4th March 2015: Sydney, Australia
Recently, I have been thinking about a model to base a private consulting practice upon. The idea consists of having two separate arms, targeting both people with Cancer and others in the community with varying concerns. The two populations would be served by two separate theories. Namely, the Sunflower Framework for people with Cancer and the MESA principles, another model I devised to work with young people or adults with any number of concerns. The separation caters to a wide range of the community, with an underlying theme connecting the two principles together.
Obviously, a lot more work is required to bring the idea to fruition, with advertising, the creation of a website and other factors to be considered, however, it seems a realistic, achievable and feasible option to explore when I am ready to renter the workforce. I understand the theory has not been explained, and is untested. Therefore, further focus and attention is required on the matter, including the undertaking of a process (peer reviews and consultations with other professionals/academics) similar to the efforts involved in launching the Sunflower Framework.
Further updates will be provided as and when attention is directed to the matter.
20th January 2015: Sydney Australia
My whole body ached from the moment of waking, consequently a sluggish approach to the day followed with the majority of the day spent resting. The only moment of relief followed the remedial massage enjoyed in the afternoon. The day reinforced the need to ensure rest is factored into my daily routine plus made me consider the role of love and close companionship in correlation with a recovery from Cancer. I am basing this statement on the past three weeks whereby my girlfriend had been staying in Sydney, and interestingly these weeks were the most active had since my operation, yet I hardly experienced any serious bouts of nausea. Another factor was the increase in motivation to partake in activities compared to times when I am spending time alone. It seems there is almost a fine line between undertaking my usual schedule of activities, including yoga, surfing, reading, writing and exercise and exerting myself in a range of varying activities. I guess it should be noted that a typical day did see an afternoon crash, and this is a point not to be overlooked when reflecting on the time with a sense of nostalgia. Logically, the discussion leads me to consider the matter of employment and when will be the appropriate time to renter the workforce. It has been a matter at the forefront of my thinking recently due to a state of curiosity about whether a comfort in not working will be hard to shift. Ultimately, making it actually difficult to feel prepared to commence working again. Lastly, and importantly, the sense of working was much stronger in April/May last year when I was actively looking for positions compared to a somewhat acceptance currently held about my incapacity to work. Thus, limited interest and attention is presently placed on employment. Instead, my focus is completely directed to achieving and sustaining a level of health that surpasses previously experienced. The words I finish with entail a question of whether love to a close complain is always present in my life leads to my overall capacity to complete all tasks, including a renewed interest in work? Or am I just a hopeless failed romantic at heart?
18th September 2014: London, United Kingdom
The last day of work tomorrow singals the closure of almost four years of my adult life. Interestingly, a reflection on the time is telling about the person who walked into the position and who I am now. Similar to all, changes were bound to happen when exposed to other cultures, home comforts were stripped away leaving me to test myself in a new city, and a transfer into my thirties was undertaken with a different partner to the one featuring throughout most of my twenties. The relevance of Cancer to this? Well for arguments sake, completely nothing! The very process of ageing and living in a different country thousands of miles away from family and friends will usually lead to some degree of change. In contrast, the experience of having Cancer changes almost everything, and the closure of this part of my life seems to be of greater magnitude, especially in regards to my work whereby the Cancer appeared to have touched many of my friends and colleagues.
Although a generalisation, work usually occupies five out off seven days. Personally, it was another area where the internal changes occurring within my life were clearly evident. From the sudden departure to returning with varied workings hours and drastic reductions in after work activity all cemented the world of change that now existed in my life. In regards to the context of change, I am referring to both internal and external factors. My adopted lifestyle choices and overall outlook are based on my created principles to achieve a healthy life, however, externally, the shock and weight of a Cancer diagnosis can lead to a changed perception of you by others. To many, a diagnosis of Cancer typically correlates with a spoken or whispered statement, such as, ‘oh the poor thing’ or ‘how terrible’. It is acknowledged that this isn’t always the case, and it is not at all a criticism. I simply view it as a common response from others about Cancer. My position is to see how this narrative can be used to reshape my the experience, and the attempts being made are to follow my plan to achieve a greater level of success in all areas of my life.
Regardless of the content, a narrative or story exists for all of us. Within the working enviornment, I may have once been the Australian with the curly hair or something completely unknown to me. I am curious as to whether that picture remains, or if my story has now been amended to include the obvious. I placed significant emphasis on my future personal narrative from the very moment of being wheeled out of the hospital ward to give my family a thumbs up to signal ‘I’m ok’. I feel the creation of a positive narrative builds the foundation for others to share in the story, and consequently lead to a reinforced belief in a strength and capacity in achieving longterm health and well-being. I’m unsure of the pictures held in the minds of many, however, I am certain that story would have changed over the past year.