A way of learning, Scans are done, it's tick tock and I can't negotiate
A beautifull card from beautiful friends.
It's not everyday that you get a beautiful card, homemade even, from good friends. Infact I never thought that my complex little mind could ever be understood in just a few lines, but Anna & Trevor Kellett, dear and decent friends of mine have me summed up !!
You see, growing up for me, our household wasn't one where you were praised or even encouraged to do well. And as for any type of reward ? Forget it !
Welcome to the 70's families perhaps?
Since I became blinded in 1 eye at age 5 (it may as well be age 0 as nothing pre-accident is remembered by me), I was always acutely aware of this little voice on my shoulder saying to me:
"Aidan, you are special, so you must try a lot harder and prove those people wrong".
So without even thinking, anything I ever took a liking or shine to as I grew up, I would immediately throw the world at it... my world. I remember when I was studying for my Amateur Radio License. This was going to finish up with 3 exams with my name on all: 1.Radio theory, 2. Frequency spectrum management, rules and regulations and 3. Morse code, the latter at 12 words per minute, both sending and receiving. That was way back in 1994. The course was going to be tough, which I already knew. I even had myself convinced I would fail it and would need to re-sit for success.
So I did a deal with myself (how mad is that ?). Rather than facing a re-sit of the courses, for what I figured I would fail, I made a promise but with only one half of my mind. Sit the course twice (that was my self proclaimed calming measure). I then turned around to the other half of my grey matter and told that half, the 2nd course would be done in tandem with the first.
Where course 1 started at position A and worked towards Z, I joined a 2nd course that commenced at position Z and worked towards position A (course 1). Every Monday night for course 1, every Saturday night (how anti social) for course number 2. Of course (pun time), I completed the required course in half the time, studying and learning from opposing directions you understand. I then took the bull by the horns and telephoned the then Department of Communications, from a public telephone box outside the main hall door of our home and meekly booked my exams.
3 weeks later and I was the very proud recipient of a Class A call sign 'EI 5 HW'.
The point I'm trying to make here, is that regardless how big that mountain is to climb, that lake is to swim across, that road race to just finish, even that audience to talk too, there is ALWAYS a different angle or twist you can bring to the table knowing that doing it 'this way' might also work. Or, I can cherry pick from this, that and those and really accomplish what I want.
So for the past 6 months, I have been approaching this battle with my bastard tumour in a similar way. I have been and currently am as you all know, battling like crazy. But I have being doing this by trying to take a bite out of my enemy in various different places and simultaneously. Yes, you might think this adds to an effort/stress situation with shear exhaustion. I'm not going to disagree with that.
BUT, who said that Killing Cancer was easy?
It's a bastard. It's not easy !!. Aches, Pains, Mouth Ulcers, Acute Constipation, Diarrhea, imminent exhaustion, vomiting, all with little or no warnings.
I personally believe that our body's can sense what our brains are thinking. For one moment, just for me, assume our bodies have an intelligence similar to our brains. If our mind is working upbeat, focussed and positive, this is communicated to the body. The latter of course will or indeed would act appropriately. So be that giant P for Positivity. Think that situation out with your mind and I promise you, your body will grasp it too. And by fighting it on multiple synchronous levels, can you imagine the structure of THAT thought being sent from brain to body and then furthermore. For me, I then observe and notice how my bastard tumour responds and how in turn my body (and mind) respond to it.
So last Thursday, it was time for scan number 2 since my chemotherapy commenced. In I went to the Bons Secour Hospital, chauffeured by my No.1, Alison. I get all setup and am duly given the obligatory large jug of Pernod flavoured water, but it's not Pernod as we know. Once that's absorbed thru my body, it acts as a contrasting agent for the CT Scanner, where parts of my internals need to be vividly picked up on. Think of my jug sized Pernod flavoured drink as a cosmetic makeover for my tumour, as it's told to smile for the camera.
As I enter this state of the art covenant, I knock great sport out of the radiologists. If they were expecting a patient that was full of doom and gloom, well hello, that's NOT me guys.
Being slid into the eyes of the scanner, where I must remain completely still, gives me time for a meek and indeed sobering mental recant. I'm 49 years of age, I can tell you that the content of at least 43 of those years flashed before me while under the scanner. A small tear prys itself carefully from my left eye. I then find myself in a deep thought.
"Mam, are you here with me ? I'm very lonely right here, I miss you as much now as I did in September 1998, but I really need you now".
I had a similar chat with St. Pio. This time I didn't ask for a sign (the last time I did, something in the scanner went bang) which resulted in the 10min scanning process taking over an hour to complete.
Mindfulness is indeed a massive part of this. Being in the now, or in 'actuality' as I prefer to call it, is key. It's this mindfulness that is a big help to me over this public holiday weekend.
With my scans done, I'm just awaiting on the official results tomorrow and then that 6 million dollar question: ....what's next ?
Let's leave that till tomorrow. I am however conscious that my poor body has been abused so much by the toxic chemotherapy. I now find that pins and needles combined with a mild numbness in both my feet does not go away. Welcome to chemo buildup eh ?
As needs must you will be told, and for most of it, that's a given.
So, let's see what tomorrow brings. Depending on if I get chemotherapy (or not) tomorrow, I have been invited back to give another motivational talk on Wednesday. As it's for 4th class in St. Seachnalls Primary School, it's format/theme and title is called 'Follow Your Dreams". I use the strong imagery of my Hot Air Ballooning to instill a 'I can do it too' thought process into these kids. The whole concept I teach them hones into a story that follows the entire flight of a balloon. You see, there are very strong connections between what I want to get across to the kids and how a Hot Air Balloon behaves. The (4th class friendly) life analogies gleaned here are just brilliant. Even better the way my talk is heavily intertwined with fun, adventure and glorious colour. For sure, it is a unique learning or even listening curve. The more mature audience I speak with get a much deeper presentation, that is called 'INSIDE OUT'. So even right now, I'm so looking forward to Wednesday.
Fingers and toes crossed for tomorrow's results...
.....and that's not negotiable !!!