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 change in feeings

4th September 2015: Sydney, Australia

I just reviewed my entry from yesterday, finding little to currently resonate with in my current state of mind. It makes me think how strange it is to witness my feelings fluctuate from one day to the next. Undoubtedly, the very condition of human nature is to be dynamic, responding in accordance to our surrounding environment, and the changing state of mind is not specific for the Cancer population (if I can label it as such). The feelings of all is bound to fluctuate depending on varying events and stressors in their lives, however, my personal experience makes me inclined to think people with Cancer or other mental and or chronic health concerns would feel the swings more frequently and intensely. The direct influence of fearing actual death is the key factor behind my reasoning. Admittedly, there are times like today whereby I am feeling positive and in a generally normal mind-state, however, as seen yesterday, an inherent fear is yet to be conquered.

How to make better choices

30th August 2015: Sydney, Australia

I have been considering the events from last night, and can clearly identify how a few pivotal moments determine my future actions when in a social situation. The picture posted yesterday gives an indication of the celebration unfolding around me, and I am pleased to be able to associate positive feelings with the night, particularly in relation to the decisions made at specific stages. Most notably, those moments whereby the direction of the night can transform my night into a place I do not wish to be. Hopefully, the night can be used in future situations to assist me in continually making better choices in my life. Failure to learn from those moments will only lead me in a direction away from how I wish to be living my life.

An entry from the death docks!

9th July 2015: Sydney, Australia

I am currently sitting in the hospital, awaiting my name to be called for surgery. The scenery around me is dire. It is almost like all the people are at a waiting bay of death. In defence of the hospital, I can understand why the environment has such a mood, with a great deal of worry, concern and grief experienced by all in the room. The question I am thinking is how shifts could be made to the mood within the room? Immediately, solutions come to mind. How about:
– Brighter colours to elicit feelings that differ to the depressing wall facing me.
– A change from the sterile display of the room.
– Some cheerfulness or at least some degree of interest shown on the faces of the employees.
– Information about what to expect. Now, I am not asking for a compete layout, however, surely more information would assist then just signing a piece of paper then taking a seat in the deaths docks!

Lastly, I must acknowledge my feelings contribute greatly to being here, and it simply stems from a belief that I should not be here. I deeply feel that I do not belong is such an environment. Instead, I should be continuing my progression and strength towards a life of happiness and love that awaits.

Who of us are living Gatorage Day?

17th June 2015: Bali, Indonesia

What if everyday could be Gatorade Day! For those who haven’t already caught on, I am posing the question of whether it is possible for us to live a life whereby feelings are elicited on a daily basis similar to those experienced by team members or coaches after winning a tournament. Imagine it! The daily feeling of pure ecstasy, satisfaction, achievement, with an overwhelming need to celebrate and embrace those around you. Maybe I am being naive thinking this is only a false unobtainable concept, and really many people are consistently rejoicing in their own Gatorade Day.

Whilst hypothesising the idea of Gatorade Day, I must highlight one of the flaws needing to be addressed. Namely, the imbalance between winners and losers. If you can picture a scene involving a coach being provided with a Gatorade shower by his team, then you surely must have also noticed the losing team who are not sharing in the happiness. Therefore, if this whole activity is simply fictitious rambling, it only seems probable to also have the power to change the dynamics of the day, particularly to establish a scenario where no-one will be weeping on the ground devastated while bearing witness to their opponents basking in their achievement. The internal quarrel becomes whether in fact I would intervene in the organic battle between winners and losers? If so, could I not be actually tearing apart the fabrics to success, and ultimately, having a detrimental impact on the so called losers or people who failed? My reasoning stems from a thought of some people, myself definitely included who at times may need to fail at least once before claiming victory.

It would be be interesting to hear whether people are living their Gatorade Day or any other thoughts associated with the entry 😄

Is love the answer?

15th June 2015: Bali, Indonesia

A complete reversal from the previous day was experienced upon rising. I instinctively knew from the very moment of opening my eyes that a happy and enjoyable was approaching. Admittedly, the dancing undertaken in the bathroom after leaving my bed further reinforced this belief. It is interesting how the entry is the polar opposite to the last time I opted to write.

It is now 7pm, and the morning feeling has thus far provided accurate. In summary, a really fun time in the water was had in the morning, some delicious lunch, a sleep, and have just returned from competing yoga down on the forefront of the beach as the sun drifted off behind the ocean. To close, I must say it extremely hard to describe how I can feel such happiness, considering everything happening around me. The question begging me relates to the power of love, namely, whether outcomes may differ for some people experiencing hardship should sustained, accepted and reciprocated true love be present in the lives? Maybe I am a hopeless romantic, and it is likely I am, because I am holding onto as a truth.

Physical, emotional and mental strains of Cancer…

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.

Cancer one year later…

7th February 2014: Bonny Hills (New South Wales East Coast)

Interestingly there wasn’t an entry completed yesterday, and the irony within the non-existence relates to the evolving construction of my narrative around my Cancer experience. The context of this statement is embedded in the reality of yesterday being the passing of the first year since my surgery. Some would apply a term, such as ‘my first anniversary’, and admittedly, I would have previously held the same position. Instead, the redaction of an entry reflects the ever evolving construction about my Cancer experience. Most notably, the elimination of any celebratory correlation with the circumstances. Furthermore, there is an evident degree of power embedded within the decision, demonstrating my preference for my own new normality of strength and happiness to override an opposed narrative based upon Cancer. My intentions were to annually celebrate with friends and family, replacing the date of my birthday in preference for the date of surgery.

It seems a disclaimer is needed. Again, no perceptions are directed towards others who may choose to view the situation in a different manner, and celebrate the success of their treatment or removal of the Cancer. I imagine a strong group of support would agree with this stance, particularly for those who see themselves as Cancer survivors or people who overcame a near death experience. In all honesty, a very brief toast was made with a small group of friends last night, however, I refused to allow a sense of power diverge away from my narrative about wellness. All last year, I was thinking of celebrating the 6th rather than my birthday, 14th February, and it wasn’t till I really thought about the power related to such a decision that eventuated in the change of my thinking. Personally, a shift from the celebration of my birth to the celebration of my Cancer experience really maintains annual recognition of the weakness in my body that allowed a mutiny of Cancerous cells to form a tumour the size of a watermelon. In addition, it symbolises no greater meaning of losing the concept of self. It is almost like a complete removal from my entire identity to a person endlessly grateful for being alive. Now, I recognise some contentious territory may have been crossed, however, an explanation will hopefully provide a reasoning for the comments made. I agree a gratefulness for life should exist, however, I suggest it should not be damped by a past scenario giving any acknowledgement to the tumour inside of me. My preference is to simply receive joy in the existence of everyday life. Furthermore, a construction for my identity based on the foundations of a healthy, intelligent, strong and honourable man is much more favourable to a life deriving from a hideous living being that directly caused so much pain for my loved ones. Application of descriptive words evident within the writing give character and a personally to the tumour. It must be noted that this is rooted in a narrative approach adopted to my personal experience whereby the goal is to shift my mindset from a position whereby a mutant grouping of cells is preparing a final attack on both my body and loved ones to a position consisting of me working on continual development throughout my long life ahead.

My first Christmas…

24th December 2014: Sydney, Australia

I am approaching my first Christmas at home in five years, and of course it is inevitable that changes are to occur over such a period, however, I doubt it would have been anticipated that such changes have would been thought as a possibility. Tomorrow is going to be my first major full day of celebration since my operation, yes, there have been occasions whereby I have been with my others to celebrate varying occasions. Christmas is something else though, and it is the first of several times over the coming week whereby these changes will be evident. The obvious point in mention relate to my lifestyle and attitudes to such events. Undoubtedly, I am extremely excited about the coming week, yet, admittedly, there is some discomfort lingering in my mind about how the days will unfold, especially in regards to my fatigue, nausea and overall mental preparation. I guess this derives from both family/social norms about how the festival season is celebrated, and the way I have approached this time in the past.

It seems to always come back to two main points for me, namely, the elimination of alcohol from my life and the comfort about the prospect of placing fatigue on my body from insufficient rest. Both points directly relate to social situations, and I am unsure of whether I will return to a place within my mind when these thoughts dissipate, leaving me to just enjoy the celebrations without any invasive thoughts. The interesting point is that no direct connection is made between the thought process and the Cancer that was inside me or a fear of reoccurrence, it just seems to have left a huge stain upon me. I do recognise this as a relatively normal response to such circumstances, however, am wondering whether the stain is permanent or will fade, and eventually disappear over time?

Again, it seems a negative undertow surrounds my thinking, and in some ways it doesn’t really reflect how I am feeling. These words just flow when I start typing. Possibly it is normal to be focusing on such issues, especially approaching moments such as my first Christmas since the surgery or it might just be the case that it is easier to write or be attracted to certain issues discussed in my entries compared to times of joy, love and life.

My ever active mind was benched, witnessing the wonders of the body on display

11th December 2014: Sydney

In the morning, I was completing a yoga routine with supposed benefits for people experiencing cold/flu symptoms. It consists of seven restorative floor based poses, and it has actually been successful over the past few days in relieving some of the sinus. A sequence unfolded throughout the routine resulting in a completely varied series of movements unconsciously becoming integrated into the routine. I must note, there was no thinking or planning behind the actions of my body to bend into varying poses, it just seemed my body was enhancing the routine with additional poses. The experience appeared to be a case whereby my body rather than my mind was in control. Almost like my body was making decisions based on a knowledge of an improved state of health whilst armoured with an understanding of how much it was able diverge from the planned routine.

I believe the events from this morning demonstrate a time where my body was in complete control, with my ever active mind being relegated to the superiority of the wonders of the body. In summary, the experience reinforced the need to create an environment that allows another unanswered agreement between my mind and body to occur. One final point would be to make reference to the mental components associated with the experience because upon concluding the full routine, my mind felt so fresh and alter. Thus, leading me to believe that a return to full health has occurred, and the odd yet extremely powerful connection between my mind and body became evident.