I want to walk away from this life of Cancer, actually a more apt description would entail me running away with only one destination insight. Interestingly, my intentions seem to be clear about moving on from this chapter in my life, however, I still hold onto parts of the narrative. For instance, my scans were completed today, and many of my close friends were notified about this in the preceding weeks. The question circulating throughout my mind centres upon disparity in my intentions and actions. If I really wished to move on from this, then would I still be telling people close to me about the upcoming scan? Would it not be similar to attending a dentist for an appointment! Obviously, differences exist, and I am looking forward to celebrating the positive news at the end of the week, however, I feel next time, no mention of the scan will be made.
27th October 2015: Byron Bay, New South Wales, Australia
Writers block is a rather common phrase, and I am sure it will resonate with a few who are reading this. The typical association of writers block varies to the following content as I am using the phrase to express the difficulty encountered in creating my new life story I am desperately wanting to bring to fruition.
Since last writing, obstacles have definitely surfaced, and I was stuck in a cloud of thoughts questioning the reason why there is such a fear associated with Cancer. Why is every bodily symptom linked to a questioning of whether a looming nuclear destructive being will come to fight me again? The specific chain of thought stemmed from an incredibly tough period just passed. Honestly, I went to bed on Sunday at 9pm to wake up at 7am on Tuesday. Admittedly, sporadic periods occurred whereby I got out of bed to get some fruit, however, virtually the entire 34 hours were spent in a state of utter despair, with feelings of fatigue and bodily aches consistently experienced. In keeping with the theme from the previous post, I am trying to place this ordeal in a positive frame whereby a degree of normality has once again finally been obtained, however, it takes great mental strength to keep the demons away who persist on telling me the new narrative will never be achieved.
25th October 2015: Byron Bay, New South Wales, Australia
A new dawn has arrived. Admittedly, it is rather vague entry, and hearing I am fatigued and battling a sore throat only seems to add a level of intrigue to how this can be deemed a new chapter in my life. If you are a little confused, then stay with me to hear my explanation.
Previously, an entry in these circumstances would have been saturated in a fear and worry about what these symptoms meant about my health. In contrast, I have been able to shift my interpretations of the symptoms to plainly seeing the sore throat and fatigue symbolising a return to the times of BC (Before Cancer). All throughout my teen and adulthood, a sore throat was the first sign of my body fighting an infection, and opposed to making a correlation between the sore throat and Cancer, I view the sore throat symbolising the beginning of the new narrative I frequently comment upon. In all honesty, I initially did switch into a mode whereby I automatically experienced concern, and of course, I could easily still be stuck in the destructive pattern. The driving motivation behind switching my thoughts derived from a belief in the need to approach my situation differently compared with how I lived after my first surgery. Really, if I am constantly worried and link every little symptom to Cancer, then how am I ever going to live a normal life? Lastly, I also think about the laws of attraction, and ponder whether so much mental energy placed on Cancer actually encourages it to resurface. Surely, it is far better to normalise my situation, and simply bring to fruition this new narrative I frequently reference.
I like to think my narrative has shifted from the person with Cancer, however, constantly situations surface within my week, reinforcing the presence of this narrative in my life. I wonder when, and if I get to the stage whereby the story just becomes a feature of my past?
Alternatively, could the idea of multiple stories exist simultaneously in my life? A life where the Cancer story will ultimately always exist in the eyes of some people, however, others will see through this label, and share in the story I hold about myself.
One point I wish to make clear is the absolute truth in what is to follow, and if there are any doubts, records can be provided to support what I am about to say. I feel the disclaimer is essential, especially when bearing in mind how I have personally processed the information.
Yesterday, I went to the hospital to get a procedure called, Microwave Ablation completed on my left lung, and as previously noted, the procedure intended to eliminate the last remaining Cancer in my body. The story unfolds in the typical way with a nurse calling me into surgery, however, a massive twist shortly followed, leaving my mum absolutely over joyed with elation whilst I was stuck in a state of disbelief. The reasoning behind the reactions results from the doctor coming to advise me that surgery was not required due to the scan taken from two days ago showed the Cancer was no longer present. I had difficulty comprehending the information received, firing off a number of questions, and simply found out there is no medical explanation. The fact of the matter is five weeks ago a scan showed a small Cancer on my left lung whilst the most recent scan showed the Cancer was no longer present. As noted, I was completely perplexed upon hearing, and later processing the information. Fortunately, I also met with the Professor overseeing the entire procedure who confirmed the same information, adding the same multi-disciplinary team who reviewed the latest scans were in the meeting when seeing the latest results. Again, a range of questions were asked, and the response of the a Professor seems to speak volumes, he simply spread his arms open saying there is no explanation, and it is excellent news. So, to conclude, I have a full CT scan in six weeks, am now writing this entry on the balcony of my home with the knowledge of being Cancer free 🙂
In approximately eight hours I will be Cancer Free! Yes, your read it correctly. I am currently waiting to be called to have the the final procedure completed on my left lung. Admittedly, fairly aggressive and evasive treatments have been used, however, purely taking an outcomes approach to reflect on the treatment received leave me in a comfortable position. The next step is to further expand on my existing goals to support my body reach a level of optimum health, enabling me and my loved ones to not again encounters such circumstances.
22nd July 2015: Westmeed Hospital, Sydney, Australia
I am awaiting the call for another X-ray before having confirmation I can finally leave. Well, it will be more of a temporary hiatus at home before coming back for the final procedure in just over a week. Overall, the time has been successful, and in all honesty, I am easily able to overlook some of the frustrations when weighed against the actual outcomes obtained thus far. A similar outcome next week will be a fitting end to this entire ordeal, leaving me then in a position to direct my attention on recovery and continual progression towards existing life goals. On the matter of existing goals, my personal goals are to strive towards working to optimal health and well-being. In addition, I have had received interest in regards to the framework I designed for people with Cancer. Therefore, it seems a platform is established to launch the programme in partnership with a reputable national organisation in the attempt to seek positive outcomes for those who attend. To conclude, I must state that I am fairly happy with the awaiting options, and feel this minor slip will only further benefit my knowledge and capacity at managing the many future life obstacles to be encountered.
12th July 2015: Westmeed Hospital, Sydney, Australia
I am writing in a dazed and confused state from the events endured last night. The circumstances seem evidence of the obstacles to be faced over the coming period. It commenced at approximately 10pm when a sensation of being utterly lost in a cloud of opiates became overwhelming. Consequently, a negative mindset surfaced whereby I felt extremely vulnerable, and when reflecting it is difficult to describe, however, basically my pain increased to an almost intolerable degree, and it was not till 5am when my medication was changed, knocking me asleep.
I am now awake, have had blood collected twice, feel heavily dazed, and not in a position to do anything except lie in bed focusing on past quotes to keep me balanced. The feeling is a perfect example of what I have been trying to explain to staff members about the need to find the balance between having the capacity that allows me to engage in activities whilst keeping the pain away. Hopefully, someone will soon understand this predicament!
11th July 2015: Westmeed Hospital, Sydney Australia
It has been two days since surgery, and honestly there is no comparison to the healing process post-surgery last time. An overview of my circumstances demonstrates an increased mobility, awareness and energy whilst having an appetite. Furthermore, my bodily functions have already reconnected, meaning there is no need for any concern about a possible future enema 😄
So, some details about the procedure and the planning will assist in grasping the current situation. Firstly, two similarities exist between the recent surgery and the previous surgery 18 months ago. Namely, the expected waiting time for my family exceeding the estimation by approximately eighth hours. Secondary, the epidural did not work, meaning a fair bit of pain was experienced when the anaesthetic wore off. In addition, the news I later received was that the operation was reminiscent of a scene from a Quentin Tarantino film with blood bursting out everywhere. My doctor actually stated, ‘the outcome seemed positive, it just reminded me of how surgery was completed 20 years ago’. Upon hearing the news caused little bother, the reassurance the surgery was successful nullified any concern for how the procedure was completed. In summary, I am very outcomes based, so am extremely happy hearing the end result seemed positive, regardless of the amount of blood spurting from my body. The next steps include, two more procedures under local anaesthetic to remove the spread of the little buggers to both my lungs. I have said it once, and believe the latest antics only demonstrate my previous thoughts about Cancer being quite the narcissistic character!
One more sleep separates my current life to the new normality awaiting me. I feel as prepared as possible for surgery, with my mindset playing a crucial role in maintaining overall homeostasis, however, the surrealism of the entire experience is still difficult to comprehend. Namely, the actual details of the reality awaiting me. I must mention, my predictions entail rising from surgery heavily sedated, with weeks to follow stuck within this incapacitated state, however, ultimately I have no idea of what they may find or whether any complications are associated with th surgery. Admittedly, my intentions were to reference tomorrow as D-Day, however, when thinking about the connotations, I did not see the tittle as fitting to the day ahead. Yes, I will have a procedure, and will be experiencing temporary pain, however, on a permanent basis, I have belief in being stronger in a physical, mental and emotional sense. Therefore, tomorrow is not D-Day. Instead, just another day, and the beginning of my new normal.