Cancer, balance and life

5th November 2014: Sydney Australia

The initial draft of the Sunflower Framework has been completed, and is now being reviewed by trusted peers. Ultimately, the feedback will assist me in forming a decision on whether to pursue the programme. If not, the whole process will still be seen as a positive as I was able to adhere to a relatively decent timescale, eliciting a feeling of accomplishment whilst also paving a way forward to keep myself accountable in all areas of my life. I do not want to get ahead of myself due to the very real possibility of the programme not succeeding, however, if it appears others agree there is some scope for the programme to come to fruition, then some scope for implementation may exist. Another positive note was the enjoyment and stimulation stemming from the process of putting together the programme. Also, the whole process has been a massive learning curve whereby I have gained a brief introduction into all the aspects needing to be factored into future projects. It is easy to think that a programme can be designed and run, and disregard all the practical steps needing to be considered. Mind you, I am only referring to points I can draw on so it is inevitable many other factors will come to light.

In regards to other areas of my life, I have found that balance in my relationship! If an entry was made yesterday, the best possible way to convey my thoughts would have been to pick up a blue pen to rapidly draw circles in an unsystematic fashion. Pure anger was felt. I have not experienced a level of frustration comparable in a long time. With regret, I admit an explosive conversation resulted in a calmer conversation with both of us explaining and listening to one another. I say regret, as I would like to think this could easily have been avoided if we approached it in a varied manner. Furthermore, I do not like to raise my voice, or if being completely honest with myself, then recognising that I was in fact yelling! An ugly trait I do not associate with myself, however, it surfaced yesterday, and is a key point in my life to definitely work on eliminating entirely. There may be reasons contributing to the frustration yet no explanation for such actions.

A third point intended to be discussed today, and one a little more targeted to the area of Cancer. I was advised that my Cortisol levels were too high, resulting in another change in medicine to commence from tomorrow plus there was a lengthy waiting period till a response was heard from my doctor. Both legitimate areas to discuss, however, personally they were of little importance to another point raised during the conversation with my doctor. Details won’t be delved into, however, in summary the matter of prognosis was central to the conversation. My doctor noted that speaking in terms of the statistics on the Cancer I have, he would be confident in saying that I do not have a life expectancy beyond two years. I do not believe this, and I am also confident he will expect to still be seeing me for years to come, witnessing me flourishing as time passes. Admittedly, a stain was left on my conscious. It was like I needed to tell others about it, however, what was this about? Is it a case of reminding others, “hey, I’m still that guy with Cancer, don’t forget about it’. It makes me consider whether it has really become my identity as I’ve read about, and maybe this process of writing is just another representation of that identity? The process of thinking it through lead me to think that I seek some enjoyment out of hearing the news as it is a challenge, instilling a sense of self-belief and reassurance of being the 3 out of 10 people who will survive! Upon reflecting on the previous statement, there are two very clear points. Firstly, I am extremely confident in my belief about survival or I am in complete and utter denial. I think a very apt sentence to conclude the entry will be to refer to the smirk on my face whilst writing this. Yes, an arrogance to some, for me, confirmation of my challenge and belief of survival!

The beast…

13th October 2014: Sydney, Australia

Nausea! I would prefer to use a profanity to describe my current feelings and would probably summarise the circumstances better. Instead, I’ll try give an accurate portrayal of what I am experiencing, and would think it’s likely to be a short entry in the hope of drifting off to sleep before the intensity increases. The nausea I get is nocturnal. A cyclonic beast, appearing past the bed time of children to cause terror on my mind and body. Tonight, it just so happened that a disgust for any food tagged along for the journey. The option of passing on food crossed my mind, however, where does that get me? Hungry in the morning whilst also not providing my body with sufficient nutrients to fuel my system. No thanks! Therefore, I opted to force each forkful of food down my mouth, almost gagging on two occasions. Also, I usually imitate a game of statues whilst lying in bed. The place once a sanctuary is now a torture chamber where any movement is restricted to deter a churning in my stomach.

To be fair, most days I am allowed to rise in the morning feeling ok, and I guess you need to be grateful for the little things in life right? Ironically, I did have an enjoyable day till the nausea kicked in. I managed a return to the park to complete exercise, made progress with my writing and completed a full yoga session. I would like to continue, but the beast is signalling it’s time for lights out. Some breathing and meditation will take place, hopefully alleviating some of the discomfort associated with the overt attacks of this cunning foe.