Change

14th November 2015: Sydney, Australia

It is strange to consider a week has passed without a post added, especially considering the attention placed on writing throughout the past 18 months. I have definitely had a lot on my mind, and typically have used this platform to share my thoughts, however, it appears I have come to the position of seeing my writing as directly correlating with the need to seek support from others I connect with online. As noted, it has been extremely helpful, particularly in processing past feelings, fears and emotions, but I now feel changes are needed in my life. Consequently, meaning a change in my writing may be needed to facilitate this change. Yes, I will continue to write, however, hopefully a different focus will be evident. A focus, not saturated in despair and the questioning of every little detail of life. Rather, a more balanced blog that will lead to an evolution in my actual life 😄

The magnetic attraction of Cancer

7th October 2015: Sydney Australia

I am coming to understand a Cancer Diagnosis can have a similar function to a magnet. I do not wish to offend anyone, and am generally happy to talk with others about a Cancer experience, however, I do not always want to be surrounded by stories about Cancer. Seriously, it can be rather tiresome to constantly hear about that poor fellow or that lovely lady who suddenly found out they have Cancer. Yes, I feel for them and their loved ones, and at times would be more than happy to give the undivided attention needed to listen to the story people feel such a need to share with me, however, at other times, I simply do not have the energy or wish to know about the ever increasing tragic stories.

I hope not to have offended anyone. It is just a mood I am, partly due to the fact of the time not even being midday, and already I have heard two stories about Cancer. On reflection, maybe it is somewhat contradicting to be writing about my experiences whilst simultaneously developing a programme for people with Cancer, yet blocking myself from the stories of others.

I wonder how others manage if they encounter such situations?

How to define me as an Australian?

26th September 2015: Sydney, Australia
A quote I have recently been able to connect with stated, “Australians are modern day Aztecs who worship the sun”. Admittedly, it is a fairly superficial and individualistic means of expressing my connection with my current of origin, however, it perfectly summarises the attraction to the powers of the sun. Furthermore, the specific focus shows some disconnection with mainstream attitudes and beliefs seemingly predominant within Australia. If refocusing on the sun, there is honestly a significant disparity in my overall outlook and energy when the sun is shining compared to consecutive days where it is cold, wet and dire. The pull towards direct sunlight makes me revise my thinking about this insatiable appetite, and I believe this desire stems from past readings about the proposed healing benefits of receiving natural Vitamin D.

The topic also leads to a questioning of whether living in London for almost four years influenced this longing for the sun. I definitely recall times when I missed the sun, however, the novelty of the experience, combined with the many cultural and social activities kept me occupied. The emerging point from a rather trivial topic is how my priorities have changed over the course of the past 20 months. Furthermore, the chain of thoughts leave me in a place doubtful about my capacity of adapting to such an environment again, even if that means loosing the opportunity of living in one of the most interesting and vibrant cities in the world. In conclusion, it is known that life does not exist without the sun, obviously I am stretching the application of this belief, however, my life seems to depend on the sun, ocean, family and friends. I life definitely wished to live for many years to come.

Any questions or topics for me to write about it?

24th September 2015: Sydney, Australia

Is it just me or do others find it easier to write when not feeling great? Honestly, I feel a need to share my despair and pain with world, yet, when feeling happy or simply content in my life, the motivation to write about my experiences appear to not rate highly on my list of priorities. Is this just the way we are wired or is it me?

I can easily draw on events or activities occurring frequently in my life to share, however, a disparity seems to exist in my motivation to write between the varying times. For the longevity of my blog, possibly I need to expand from simply providing accounts saturated in negativity to many other facets in life.

Those of you I have shared comments would know one of the most beneficial points of the blogging is to to connect with others. Therefore, I ask whether anyone at anytime has a topic they wish me to write about? I should provide a disclaimer, highlighting my incapacity of quality assuring the writing in advance, however, it may be another beneficial way to connect with others and share ideas. To conclude, fire away people 😄

Thoughts about the Management of Cancer

16th June 2015: Bali, Indonesia

Management of Cancer was a key point discussed at the last appointment with my doctor. The very concept has a direct connection to the reality of having Cancer for the rest of my life whilst placing speculation around the actual amount of more years ahead. If true, my focus needs to shift from an acceptance of the feelings associated when placed in a state of prolonged uncertainty to accepting a Cancer will remain inside me till I pass away. Undoubtedly, the question now looms as to whether I will accept this new reality. Well, it is simple. No fucking way!

I will not succumb to just accepting defeat. Instead, I will draw on all the learning from the first time, and ensure my capacity is at the optimum state to overcome the current predicament. I plan to use the content from the programme I designed to review a number of key areas in my life, including the way I communicate with medical staff. Most notably, I will now the focus on living, opposed to engrossing myself in research papers or becoming dragged down by statistics or percentages about my chance of survival. Lastly, a wide range of alternate avenues will be explored to promote my wellness. A whole other post will be required to give clarity on the latter remark.

Family and friends

12th June 2015: Bali, Indonesia

I am still in Bali with the dynamics shifting since the large groups of friends I was staying with decreased to four. Included within the four is my brother who booked tickets at the last minute to join for a week. I’m so happy he made the decision, and importantly, was able to surf quality waves with me whilst generally spending time together. Two of my other best friends come in on Wednesday, so after two days alone, there will be a return to constant laughter and good times with those close to me.

I am uncertain how to interpret my feelings at present, and the two days alone may be testing. The support my friends and brother have provided is outstanding, and the departure of all has become a point more pivotal since hearing news about my Chemotherapy levels. In summary, the therapeutic dose in my body should be between 14-20mg. Therefore, you can imagine the news was not well received when hearing last night that I should immediately stop taking the drugs due to the reading of 28.8mg places me at extreme risk of toxicity. Moreover, it should be remembered that I increased my dose before the last set of blood samples were collected. Ultimately, meaning the results were inaccurate, and I would actually be scoring higher than 28.8mg.

In response, I questioned my doctor why it has only been the most recent period whereby limited side-effects have been experienced. A point difficult to understand when levels deemed dangerous correlate with the resurfacing of a tumour. Personally, it only reinforces the previously proposed thought that now the Chemotherapy is attacking the tumour. Furthermore, with no disrespect to my doctor, it shows the limited knowledge the medical professionals have in treating this type of Cancer. Again, another point making me consider my options post Radiotherapy. Most notably, whether I will remain on Chemotherapy. Hopefully the arranged PET scan will be able to assist the understanding on the tumour, namely, whether it has increased during the five week period or disappeared completely as hoped. To conclude, as you can see, I completely don’t know what to think or how to interpret the situation, and I am just wantmg to continue feeling better than when last posting 😀

Cancer, chemo and a return date to work

19th May 2015: Sydney, Australia

It appears my body has fought off the infection calling a return to usual activity. I am confident of saying the early symptoms were detected on Thursday morning before heading to the park to complete the calisthenic training I have been doing recently. The question is two fold. Would a day of rest prevented the symptoms from eventuating? If so, was the period more tolerable knowing my training schedule for the week was not impacted, with the two planned sessions already completed?

I am unable to accurately answer the initial question, however, in response to the latter point, I can definitely state the period was much more tolerable knowing my exercise schedule for the week had been implemented according to the plan. In fact, measuring the level of stress placed on my mind and body should I have not chosen to train last Thursday morning weighed against training is not comparable. I can understand the response contradicts previous entires whereby the importance of rest is highlighted. I think context is required though, especially bearing in mind the learning undertaking over the past 18 months in discovering what works best for my mind and body. Furthermore, it is evident that rest is seen as a pivotal part of my planning. The scheduled period into each of my ten week plans and the fact of allowing my body to completely rest for the remainder of the week demonstrates the attention placed on the area.

I recognise many may not share my opinion, however, movement is at the core of my health. Regardless of whether I am on treatment or when the time arrives for it to conclude, movement/physical exercise will always play a crucial role in my life. I think it is reasonable to suggest some people may suggest if I am capable of moving in a park, surfing or completing yoga, then I would be fit for work. I disagree completely, and would strongly voice my opinion to those who wish to draw flaws in my argument. In the first instance, the fluctuating side-effects experienced would be mentioned, then I would support my point of view with reference to the increasing amount of literature highlighting the importance of moving for people who are receiving treatment. Furthermore, factoring in the pressure and stressors involved in work compound all the points to make me physically, emotionally and mentally incapable of performing to the best of my ability at work. To conclude, I only see a detrimental outcome of entering work too early, and a total separation between moving for the better of my health and having the energy to undertake all the tasks involved in a job.

Plan to succeed

4th May 2015: Sydney, Australia

I have come to realise a saying taught many years ago within a professional context is easily transferable to other areas, including your personal development. The intentions of applying the rule ‘failing to plan is planning to fail’ was to highlight the responsibility l had in ensuring thorough groundwork was completed prior to meeting with a family or individual to complete a therapeutic session. As noted, I see benefits of applying the rule into our lives, and my writing, if used effectively can provide the platform to hopefully build success, opposed to failure.

Yesterday was a clear example of my writing acting as the very means to plan ahead in preparation to approach a situation to the best of my capacity. It was actually ironic in some ways to consider I had put together an entry about the very topic on the day before the question was asked. It was not something major, simply a conversation within a social environment relating to my lifestyle choices. On reflection, if I had not taken the time to sit down and write about my thoughts, then the execution of my answer would not have accurately captured my feelings towards the situation. In summary, my writing can be useful when I am able to avoid becoming stuck in a hole of despair, and at such times, many similarities exist with the preparation undertaken for a job interview whereby you have had the time and space to gain clarity in your thoughts before needing to share with others. To conclude, I must acknowledge my fluctuating feelings on the matter, however, overall, a journal would be encouraged for all people experiencing Cancer to ensure any difficult circumstances or encounters can be hopefully prepared for in advance.

Recovery of preparation?

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.

Strange takes on Cancer part one…

16th March 2015: Sydney Australia

Is there any validity in a discussion whereby dental concerns are seem to stem from Cancer? For those already switched off by the opening comments, please read on for an explanation.

I regularly speak of the secondary concerns associated Cancer, and I am now hypothesising whether dental concerns can fall into such a category. For those familiar with my writing would know I frequently experience side-effects in the form of nausea and fatigue. The two points forming the foundations for my argument. Consideration of a temporary/permanent reduced presence in society resulting from the array of factors associated with any stage of Cancer also should be at the forefront of your thinking when processing the proposed hypothesis. The reason for including the social connection of a person implies a motivation to ensure a level of hygiene is maintained when meeting people either at work, college, university or simply for a social occasion. Honestly, who really wants to have bad breath?

If we were to break down the primary reasoning for dental concerns, generally a reference is made to the individuals incapacity to brush, floss or both, and it is now at the point for audience to recall the lack of energy and ill feelings experienced when last suffering the flu. Maybe this is just me, however, the thought of getting out of bed or changing from pyjamas into other clothes can be a massive chore in itself. Now, imagine these feelings constantly feature in your life whilst also not having any external motivation to maintain a degree of hygiene due to your limited interactions with others. In addition, the routine once present to ensure you arrive freshly at work or university no longer exists.

In response, I acknowledge the solution of simply brushing your teeth or establishing new routines can be made, however, the very points mentioned are being overlooked, particularly in regards to the debilitating impact the nausea, fatigue has on your body and mind. Therefore, I repeat the question to all, posing whether dental concerns can be deemed a secondary cause of Cancer or has the entry just shown to all my poor levels of hygiene at certain times 😄