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.
24th November 2015: Sydney, Australia
Could it be the case that meeting someone and really connecting with them allows you to see a bright awaiting future, opposed to the dark prospect you once thought was your reality?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
12th April 2015: Sydney, Australia
A continuation of feeling well seems to be building momentum. It has now been many days since a bout of nausea has been experienced with my energy stocks also seemingly not depleted. Consequently, I have been much more social, a feature eliciting a sense of normality into my life. In addition, I am going to sleep, basking in the comfort of my bed. An experience lost as long as memory allows. Admittedly, in the social arena my complete confidence is still lacking, particularly resulting from the unshifting Cancer narrative I seem bound within. My self-awareness reinforces the origins of the unshifting narrative directly stemming from my internal thought process, however, as previously mentioned, momentum feels to be building.
I would like to say the battle is coming to a close, and the last appointment with my Professor has only reinforced these feelings. Admittedly, I have long advocated for not setting timescales in regards to the length of my treatment, however, periods of happiness flow throughout my thoughts in relation to the approaching prospect of once again resuming what would be deemed a normal life. The corresponding challenge is to ensure the avenue adopted in achieving the state of wellness within my mind and body throughout the entirety of this process continues after the treatment ceases. It is undeniable that to the outside world the previous sentence would not necessarily be shared, however, personally regardless of the circumstances faced, I feel to have found a security within my self. A defining factor I wish continues and flourishes when the next stage of my life begins.
7th April 2015: Sydney Australia
Recovery from Cancer or preparation for life is the paradox currently churning through my thoughts. If applying the question to my life, I would definitely describe my current status as preparing for life. I acknowledge the view may shift according to my feelings, and the fact of many areas in my life needing to improve, however, I will not allow the narrative about myself a year after my operation to still be placed in debilitated state. Instead, the proposed reframe symbolises the physical, mental, financial and social factors associated with Cancer are all apart of a process towards personal growth.
6th April 2015: Avoca Beach, Central Coast of New South Wales
Easter is a time of the year whereby I catch up with family, and has recently become a time for future options to be discussed. Particular periods on the calendar make comparisons of my circumstances from last year to now more defined. On reflection, it was interesting to relive some of the memories about my condition last year. For example, my weight, skin colour & intricacies of the surgery are some memorable examples of the discussion. Admittedly, the discussion elicits no negative emotion at all. Rather, the recollections only reinforces the progress I feel has been made thus far, and provides motivation to allow further progress to be made.
Naturally, conversation also shifts to future options, and again, a confidence is felt in expressing my thoughts and emotions. At present my plans are fairly brief. I will be going to Indonesia, hope to implement the designed programme later this year, and a return to work will occur next year. I understand the statement seems arrogant whilst also contradicting previous comments about setting timeframes upon myself, however, currently my chain of thought is firmly fixed on total recovery, and I have self-belief the points will come to fruition.