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.

The questioning of everything in life

18th May 2015: Sydney, Australia

The timing of the upcoming MRI will greatly appease some of the minor concerns experienced over the past few days in relation to the ongoing symptoms of a cold. Admittedly, I am always trying able to normalise these times, however, the certainty obtained from the MRI results will certainly relieve some of the chatter occasionally floating into my consciousness about how well I actually am.

The overall effect of the last few days has left me in a position whereby a sense of equilibrium is missing from my life. Consequently, everything is questioned, leading me to both drift into a dreamlike state creating future scenarios whilst also feeling a sense of loss that has resulted from the Cancer experience. The end result is an inclination to feel a little low. I am aware there are going to be times like this, however, I would like to see myself more capable at deploying learned strategies to stay present.

Mathew McConaughey and the evolving self..

6th May 2015: Sydney, Australia

I have recently come to the position of opposing the belief a certain lifestyle choice can be implemented for the entirety of my life. Upon reflecting on the concept, it appears I have reached the position whereby I feel simply aiming to sustain your life, results in missing on many future opportunities. Ultimately, a point of stagnation. It is agreed that a lifestyle can be sustainable, and I know many populations who sustain their lives over many years, however, on a personal level, I feel a long journey awaits, and can not see myself equipped with all the knowledge and information to support me throughout my life.Therefore, I propose the goal is instead changed to focus on evolving over a lifetime.

An acceptance speech made by Mathew McConaughey involves him making reference to the person he looks up to is himself in ten years time (see link at the bottom of the page). The purpose of the message is to show that he could never match the future version of him, yet, will always inspire to do better. I find this extremely powerful in reinforcing a message about my lifestyle needing to evolve rather than sustain. Of course, elements of my life can be sustained, yet, I was very naive to think decisions made just after the removal of a life threatening Cancer would be the very avenue adopted for the rest of my life. Yes, they well may be the foundations to base future decisions upon and a critical stage of development within my life, however, the uncertainty of what will surface in my future life seems to be lacking. To conclude, similar to the vision of Matthew McConaughey, I wish to never match the future version of myself, and the only way of achieving this is to continually evolve throughout time whilst overcoming any adversity faced.

Click the link to the see the speech in full: http://youtu.be/wD2cVhC-63I

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.

Why do I get night terrors like a little boy?

17th March 2015: Sydney Australia

The relief felt this morning was something to cherish, and I instinctively knew the exact moment my eyes opened that the terrors of the night had finished. The night of discomfort commenced as usual once my head hit the pillow with the lights off. Of course, I was thinking in overdrive, with an unproductive and unrealistic thought process circulating throughout my mind. A typical stream of thoughts followed, starting with a period of unease and restlessness till I awoke from a semi-conscious state at approximately 3am to a bout of nausea not experienced in many months. It was at this point, a longing to just be normal again was so present within my thinking. Instead of opting for some medication to ease the discomfort, I simply had a glass of water before miraculously finally falling into a deep sleep. Admittedly, the pain in my tooth was still present when waking up, yet, such a feeling of bliss was experienced at knowing the night and nausea were over, and replaced by the rays of the sun shining light into my room.

I can draw a sense of victory from maintaining a reluctance to just take pain-relief to temporary ease the situation. It seems ridiculous, overdramatic or just a case of using my imagination, however, I see similarities to a scene from a movie whereby a ravished crew awake to a flat ocean and bright shining sun after a night of fierce storms. The lesson learned is that hard times are to be endured, and the easiest option is not necessarily the best option.

Drugs

15 March 2015: Sydney, Australia

It has now been two days since my wisdom tooth was removed. I was amazed at the promptness of the process. Honestly, the entire procedure was completed in 20 minutes, however, the pain that was later felt acted as reminder of past experiences whilst also providing motivation to become well again. For the past two days, I have been in a bit of a medicated haze, particularly on Friday when the local Anaesthetic stopped working. I am not an advocate for taking excess drugs, however, I did not appropriately use pain relief when in hospital recovering last year, so this time opted to apply a different strategy to avoid enduring any unnecessary pain. Consequently, the combination of both Panadeine Forte and Endone sent me to bed with a towel necessary for the excess dribble coming out of mouth. An exact amount of medication consumed on Friday would total 18 tablets, including the regular Chemotherapy, additional Cortisol for recovery, a Valium pre-procedure for the needles, antibiotics x3, Panadeine Forte x3 plus Endone x2.

The excessive amount of tablets brought to surface thoughts about my place in the modern world, and the almost certainty of my death already being a reality without medical assistance. It also brought back memories of thoughts had when I saw my grandfather taking the massive amounts of daily tablets he consumed to remain alive. The contraction once again showing in my life is the very fact of my existence being dependent on the consumption of tablets. To conclude, it is the fist time in two days any sort of mental energy has been used, and consequently, the blue curtains called my eyes are starting to close. Therefore, I will hope to continue with this theme tomorrow.