emphasis I placed on the possible physical and mental capacity of future participants. On reflection, I feel my intentions reflect the personal strategy created to ensure I faced the duration of time on chemotherapy with a belief of undermining the impact it would have on my life. I acknowledge many would suggest overlooking the impact of treatment for people is negligent, and I must add, of course consideration was made to such a blatant point, however, I feel sufficient attention was not directed to the area.

The events leading to a shift in my thinking again derive from the level movement in my life, and most likely links to memories elicited from viewing past photos. In summary, I have developed a tailored plan in regards to the level of movement that will feature on a weekly basis. My reasoning for tailoring the plan as such results from a knowledge of avoiding physically over exerting myself whilst recognising the great importance needed on recovery time to combat levels of fatigue experienced. The fact my programme is much less intense compared to one in place should I not be receiving treatment is a clear example of the need to also design the framework accordingly. I do recognise the main focus on movement in my life, and some may argue this may not be a suitable example when making comparisons with mental fatigue. In response, I would advise those people give equal weight to mental and physical fatigue, and my reasoning derives from previous study undertaken over the past year whereby I realised that regardless of whether it is physical, mental or even emotional fatigue, the end result is the same. It is for this very reason, I will explore avenues to decrease the load on future people who hopefully partake in my programme.