Did I attend my own funeral?

31st August 2015: Sydney, Australia

Obviously, a degree of happiness was bound to occur when surrounded by close friends and family when drawn together to celebrate, however, a heighten level of elation is felt when thinking about the entirety of the Saturday night. On reflection, I can honestly say the experience makes me inclined to believe I recently attended my own funeral. There was a particular point, involving approximately 15 close friends who were all standing in a small circle. Typically, such a scenario would involve testosterone charged banter exchanged to one another. A difference was in the air though. All in attendance were completely engaged in the random impromptu speeches being made about me. It was a fairly moving personal encounter, and was further evidence of the amazing support I have in my life. It was actually rather surreal when I had to listen to the words said by a number of people close to me, a situation only really seen at a funeral or wake. I am unable to fully recall all the comments, however, definitely have certain memories imprinted in my mind, and plan on integrating the stories into my evolving self-narrative. I should also note my wishes of hoping the speeches actually symbolise a death has occurred, namely, a complete extinction of any Cancerous cells, allowing me to again live freely.

Advertisements

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.

Complete intoxication is not the right coping mechanism

29th June 2015: Sydney, Australia

I once made reference to a quote stating, “some people in the world need a tap on their shoulder to make changes in their lives”. Initially I played with the phrase, adjusting it to my own circumstances by adding, “some people in the world need a tap on their shoulder to make changes in their lives whilst others needing a gigantic push”. Now, I pose the question of what happens if nether the tap or push is sufficient to lead to sustainable change? Does it then just signal no other chances at living will be provided? I ask these questions following a night of behaviours and lifestyle choices I thought had been in my past. Just to note, I am not referring to anything malicious. Rather, complete and utter intoxication over a period of two days. Interestingly, it happened in the midst of all this waiting. I ponder whether some significance is associated with the decision? If so, will the direction be an inevitable death at a much earlier age than I ever hoped? Alternatively, will it be a moment, recognised as a coping mechanism, implemented unconsciously to block out all the uncertainty awaiting me? Finally, could it just be evidence of me changing on a permanent basis, and the night was a singular necessary step backwards to ensure the long lasting life does in fact become a reality.

What happens when your Cancer returns

26th May 2015: Sydney Australia

It is official. Unfortunately, the rematch, i.e. My fight against Cancer is set to recommence. A meeting was attended with my brother, dad and mum today whereby all the available information was shared, and a plan of action was set. The MRI scan shows a tumour has regrown in the same spot as last year, and failure to do anything would result in my death. Therefore, the plan is to have surgery followed by a course of radiotherapy. It seems harder this time, however, a drive to succeed seems stronger. In addition, an overwhelming feeling of anger being experienced is hard to place. I still feel the situation is somewhat surreal as only yesterday morning I was training in the park, and now I am faced with reality of having Cancer again.

The anger felt seems to connect with an ever feeling of loss correlating with my future options. For example, questions posed to myself relating to whether I will have kids or if employment again features in my future story. It just seems my whole plans have been turned upside down, and the only way I can conceptualise the situation is by seeing it as another test of my character, strength and will. Undoubtedly, I am upset and afraid, and the continuous stream of tears is a clear example of the impact it is having on me.

I would say one of the many lessons learned is the realisation of how crying greatly assists my capacity at managing my feelings. Similar to past occasions, certain pieces of information bring the tears flowing, and today they poured when hearing it is very unlikely of me living to a ripe old age of anything else but the disease I have. Some may think the comments are too severe, however, I disagree, and am thankful for the way the information is provided. It has always cemented the reality of the circumstances whilst also acting in some strange way as a source of belief. Honestly, with everything to be faced, I know there are going to be very some extremely difficult times ahead, however, ultimately, I do believe in my survival and capacity in finally claiming victory.

Jessica Ainscough vs Bella Gibson

9th April, 2015: Sydney, Australia

Two extremely topical identities associated with Cancer and the area of wellness have recently been placed at the forefront of societies consciousness. A past entry expressed my feelings towards one of these individuals, Jessica Ainscough. The other individual, Bella Gibson, was last week deemed a successful entrepreneur for her endeavours in creating an app based upon her capacity of naturally fighting her Cancer. As a disclaimer, I must note her complete story is unknown, and the only information seemingly available indicates she fabricated her experiences of Cancer. Interestingly, the two individuals are being grouped together, and on a personal level, I find it completely unfair towards Jessica Ainscough.

Many people have made their views very clear about the decisions Jessica made within her life. Again, I must note, no contact had ever been made with her, and the basis for my writing results from a negatively shown towards her since passing away. At present, I believe a clear distinction needs to be made between Jessica, a person who opted to pursue an alternative approach to treating the Cancer within her body and Bella Gibson, who it seems has made financial successes out of her dishonesty. As mentioned in the very first paragraph, the topic will surely raise opposing opinions on the matter, and frankly, I am happy to put my thoughts forward, especially when taking the perspective of a person who had Cancer and now receives chemotherapy. The major difference between the two individuals can be highlighted by the facts of Jessica having Cancer, and it seemingly appears more evident that Bella did not. Therefore, I am astounded to see the inspiration provided to many by Jessica possibly being tarnished by making such comparisons. Furthermore, does her death need to correlate with statements alluding to deceit or a failure? It appears everyone is forgetting one very important fact relating to the scandalous story existing about Jesssica. Most notably, Cancer kills a lot of people around the world, including those who have followed all the information advised by medical professionals.

I am aware of the bias reflected in my writing, and regardless of the information reported on the decisions made by Jessica, it seems indisputable to suggest she did not inspire or give hope to many people. I recognise a major criticism directed at her was the strong position taken in advocating the Gerkin’s Diet, and consequently the number of vulnerable people she may have possibly influenced to follow her actions. Firstly, I am not qualified in this area, however, I guess a question we could all ask is whether she would be alive, and living the quality of life she wished if she decided to follow instructions all those years ago by amputating her arm in the hope the Cancer would not spread. On a person level, I must admit the thought of trialling an alternative therapy resonates significantly, especially if there are claims attached to the proposal increasing your survival.

I see her death can act in a way that continually influences people to seek a combination of sources to support each specific journey, and I have no idea whether Jessica would have agreed on this matter, however, her circumstances can be used to equip people about the challenges they are to face with their individual Cancer experiences. In addition, the amount of research currently directed towards the possible links between dietary and lifestyle factors associated with Cancer surely reinforces the messages promoted by Jessica. A major point, many people are willing to openly forget.

Jess Ainscough, the wellness warrior

10th March 2015: Sydney Australia

I weighed myself today, showing I have gained 1.6kg over the past month. An indicator suggesting my body is recovering and thriving. A point of particular importance, especially when hearing the news of Jess Ainscough, aka, the wellness warrior has passed away. Her death both saddened and shocked me whilst bringing to surface the confronting potential of what could await in my life. Regularly, I speak of future plans, and see my current state as a temporary period I will overcome, yet, the fragility of life shown at certain times can easily cause a formation of cloud to hover around my consciousness. The reason for feeling as such for a person I have never encountered results from the reading of her book and the motivation sought from her story in prompting me into making better health decisions.

I acknowledge some of the information she is associated with does not align with my personal approach to health, however, I believe information obtained from her readings should not be discarded. One particular point from her story regards the duration of time I will remain on treatment. There is always going to be fierce debate on this topic, especially with the differing opinions received over the past year in relation to timeframes. In summary, the current information I have read shows no weight in the research that supports the use of Mitotane in the longterm to promote my survival. Admittedly, there is some evidence showing the effectiveness of the drug, however, many flaws exist in the research, and does not provide sufficient evidence to suggest the results will be applicable to my circumstances.

Thoughts go out to family and friends of Jess Ainscough x