March 12, 2007


I had not realised it has been six weeks or so since I wrote last.  So what have I been doing.  Lots more meditation and relaxation.  It is a complete re-learning of thought and behaviour.  Difficult as my body and head still stick with many of the old models of learned behaviour.  Being calm and relaxed when being active or dealing with conflict are difficult to manage.  At least I now recognise when I am getting disturbed.  Pausing and doing the exercises I have been shown by the clinical health psychologist soon help to bring me back to equanimity.  Also reminding myself that there are no problems at the current moment in time helps.  Every time I re-read the books I have been studying I learn a bit more.  Definitely a hermeneutic experience, behavioural change.

On the health front, my energy is coming back slowly.  I still have to take time-out for two to three hours every-day to rest. Occasionally my energy just runs away and I drape myself limply across the sofa for an afternoon.  What is encouraging is that this is occurring less frequently.  My hair has now met in the middle, so I have a light cap of grey fuzz.  It is almost getting to the stage when I leave my head bare and do not get too cold.  My eyebrows are really bushy, I am waiting for my daughter to help me with the tweezers - Ouch!

The only downside on the health front is that the heart weakening effect of Herceptin has happened to me.  Herceptin can affect the left ventricle, weakening the heart muscle and making pumping more difficult.  This means less oxygen gets to the brain.  I am taking Hawthorn to help with this and I have more astragalus in my herbal decoction to help.  I am seeing my oncologist later this week to determine whether or not I can continue with the Herceptin.  I know that these drugs help, but at what cost?

The fun side of life is talking to friends, meeting them for coffee.  The Arts Centre at Warwick provides a great venue for concerts and theatre.  We heard Carl Davis conduct members of the CBSO in music he had written to three early Charlie Chaplin films.  It was great fun and the music really helped capture the sense of the fun and excitement in the films.  We also saw The Seafarer, a really evocative play about relationships between brothers and friends set in Ireland.  The performances were really inspiring.  The play used humour well to explore some of the themes of loneliness and temptation.  It was a spin on the Dr Faustus legend, in this case the devil did not win. 

So in between, resting, reading, learning and practising meditation, relaxation and Tai Chi not to mention visit s to the hospital and doctors, time seems to disappear.  My kids ask me what I have done all day - it never sounds much, but I am always tired at the end of the day and sleep well.  I am definitely getting better which is a relief.

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March 2007

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