What is Mitotane

25th August 2015: Sydney, Australia

Research was completed into the claims heard by the young person yesterday who stated, ‘the chemotherapy I am taking is a pesticide’. For anyone wanting to cross reference the above information should note, the drug is called Mitotane, and it does seemingly appear to derive from a pesticide called DDT. For anyone not familiar with the pesticide DDT, should also be made aware of the fact it was banned for human consumption by the USA in 1972.

I am consciously aware of the limitations I have in interpreting the information surrounding how the drug was derived from the pesticide, and what possible implications could be associated with the continual use of the drug. Therefore, an email was sent to my Professor expressing an interest in discussing the matter at the next appointment. Basically, my intentions are to make an informed decision, weighing up the risks versus the advantages, especially considering the original form of the drug is now banned in most parts of the world. Furthermore, the limited research on the drug compounded by the fact of the reoccurrence makes me feel inclined to see no separation between the effectiveness of the drug in comparison to other options. Most notably, use of the Cannabis Oil on planned intervals throughout a year combined with an overhaul of my dietary and lifestyle choices. Obviously, I will not be making any rash decisions, however, my current thinking seems to be fairly evident within the writing thus far.

Medicinal Cannabis…..

14th May 2015: Sydney, Australia

Last year a friend introduced me to a documentary called, ‘Run from the Cure’. The story is follows a Canadian by the name of Rick Simpson who promotes the use of Cannabis oil for treating ailments, including Cancer. I currently do not have a stance about the matter, however, am increasingly seeing the area gain traction in all forms of mass media, and interestingly the NSW Sate Government of Australia has recently passed legislation in order to conduct trials.

I watched the documentary, and explored other material on the matter to become better informed about the option. The quarrel in using the oil stems from the limited research on the matter, a fear of whether side-effects would be experienced and the implications involved in using the oil. Namely, using the oil would suggest I see myself as unhealthy, and needing the oil to kill Cancer. Obviously, a belief I do not hold. Now, I can understand taking Chemotherapy is somewhat similar, and honestly when thinking about it, I am yet to come up with a strong argument for taking the Chemotherapy above the oil, particularly in my circumstances because there is no evidence to support the type of Chemotherapy I take. So unfortunately, I will need to leave it here for the moment and revisit the topic over the coming months.

Temptations…

2nd May 2014: Sydney, Australia

Temptation to past lifestyle choices is becoming an area requiring attention as time since my surgery passes whilst the side effects associated with my chemotherapy are seemingly decreasing. The actions last night are a perfect foundation to base the discussion on, and could be viewed as a shift away from the intentions established in my entries last year. Initially, I was in the same position, fluctuating between feelings of guilt, fear and regret, however, without justifying my actions, could the negative feelings be solely dependent on seeing myself as unwell or in a position of recovery? If so, it should be noted that I object to seeing myself as unwell or in a state of recovery. I completely accept the need to further develop myself emotionally and physically, however, the mental aspect of a Cancer diagnosis is often deemed one of the primary obstacles associated with overcoming the entire experience. It is for this very reason for reframing the context, and instead, viewing myself bound within a stage of preparation.

Undoubtedly, temptations are going to exist throughout my entire life, and not just in regards to lifestyle choices. Therefore, should I feel a level of guilt for socialising with friends on one occasion over some drinks or do I learn from the situation, finding a place for it in my life? Yes, I need to be mindful of what I put in my body, and how much sleep I have each night, however, attention equally needs to centre on connecting with close friends, and importantly the effects of finally feeling a degree of normality. I am not advocating a permanent change from the areas I deem essential to getting me to this level of health. Rather, placing the events from last night into perspective whilst recognising the benefits of social connection and unrestricted happiness.

To conclude, I believe an example can demonstrate the point above. Take for instance how pivotal the stage of preparation and training is for success, particularly in a sporting context. Now, say a professional sports team successfully applies a play or tactic in a real contest. It would be fairly accurate to hypothesis that more often than not, the play had first been developed in a less intense environment, i.e, a training session. Therefore, I propose similarities exist with our lives, with the underlying message relating to how we can be equipped to face future scenarios in my hopefully long and fruitful life. Of course, I will not make the right decision on every occasion, however, should I learn from the experience, it can still prove beneficial in the longterm. Regardless of whether people agree with what has been stated, reframing the events last night eroded any stress associated with my decision, and consequently, I am left in a positive mindset. I must note, I can definitely see I am trying to justify my actions, and possibly I am, so it would be interesting to hear feedback 😄

I am going overseas, so just rip the tooth out!!

9th March 2015: Sydney, Australia

I was correct about the over-reaction to the pain from Thursday. Scans revealed the source of the pain was a swelling of my gums around one of my remaining wisdom teeth. Initially, attempts were made to apply gel to the region, however, three days of pain resulted in the decision to just booking an extraction of the tooth. My thinking was based on two ideas. Firstly, if I am in pain, it is preferable to be in pain knowing the tooth has gone, and secondly, it is far better eliminating potential concerns before travelling overseas during the winter months.

One of the points associated with this process was the delay in getting the tooth extracted, and this derives from the concerns held about the treatment I am receiving. Obviously, it is essential point to be considered, and in all honesty, my Professor made a fairly swift response. It was just another factor reinforcing the restrictions on planning due to my circumstances. Two examples come immediately to mind in regards to this topic. The waiting period as mentioned is one such factor, and the other being the need to be fully equipped for the planned overseas travel to Indonesia over the months of June/July. Factors to consider include a heightened awareness of the food eaten due to concerns and implications with my Cortisol levels should I become ill, the exploration of travel insurance options excluding any Cancer related concerns plus future decisions regarding use of injections and medications whilst away. On reflection, all points should really be factored into travel, so possibly on my behalf it’s more a lack of vigilance in the past.

To conclude, I am completely content with the prospect of being in a pain for another week. My reasoning, I have the knowledge it is simply a tooth ache 😄

Regret or reinforcement

2nd November 2014: Sydney Australia

I very rarely look at what has bee noted on previous days, however, ironically the two words from the last passage ‘an imbalance’ immediately captured my attention. The irony of those two words results from the circulating thoughts about the total lack of equilibrium in my life. Mind you, other factors are to be considered, contributing to the imbalance, namely, the events from last night.

I must note, no feelings of regret have occurred throughout the day nor was it a matter of not enjoying myself, there are just a few very visible points from last night that should have been amended, and, ultimately, it is highly probable of a normal day being enjoyed if I altered my approach. I also recognise the ongoing dispute with my girlfriend definitely contributed to the chain of events, especially after receiving a text message being advised that we are no longer together and she has called a cease to the relationship. At the time, there was no thought that this would direct the future events, however, undoubtedly a strong association with the anger manifested. Consequently, leading me into a mindset where I wished to let off steam, particularly as I had an engagement party to attend.

On reflection, a number of amendments if applied most likely would have lead to a varying state I am not within. Firstly, the decision to not drive sets myself up for a difficult task with the location so far from my house, especially when leaving at a time when public transport slows down dramatically and the financial restrictions making the use of a taxi impossible. Not eat dinner or taking medication on time are almost moronic, bearing in mind the reports I have provided on the importance of food and medication to my energy levels. Consumption of alcohol is another point, and I’m not referring to drinking alcohol in excess, it was four drinks maximum over the course of the night, however, it is definitely a case of one or two that were unnecessary. Finally, insufficient sleep for the night is the final point, almost appearing as if last night I subjected my body to a test in an attempt to see the degree of change I could enforce on my body in one night. The results are so straight forward, and are the underlying reasons for making the changes to my lifestyle.

All day I have felt lethargic, consumed food today out of my usual eating plan, missed good waves and the beautiful whether, and am writing still tired after a four hour sleep during the day. In addition, the standoff/dispute/breakup with my girlfriend is still on-going. In summary, a very enjoyable night was had, and I am extremely happy to celebrate the engagement party, however, an equally enjoyable time could have been had without diverting so much from my approach to life. Another final thought was the flaws in my previous mindset whereby a weekend life fuelled on booze, mixed food, limited sleep were what I deemed heathy, as long as I did some exercise. In reality, it may have been the weakening of my immune system to allow the Cancer to rid my body. To conclude, there is little point holding regrets, rather use the night as reminder for how I actually wish to live my life.