The questioning of everything in life

18th May 2015: Sydney, Australia

The timing of the upcoming MRI will greatly appease some of the minor concerns experienced over the past few days in relation to the ongoing symptoms of a cold. Admittedly, I am always trying able to normalise these times, however, the certainty obtained from the MRI results will certainly relieve some of the chatter occasionally floating into my consciousness about how well I actually am.

The overall effect of the last few days has left me in a position whereby a sense of equilibrium is missing from my life. Consequently, everything is questioned, leading me to both drift into a dreamlike state creating future scenarios whilst also feeling a sense of loss that has resulted from the Cancer experience. The end result is an inclination to feel a little low. I am aware there are going to be times like this, however, I would like to see myself more capable at deploying learned strategies to stay present.

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Time to switch my thinking and preparation..

22nd April 2015: Sydney, Australia

Another photo was taken today to coincide with my plans to track my recovery in pictures. The shot highlights the need for an increase in sunshine, and the changing of seasons from summer into winter. I was surprised to see the vast difference in my skin colour across the months, and it seems a greater level of physical health correlates with exposure to sunshine. The photos from July and December support these claims. Another noticeable change is the reappearance of the slant within my posture. A correction in my body thought to be fixed.

Interestingly, I have almost been writing for a year, and have plans to review the entires whilst travelling solo. One point coming to my mind is the actual benefits obtained in writing, and being more specific, I would say whether the process of writing makes me think more negatively? For instance, I was not writing at the corresponding time last year before heading to the UK, and consequently, I doubt a comparable level of concern would have been experienced regarding my health, and how my body would respond whilst away. On reflection, factors need to be considered, namely, the increase of Mitotane being administered, the familiarity of London and the prospect of living with my girlfriend at the time. All points possibly explain the differences in my preparation, however, the point of concern and worry needs to be focused upon regarding my upcoming trip. In reality, it seems I am more inclined to write about potential mishaps, compared to the prospect of spending two months in the sun, surfing magical waves and visiting Ubud to emerge myself within yoga for a period of time. It seems these latter points need to be at the forefront of my thinking when having doubts, especially when considering the hypothesis posed in the first paragraph about a greater level of health appears to correlate with an increase in sunshine. To conclude, it appears the solution has surfaced. It is really simple, basically I just need to get my head in the right frame of mind, not be so dour about everything, and imagine the fun times to be had!

An entry with a twist (part two)

18th April 2015: Sydney, Australia

Below is a message sent to a friend last night.

What a moment of contemplation. Friday night, just cleaned toilet after another bout of diarrhoea, look in the mirror to see a weathered face starting at me, and if I didn’t need another prompt, my dirty pants from this morning were in my reflection.

The content is fairly self-explanatory, and with a continuation of diarrhoea throughout the day, I can truly say feelings of anger, accompanied by sense of loss have been brought to surface. Of course, many others experience bouts of diarrhoea, and are upset, however, there is a fear attached to the circumstances that may symbolise a matter of greater importance. Maybe I am being dramatic, it just appears to be an ever frustrating process whereby no pleasure seems possible. I have almost reached the point of reviewing past entries to actually read accounts of happier times because currently I am bound within a hole of fear, misery and anger.

Drama, over-reaction and a whole heap of stress!!

6th March 2015: Sydney, Australia

I write this in a Endone haze, en-route to the dentist. At 5am last night, I woke to a throbbing agony coming from my mouth. I was only able to endure roughly five minutes of pain prior to taking 5ml of an opiate based medicine called Endone. Another five minutes past before a consecutive tablet was consumed. Subconsciously, I think a comparison to the last time I woke in agony from my sleep triggered the decision to take the tablets, and I honestly believe the pain-relief has eased some anxiety linked to a fear of whether the pain is a new Cancer. In addition, the decision acted in accordance with the recommendation of the Anaesthetist when last in hospital whereby I was informed it was better to get on top of the pain before it escalates rather than waiting till it gets stronger.

On reflection, my response this morning was probably over dramatic, causing unnecessary stress for my parents, and situations as such are still an area I am yet to conquer. In typical circumstances an ache from my mouth would have been associated with a need for dental appointment, and when taking the time to sit back to analyse the situation, it seems probable of this outcome proving to be accurate. The difficultly is the slight niggle of wondering whether it is Cancer related. Therefore, a sequence of highly rushed events follow, leaving a trail of destruction around me, including panic, stress and associated expenses. If one point was to be highlighted it would be a vulnerability evident in my life, and it appears at these certain times, a crack in my armour can easily be be made, resulting in an over-reaction. As mentioned, it is an area I am yet to conquer, and very similar to the incident whereby I called the ambulance due to the blood coming out of my mouth whilst brushing my teeth. There is an irony of the paradox existing in the attempt to support others implement a plan in their lives for similar moments, yet, it is the very area I am yet to have confidence in applying myself.

I am hopeful it is just an ache associated with my teeth, and a massive over-reaction, however, it reinforces a number of keys points. Most notably, my reliance on the support from parents; the immediate seeking of attention from the Professor overseeing my care for advise when struck with a cause of concern; the negative effects of Endone after consuming the tablets, and the reality of the Cancer experience still heavily effecting my life. The positive to draw from these points is the fact that the Sunflower Framework covers all these topics, and although I am aware no script for all people can be devised, it seems probable others would experience similar concerns. Therefore, a strength in the content seems to shine, and hopefully an opportunity is provided for a pilot to be operated over the coming year to truly test the benefits for other people with Cancer.

How about I pretend to be a weather reporter, using an oncoming natural disaster as the metaphor to describe my feelings today!

18th November 2014: Sydney, Australia

How about I pretend to be a weather reporter, using an oncoming natural disaster as the metaphor to describe my feelings today! I did hear the term a ‘natural occurrence’ yesterday’. A term created to normalise the extremities of the weather conditions ravaging varying nations around the world. I do recognise I am neither qualified to write about this topic and have no research to support my opinion, however, just see the term drenched in negative connotations and it’s application a form of swaying attention, adding to confusion or splitting opinion on the matter of the environment.

So, a weather reporter. For some reason, I feel more inclined to take the stance of an American weather reporter, dramatically standing on the forefront of a howling East Coast beach with waves slamming into the adjacent break-wall, awaiting the oncoming Hurricane about to brace the nation. An Australian perspective may bare weight though, and I would rather prefer to discuss a local matter than be unconsciously directed to speak about America due to the influence and total control of almost all mass media. Furthermore, it would be fairly accurate in saying the Australian weather reporters are rather dramatic in their reporting manner too!

Ok, the report! It is approaching summer, and if I was from Queensland, reference may be made to a developing off-shore cyclone, however, I am in Sydney so a bushfire is more suited. I am not sure about the scaling of bush-fires, and whether degrees or grades are used, however, visuals are essential to captivating the audience. Therefore, the initial frame is not at the studio whereby a short clip will show a charcoaled firefighter holding a rescued animal or a devastated family (has to be at least one child present) standing in front of their family ruins. Instead, let’s say we are shooting live in the midst of the furnace, with warning sirens ringing in the background. It could be safe to say I would be standing in front of a family taking all precautions on their house to decrease the risk of a fire ravaging the foundations and contents of their home. A scene would then be shown of the male figure in the house wearing evident strains of fatigue on his face. The male is accompanied by a look of worry on a female face, either a mother, eldest daughter or grandmother of the family. Maybe at this point, archived footage breaks into the segment, showing the repeated pattern from a past fire with the house a total wreck. Let’s remember that an interview is very a powerful tool used to pull at the strings of peoples hearts, thus, an interview could feature, however, you wouldn’t be able to extract great detail due to the inability of verbalising the emotions in a clear and concise manner, particularly when distracted by the stressors associated with the circumstances. The segment would then come to a dramatic closure as I look towards the crew of firefighters running and shouting for us to move on. It is at this point whereby I would sign off, saying further reports will be provided throughout the broadcast.