Houston, We’ve got a problem!

11th June 2015: Bali, Indonesia

I hate when people tell me everything will be ok.
I hate when people just don’t listen
I hate to think of the worry I have caused my family.
I hate having to decide who to tell my story with.
I hate even having to think about what my story is.
I hate to think I am writing this.

I hate that I hate.

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How to achieve stillness and find peace in face of adversity

4th June 2015: Bali, Indonesia

I am wanting to write a brief entry to remind me at later times of the complete stillness held within my current thought process. I contribute the obtainment of the present state of mind to the idea of compartmentalising certain thoughts in my life to particular periods in the day. Obviously, the main chain of thoughts causing potential damaging chatter to intrude my consciousness derives from the fear gripping me. The process of compartmentalising thoughts allows me to feel the fear whilst blocking it from taking over my life. Consequently, I then can remain focused on the hope and belief in being-well, and it appears the strategy of directing attention to health and life is more effective than directing all my thinking towards Cancer. My situation may fluctuate, and I need to accept this, however, hopefully this short entry can trigger some of the memories and emotions associated with this period whilst acting as a reminder of how peaceful life can be.

Why time makes me want to morph into a bear to hibernate till everything is finished..

12th May 2015: Sydney Australia

My Professor and I discussed several points, including all the details surrounding my upcoming trip. The other matter discussed was the expected period of time on the Chemotherapy, and it seems I have become victim to my own beliefs. I have advocated from the very beginning of all this that no timeframes would be established for when my treatment would stop. Admittedly, since hearing I would be on the medication for a whole another year deflated my mood. Yes, it is only a few months more, and seems essential so will be adhering to the planning. It has just made me down, angry and somewhat frustrated. I recognise this chain of thought is unhealthy and needs to change, especially considering the current fantasies running through my mind. I would never follow through with such actions, however, in being honest, I am inclined to numb myself with prescription drugs to fall into a deep sleep like a bear to hibernate till it is all finished. I can see perspective is required, particularly in how fortunate I am in many ways, it just hard to take that on board at times.

Plan to succeed

4th May 2015: Sydney, Australia

I have come to realise a saying taught many years ago within a professional context is easily transferable to other areas, including your personal development. The intentions of applying the rule ‘failing to plan is planning to fail’ was to highlight the responsibility l had in ensuring thorough groundwork was completed prior to meeting with a family or individual to complete a therapeutic session. As noted, I see benefits of applying the rule into our lives, and my writing, if used effectively can provide the platform to hopefully build success, opposed to failure.

Yesterday was a clear example of my writing acting as the very means to plan ahead in preparation to approach a situation to the best of my capacity. It was actually ironic in some ways to consider I had put together an entry about the very topic on the day before the question was asked. It was not something major, simply a conversation within a social environment relating to my lifestyle choices. On reflection, if I had not taken the time to sit down and write about my thoughts, then the execution of my answer would not have accurately captured my feelings towards the situation. In summary, my writing can be useful when I am able to avoid becoming stuck in a hole of despair, and at such times, many similarities exist with the preparation undertaken for a job interview whereby you have had the time and space to gain clarity in your thoughts before needing to share with others. To conclude, I must acknowledge my fluctuating feelings on the matter, however, overall, a journal would be encouraged for all people experiencing Cancer to ensure any difficult circumstances or encounters can be hopefully prepared for in advance.

Physical, emotional and mental strains of Cancer…

1st May 2015: Sydney, Australia

A possible flaw has been identified in the framework I designed to help others with Cancer. Initially, my planning was based on the idea of challenging attendees in a similar manner to others in the community who engage in group work, however, recent circumstances in my life brought the matter to surface, namely, the limited emphasis I placed on the possible physical and mental capacity of future participants. On reflection, I feel my intentions reflect the personal strategy created to ensure I faced the duration of time on chemotherapy with a belief of undermining the impact it would have on my life. I acknowledge many would suggest overlooking the impact of treatment for people is negligent, and I must add, of course consideration was made to such a blatant point, however, I feel sufficient attention was not directed to the area.

The events leading to a shift in my thinking again derive from the level movement in my life, and most likely links to memories elicited from viewing past photos. In summary, I have developed a tailored plan in regards to the level of movement that will feature on a weekly basis. My reasoning for tailoring the plan as such results from a knowledge of avoiding physically over exerting myself whilst recognising the great importance needed on recovery time to combat levels of fatigue experienced. The fact my programme is much less intense compared to one in place should I not be receiving treatment is a clear example of the need to also design the framework accordingly. I do recognise the main focus on movement in my life, and some may argue this may not be a suitable example when making comparisons with mental fatigue. In response, I would advise those people give equal weight to mental and physical fatigue, and my reasoning derives from previous study undertaken over the past year whereby I realised that regardless of whether it is physical, mental or even emotional fatigue, the end result is the same. It is for this very reason, I will explore avenues to decrease the load on future people who hopefully partake in my programme.

Time for a social/personal experiment..

14th January 2015: Sydney, Australia

The topic of isolation versus support could always raise interesting reactions regarding the feelings people have throughout varying periods within their lives. In keeping with the umbrella concept governing this series of entries, I suggest the topic is especially important for people who have experienced Cancer. I believe the importance stems from what I deem the secondary factors of Cancer. The factors representing the complete impact of Cancer, not only the illness, but more specifically attention on the consequences of the experience, factors such as ones future outlook, relationships, finance, employment, mental health, physical health, sexual activity, etc.

It seems I am regarding Cancer above other stressors or life events, however, should the matter of relativity not be raised as I think it is unfair to scale Cancer above mental health concerns, difficultly with child rearing, divorce or other stressors? If the previous statement does hold weight, then is not the whole first passage about secondary factors now invalid or would it be better to take a more wholesome approach to all matters, seeing the secondary factors attached to any concern an individual faces?

I have digressed from the main point of isolation versus support, and must say the thought of a quiet hut with limited people, good waves and real food seems so appealing, however, is not the support from family and friends plus my place of residence not the drawing card for me living here? I have mentioned many times the contradictions within my life, and the number of questions I have posed throughout this one entry would indicate a level of accuracy in that statement. The matter of isolation versus support derives from a wanting to have or to be somewhere else. If one option is not available, i.e. isolation then it becomes the point of interest, however, when reversed, does the longing for all the home comforts then not become the main point in the mind? Again I am left with a question needing an answer, and it seems the only way of resolving this theory is by actually testing it. Therefore, I have decided to await the outcomes of inquires in regards to my project, then I will opt to move for a short period of time to a small hut, with waves and real food to eat. It does seem rather naive and a little immature, and admittedly, it is the starting point of a plan that will surely expand as discussions needs to be made with my girlfriend for what the future holds.