The mental strength needed to create a new future



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.

Exercise… How to stay motivated, prevent injuries and achieve the goals you want!

22nd March 2015: Sydney, Australia

The week of rest scheduled into my life will cease with all usual activity commencing tomorrow. The purpose of scheduling rest into my life is mostly associated with optimising my physical capacities, namely reducing the chance of injury; maintenance of the immune system to prevent temporary illness; psychological benefits from having a break, and the opportunity to implement a varied range of movement to eliminate stagnation. Ideally, I am looking at scheduling rest approximately every 10-12 weeks, and during the week, the idea is to completely remove movement from my life. Instead, introduce a routine of activity that still keeps the body moving, yet, is much less intensive. For instance, over the past week I completed three yin/restorative yoga sessions, two gentle swims and an extremely modified version of my usual exercise routine.

I have noticed rapid changes in my weight and physique. No evidence supports the supposed changes, however, I did feel a lot slimmer and less defined over the week, possibly leading me to complete the second swim, an activity not planned into my week. In regards to the outcome, there is a noticeable shift in my mind-state to once again work on building strength and regaining the remaining lost weight. Furthermore, the break has allowed the creation of a tailored plan to be implemented when exercising whilst also refreshing the motivation to strive towards the very initial affirmations made when informed of my diagnosis. Therefore, it appears the concept was successful. The results will be shown over the coming weeks when a more intense schedule re-commences.

Pure happiness…

26th January 2015: Sydney, Australia

It was the first time in as long as I can remember that for no apparent reason a feeling of complete elation swept throughout my body. What a joy to think all the those ever increasing wrinkles on my face creased in unison whilst I smiled. Of course, I have felt excellent on numerous occasions over the past months, however, today was most definitely different. The preceding moments featured no physical exercise, interaction with surrounding company or the experience of bearing witness to a particular phenomena or event. Instead, the occasion simply consisting of me sitting alone at the table to eat some food whilst listening to some music. One could say, as typical and mundane a daily event can be. When reflecting, I believe it seems this very fact is the reason that has caused such emotions to arise. There are not many words to further describe the feeling. It basically comes down to a moment previously mentioned whereby a stream of happiness is flowing inside my body, and importantly the circumstances didn’t involve the seeking of happiness or a direct trigger from an external source or being.

The short incident has made me consider some wise words by a friend when recently discussing the meaning between the terms isolation and solitude. The response from my friend was to consider application of the term isolation. His point, and I agree is that isolation has an associated negative connotation attached. Some may say it is only a matter of semantics, however, I believe in the power and influence of language. Therefore, I have now reconstructed my future view of briefly residing in a room or hut in a hopefully peaceful part of the world as a testing of my resolve in managing solitude rather than isolation. Circumstances viewed in terms of being in solitude opposed to isolation has also made me consider my overall experiences throughout the past year. Namely, Was I isolated from my normal life or did I opt for solitude as a necessary means of shifting direction to internal growth?

Finally, I can cry without needed to cut onions

14th October 2014: Sydney Australia

I am curious as to how I would approach defining how Cancer has effected me. My first thoughts immediately relate to the impact of others, particularly the worry and concern for those close to me. The look seen on their faces or the tears from their eyes. The construction of an actual definition though? Well a juxtaposition is sure to unfold in the ensuing attempt, however, I would say the experience has been both a strengthening and weakening process of self. I’m uncertain whether logic can be derived from the past statement. Therefore, I will endeavour to provide some filling to the very empty analogy just quoted.

Lets commence with the question of strengthening. It seems similar to one of those questions, only asked of course at an interview or review whereby your strengths need to be outlined. Although you have prepared, internally a whisper is heard about the difficultly in discussing your strengths. Whilst preparing, we all seem capable of conjuring a number of points about why you would be such an asset. In another context though? It is vastly different, unless you wish for comments to be directed against you such as being big headed, arrogant, overly confident, etc. The current distraction from actuially answering my own question may be a very reflection of this process in motion.

Ok, how have I strengthened? I definitely feel the experience of having Cancer has resulted in a clearer mind, greater focus and motivation, recognition of support, an expansion of my knowledge and a changed perspective on life. To be honest, I can’t really complain with these points. In addition, inclusion of a more healthier and balanced life suggest there is some truth in the Cancer experience strengthening me.

How about the weaknesses? A more selfish attitude towards my life has grown from what some may state was already a fairly strong foundation to build upon. A fear of dying? A rigidity within my life? A hardening towards loved ones. Evident physical deficiencies in regards to my capacity at performing tasks at a level with the strength and energy compared to the years prior to my detection. Finally, the weeping of my heart! Truly, there can be times whereby I am touched by an image, movie, interaction, moment or song and almost brought to tears. It feels like a whole space, previously void has opened and is ready to flow in an instant.

It is interesting to note, reference was made to implying crying is a weakness opposed to a strength. It seems exploration of the matter is required, and I think the general topic of crying is at the centre of my thinking due to recent events. Firstly, I almost came to tears thinking about the look of concern on my mums face last night when I was dragged into a stage of despair by an intense bout of nausea. Secondly, I teared up three times whilst watching the tv show Breaking Bad. The main star has Cancer but mention of it, or focus on the circumstances about his Cancer again almost brought me to tears!

Obviously, the whole experience has had a more profound impact than I like to admit, and it seems I now recognise cutting onions to make myself cry is a task no longer necessary (fact). When thinking about the points mentioned, are they really a weakness or just a stage of the journey necessary to unmask my true self, actually feel and connect with matters that actually have meaning in this world? To conclude, I am not so sure how effective I was at providing a definition about the strengthening and weakening process? Instead, the writing may have simply reflected the many continuing struggles experienced in making sense of the circumstances unfolding for me.