Thursday, 31 December 2009

Auld lang syne

Kali inspects the Aboyne Stone Circle
It's been a long year, a huge portion that I can't recall due to the medication and I'm still here.

Huge strides have been taken and I'm now about ready to propel myself into the future, a strong future.

To be here, I have been supported by many in various degrees and for that I will always be in your debt even though you gave your support without condition.

Enjoy Hogmanay and let the new year bring you wealth that only through love is worthy.

Yours truely

Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
and never brought to mind ?
Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
and days o'auld lang syne ?

CHORUS:
For auld lang syne, my jo,
for auld lang syne,
we’ll tak a cup o’ kindness yet,
for auld lang syne.

And surely ye’ll be your pint-stowp !
and surely I’ll be mine !
And we’ll tak a cup o’ kindness yet,
for auld lang syne.

CHORUS

We twa hae run about the braes,
and pu’d the gowans fine ;
But we’ve wander’d mony a weary foot,
sin auld lang syne.

CHORUS

We twa hae paidl’d i' the burn,
frae morning sun till dine ;
But seas between us braid hae roar’d
sin auld lang syne.

CHORUS

And there’s a hand, my trusty fiere !
and gie's a hand o’ thine !
And we’ll tak a right gude-willy waught,
for auld lang syne.

CHORUS

Wednesday, 30 December 2009

Permafrost

Been suffering with the liver in a way I haven't had for a long time. I have been sleeping a lot and it's been hard to lie on my right (liver) side. I have managed to get in to teach my classes but thats about it. I have increased my water intake and being careful what I am eating.

Out in Aboyne, I have noticed the quality of the air and it feels 'healing'. With the bad weather we haven't seen the frost lift since before Christmas with some nights dropping to around -11 degrees Celsius. Permafrost! Saying that the roads are clear and its easy to move around, you just need to wrap up. There's no breeze off the sea so it doesn't feel as cold as it does in Aberdeen.

I have discovered Paramo clothing and this stuff really works, requiring less layers than I did when wearing my Gortex.

Hogmanay tomorrow and we have guests coming out to the house, so we look forward to that!



Pablo Picasso said ...

"My mother said to me, 'If you are a soldier, you will become a general. If you are a monk, you will become the Pope.' Instead, I was a painter, and became Picasso."

What will you fill in this blank with when you look back on your life?

If you choose to be re-born, you can be anything you want.

But remember that Picasso also said ...

"Action is the foundational key to all success."

Friday, 25 December 2009

Merry Kalistmas

The River Dee 10am

Whilst celebrating the festival of Winter Solstice was akin to our ancient ways, the imposing Christians put Christmas day as near as hell to it (and bang on the Roman solar holiday Dies Natalis Solis Invicti) to which the vest majority here in the UK have grown up to recognise this as way to get the family together and be thankful for our wealth. The Julian calendar has it as the 7th January but we use the Gregorian calendar so hence the 25th.

This year Caz, Kali and I have celebrated in a new house. I can't recall last Christmas as i was still recovering from surgery and high on morphine but, whilst I'd started the I will Survive mantra, I guess I wouldn't have laid goods odds on making it this far. You can see by this post last Christmas that I was laying the right foundations but it wasn't till October that this tipping point was reached.

I owe the change to a lot of good friends who gave me strength, who have been there or who have helped in any way however big or small. For this I consider myself a wealthy man and so I can truly be thankful today of all days.



Its been a busy week with all the bad weather and hustle and bustle of this time of year. At the weekend we were up in Inverness, traveling in all the blizzards and it seems so long ago already. Kali has been lying protecting the tree with her presents around it, she's like a little child and sure enough she stuck her nose into every parcel this morning. The video clip says it all!

So I'm thankful for the health I have and the health I will have. After this Annus horribilis I can only see a more positive future. So let us raise our glasses, mugs of tea or whatever and join in a toast to the riches that are around us that money simply cannot buy! Amen


Thursday, 17 December 2009

The Paulsonator


Erik coming to town is always a marvelous experience. In the midst of a house move it made it the more interesting.

Erik and Tonya were up at the house to chill out and Tonya likes to see Kali. For me, it was a great opportunity to ask Erik about the best way to adopt his curriculm requirements at the school. We watch some fights and discuss training methods and tactics.

The seminar went well, ending up with all the students in the ring working boxing drills. The ammount of information, technique and advice was immence. There's enough information for students to take and utilise for a year. Early into the late hours Erik and I were watching fights and discussing martial arts.

Seeing them off is always sad. I had wanted to go to Ayr and take in the next seminar as well. This wasn't realistic at this stage of my fight and I had a fighter getting ready for a MMA fight as well as a house move.

Friday consisted of driving through freezing fog to Bathgate, hanging around in a freezing fight venue all for 6 minutes of fight action. Neil Cushnie was competing. He had trained for a previous show but was not matched. At short notice he was in good shape to step up and take the task and did so without hesitation.

I recall some 3 years ago, Neil was helping me moving rubble from our old Justice Mill Lane gym and expressed his desire to fight one day. I am sure Neil wont be embarrassed to hear that he is certainly no hard man and the idea of him being a fighter would have been laughed off by many.

At AMAG though, we have the culture of anything being possible. Neil achieved his dream and at the end of the fight the achievement dawned on him. He hadn't expected to win because he has always been told that he wasn't an achiever. Neil has stuck two fingers up at them and has proved to himself that he doesn't need to be chained to other people pulling him down. You can watch his fight here.

There are a multitude of examples at AMAG and each one of them fills me with pride and satisfaction. I may not have been able to be as active this year but next year I will be turning up the intensity as i return to good health, but having developed so many good students I know they also carry these values.

Establish right relationship with man first

Posted:

You will never find it if you seek it. You will never find it if you run after it. You will never find it if your intention is in seeing the beauty of the earth, in seeing the light on the water, in seeing the perfect line of a mountain, and you hope through seeing, to find that. You will never find it because you cannot find that through anything, through your sacrifice, through your worship, through your meditation, through your virtue. You will never come upon it because your motive is all wrong, because you want to find that, not in living, but somewhere else. You must establish right relationship with man first, which means you must know what it means to love, what it means to be compassionate, what it means to be generous when you have a great deal, what it means to share with another the little that you have, to establish this marvellous order in living, daily living. - Krishnamurti in India 1970-71, p157

Tuesday, 15 December 2009

MRI results and Edinburgh's reaction

Apologies for the lack of posts but we have been moving out to the countryside and the internet access was shut down for a week. Its been a busy week and a half but before I cover those bases I want to share the results of the MRI scan and what we have heard from the Edinburgh Transplant Team.

The scan measured the lesion to have reduced again to 3.1 x 3.4 cm!

Furthermore it was established that there is only ONE lesion!

Now they want to again look at the first CT scan and the latest MRI and the Liver Doctor is saying he's getting very positive vibes. What these experts will decide may be a transplant or radio frequency, but they will determine the end of the tumour.

Now, in the next few days I'll cover what else is going on but that news alone should be covered in one post!

Man exists for only one purpose

Posted:

Students as well as teachers must work together to bring about the release of this tremendous energy to find reality, God or truth. Your parents and teachers, like the rest of society, have not perceived that man exists for only one purpose, which is to find reality or God. If even a small group of educators were to understand and give their whole attention to that search, they would create a new kind of education and a different society altogether. - This Matter of Culture, p.188

Monday, 7 December 2009

MRI scan

Had my MRI scan this morning.
You have to hold your breath in an enclosed space whilst the machine whirs and make noise that sounded like the Gabba Techno my son used to listen to at one point.
[Originated in Holland, gabba means “buddy” in Dutch. Gabba is Dutch, four-beat hardcore. Hard as hell and fast, fast, fast, featuring distorted 240 beats per minute kick drums and big bass drum sounds.]
All in all it took over 30 minutes in which they put a dye into your blood. The ears hurt the most from the noise!

These results will determine my future treatment.

Tomorrow Erik Paulson, accompanied by his wife Tonya, will arrive to teach at the gym. A true legend and an inspiration in my life, Erik's visit will be great! Even the dog will enjoy their presence!

Religion is the cessation of the 'me'

Posted:

Have we shared this together? Because it is your life, not my life. It is your life of sorrow, of tragedy, of confusion, guilt, reward, punishment. All that is your life. If you are serious you have tried to untangle all this. You have read some book, or followed a teacher, or listened to somebody, but the problem remains. These problems will exist as long as the human mind moves within the field of the activity of the self; that activity of the self must create more and more and more problems. When you observe, when you become extraordinarily aware of this activity of the self, then the mind becomes extraordinarily quiet, sane, healthy, holy. And from that silence our life in everyday activity is transformed. Religion is the cessation of the “me”, and action born of that silence. That life is a sacred life full of meaning.
This Light in Oneself, p 77

Wednesday, 2 December 2009

The Roller coaster

Monday morning I awoke after a mammoth sleep. You know how it is. You are under the warm duvet and you spread yourself right across the bed, half dozing. It was bliss. I stretched my left arm and the right arm like a giant starfish. My right leg, then my left leg and then SUDDENLY i had a fierce cramp cutting right into my left calf.

This is the life i lead at the moment. Its very much a roller coaster and one day you can be on top of the world and the next you crash and burn. With the moving into the new house ongoing, its tiring me out on top of the other duties but I wouldn't choose to stop it. WE'll get there.

"Most of us go through life as failures, because we are waiting for the "time to be right" to start doing something worthwhile. Do not wait. The time will never be "just right." Start where you stand, and work with whatever tools you may have at your command, and better tools will be found as you go along."

This coming Monday I have an MRI scan booked, the results of which will be sent down to the Liver Transplant Team in Edinburgh who should then be in a position to determine the course of action in the new year. Que sera, sera.

"Whatsoever the mind can conceive and believe ... it *can* achieve." Napoleon Hill

Thursday, 26 November 2009

Touch the earth


“We don’t get a chance to do that many things, and every one should be really excellent. Because this is our life.”

Climate change policies 'improve health'

Whilst the two political sides argue over the legitimacy of climate warming data and there is no doubt that the science has been manipulated to appease the different Governments, you should not throw the baby out with the bathwater.

When you go past the scientists employed/funded by self interested parties you see the true science, not altered graphs. James Lovelock has this on his website and in his books on Gaia. This is repeated in Steve Schneider's The Patient from Hell which is about his successful fight against cancer.

A special series of articles, published in medical journal, the Lancet, outlines how such policies could have a direct impact on global health.


Food: High-producing countries should reduce livestock production by 30%. If this translated into reduced meat consumption, the amount of saturated fat consumed would drop sharply, which could reduce heart disease

Transport: Cutting emissions through walking and cycling and reducing use of motor vehicles would bring health benefits including reduced cardiovascular disease, depression and dementia

Household: In low-income countries, solid fuel stoves create indoor air pollution. National programmes to introduce low-emission stoves could avert millions of premature deaths and reduce greenhouse gas emissions

Pollution: Short-lived pollutants including ozone and black carbon contribute to climate change and damage health. Reducing emissions of these would offer immediate benefits

Energy: Decreasing the proportion of carbon-based electricity generation would give health benefits worldwide, particularly in middle-income countries such as India and China


“Innovation distinguishes between a leader and a follower.”

You can join the NHS Organ Donor Register by:

  • Filling in a form online
  • Calling the NHS Donor Line on 0300 123 23 23
    (Lines are open 24 hours a day all year round. Calls are charged at your contracted rate for local calls)
  • By texting SAVE to 84118

“Be a yardstick of quality. Some people aren’t used to an environment where excellence is expected.”

Wednesday, 25 November 2009

Breaking News!

Just off the phone to the Liver Doctor. He's heard back from Edinburgh and the great news is that as of yet they have NOT dismissed the application for a Liver Transplant!

They have requested a MRI scan. There seems to be some confusion over how many lesions there are in the liver. I was under the impression that there were two but this isn't clear in the CT scans and is NOT conclusive!

Two lesions and they will dismiss it and we will offerred different options such as the radio therapy where they put a prong into the lesion and microwave it to death. We then look to get the Liver to fight any HCV virus and regenerate as much as possible.

Transplant though is a cure all solution, fraught with it's own inherent dangers, but one that gives me the potential of actually collecting my meagre pension when the time is right!

While i'm elated, I know that there is still the overwhelming odds of refusal. It will not change my vision of surviving this and leading once again a life where I can achieve at the highest levels!

Tuesday, 24 November 2009

Cleanliness is next to godliness

Call me Dopey, but I've been sleeping for two hours every afternoon. The body is shutting down in its attempt to heal. However, today I've got the energy to go right through!

I'm down to 87.2kg (192.4 pounds or 13.7 stone) after last weeks 91.5kg (201.7/14.4) caused by bloating!

Aberdeen Royal Infirmary told to improve swiftly

Toilet in Aberdeen Royal Infirmary/Image: NHS Quality Improvement Scotland report
A hole in a toilet wall was one failing highlighted/Image from NHS Quality Improvement Scotland report

Health Secretary Nicola Sturgeon has demanded "urgent improvements" at Aberdeen Royal Infirmary.

It follows a Healthcare Environment Inspectorate report highlighting issues needing to be addressed, including cleanliness and infection control.

Ms Sturgeon said: "This report makes difficult reading. I am disappointed that so much room for improvement has been identified."

A follow-up inspection was said to already have found some progress.


My own experience last year was that the staff were always working on cleanliness. Apart from the age of the buildings, there was no issue that concerned me.

A never-ending struggle

Posted:

Meditation generally as it is accepted now is the practice of a system, breathing properly, sitting in the right position, wanting or craving greater experience, or the ultimate experience. This is what we are doing. And all that is a constant struggle, a never-ending struggle. This is a never-ending struggle, which is hoping to end all struggle! See what we have done. I am struggling, struggling, struggling to end struggling sometime in the future. See what tricks I have played on myself. I am caught in time. I don’t say, “Why should I struggle at all?” If I can end this struggle that is enlightenment. Total Freedom, p 334

Sunday, 22 November 2009

Drug Company Watch

Last night was the worst night of cramping I have ever had. I had had a good day and had joined in to the warm ups in BJJ and did some teaching. The rain was heavy which made me run from the bus stop. That was all. I ate decently, took my vits and even has a late afternoon sleep.

Wales and Chelsea won while we start to pack the house up ahead of our move out to the countryside.

Drug Company Watch
A few months back a certain drug - bevacizumab - was pulled from the UK because it is "too expensive".

Until recently, Pfizer were the only ones to have the patent for Irinotecan, they were the only ones allowed to produce it. Patent ran out, now other companies are selling Irinotecan for 10% of the price Pfizer were charging.


Meditation can not be a system

Posted:

So Meditation is Not conscious Meditation. You understand this? It can Not be conscious Meditation, following a system, a guru - collective Meditation, group Meditation, single Meditation, according to Zen or some other system. It can Not be a system because then you practice, practice, practice, and your brain gets more and more dull, more and more mechanical. So is there a Meditation which has no direction, which is Not conscious, deliberate? find out.
J Krishnamurti: Last Talks at Saanen 1985

Friday, 20 November 2009

please sir, can i have some more?

please sir, can i have some more?

Whilst everyone is shouting at NICE for their decision:

Global Nexavar net sales as reported by Onyx's collaborator Bayer HealthCare Pharmaceuticals, or Bayer, were $229.2 million for the third quarter 2009, a 27% increase compared to $180.9 million in the same period in 2008. Onyx and Bayer are marketing and developing Nexavar(�) (sorafenib) tablets, an anticancer therapy currently approved for the treatment of liver cancer and advanced kidney cancer in the U.S., European Union, Japan and other territories.

Net income for the third quarter 2009 reflected growth in Nexavar sales and lower Nexavar commercial expenses, offset by expanded clinical development efforts, lower investment income and interest expense on the convertible senior notes issued in August 2009.

Source: PR Newswire

Onyx finally made a profit last year — the first time the cancer drug developer has gone into the black in the last five years. It made $1.9 million and returned just 3 cents a share, on revenues of $194 million. Those revenues were nearly double the year before as Onyx’s deal with Bayer on the drug Nexavar fully kicked in.

Could that profit have been any higher? Yes, it could, had not the top executives at the company gotten such hefty raises in compensation. In 2007, the company’s four named executives received $6.8 million between them. In 2008, those top four had become the top six, and they shared $11 million in total compensation.

In other words, executive compensation was roughly five times the profits the company returned to shareholders.

Now, Onyx has some excuses: They replaced a CEO, added an HR chief and a corporate development chief. But those moves were offset somewhat by the fact that the new CEO, N. Anthony Coles, was paid $2.8 million in total compensation even though he only arrived in March, whereas the outgoing boss, Hollings C. Renton, only earned $2.5 million before he left. Coles’ basic salary nearly quadrupled over Renton’s.

Here’s the summary:

  • Name, 2008 pay, 2007 pay
  • CEO N. Anthony Coles, $2.8 million, NA
  • Ex-CEO Hollings Renton, $2.5 million, $2.6 million
  • CFO Gregory Schafer, $818,000, $690,000
  • HR chief Judy Batlin, $937,000, NA
  • COO Laura Brege, $1.7 million, $1.4 million
  • Ex- chief medical officer Henry Fuchs, $2.2 million, $2.1 million
  • SVP corp. dev. Juergen Lasowski, $1 million, NA
    Numbers are rounded, includes stocks and options whose value changes over time.
Even here in the UK, we have been affected by the Right in the US using token phrases of fear when controls on companies or Health Care is concerned. There's a mantra of "freedom" used and the threat of 'socialism' or 'communism' are used to scare people away from really looking at this. Well freedom just ain't freedom when your back's against the wall.

The Drug companies are reaping in large profits in order to satisfy their shareholders. In a time of recession their profits are obscene.

Obscene is a strong word, but bear in mind some of these drugs are out the reach of many people because of their inflated cost, so people will die in order to satisfy the greed of the stakeholders.

And the companies that will provide these drugs? The Health Insurance companies will be investing their money into these companies because their returns are huge and they too can profit. No wonder so much money is being put into the political arena and promoting Private Health Care. In the mean time the poor will get a second hand service,if that.

That's not free market economics - its free market exploitation.

At the same time, other European Health Services provide these drugs because their societies view Health Care in a different light. Here in the UK we spend £1bn a year in Iraq which could be invested in the NHS (source) although recent figures put it higher at 1.5bn(source). This affect the squaddies who don't get a decent pension from the MOD for having their legs blown off.

Since the oil taps turned on in the North Sea we have wasted the revenue whilst countries like Norway have invested in their country and services to give their citizens a great standard of living. (source)

What type of society do you want to live in?
You might be in a hospital ward looking for hope, or seeing a friend or relative dying when you know that there's something that could help but it's priced out of range.

It WILL NOT change if you don't stand up and represent yourself. Whether its a letter to your local MP, writing to a paper, supporting an Organisation that will campaign on the relevant issues. If you do nothing then that's what you will get.

On another approach, you could change many habits that could put you in that circumstance. Reducing alcohol, reducing meat heavy diets etc would be a first step. Many options have been discussed before in this blog.

There are always choices and you can re-evaluate what you want in your life.

Cramps last night but feeling pretty good right now. Getting closer to the house move - clean country air awaits!

Thursday, 19 November 2009

On the BBC website

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/health/8368954.stm

"Because of Bupa, I am able to have it, but that runs out at the end of January. The medical insurance only lasts a year. I would hope to have destroyed the tumour by then.

"[But] If I hadn't have had the drug, I would still have fought it and I still would have won.

"There's lots of people with different situations, if the tumour is small, they won't put you on to a drug, because they'll look at a transplant.

Patrick Davies
They've got a pretty hard job to do. I've got a lot of sympathy for them, we've all got to make budgeting decisions

"Once a transplant can't happen, that's when they consider the drug - you're talking about people in a very serious condition. That's why they're talking about only extending the life for six months.

"I just think it's a case of really, we as human beings in a society, should re-evaluate our priorities.

"Other countries have access to drugs that could make a difference because they have a different set of priorities.

"They've [NICE] got a pretty hard job to do. I've got a lot of sympathy for them - we've all got to make budgeting decisions.

"The chemical companies themselves have just as much responsibility as NICE, if they want to sell their product at a price we can't afford. Why are they putting it out at that price? I'm pretty sure it's because they want to make profit for their shareholders."

Im on the telly Bill!!!

3.15 News 24
Being Interviewed about NICE and Sorafenib


Liver cancer drug 'too expensive'

The BBC's headline Liver cancer drug 'too expensive' has personal meaning. The company I work for had a BUPA private medical scheme and so BUPA has funded my Sorafenib for ONE year only. Coupled with my mental state, my recovery has happened but I was the first in Aberdeen to have Sorafenib for Primary Liver Cancer.

Others, especially anyone who can't afford private medical insurance, will not have that opportunity. Of course a budget means these type of decisions are made, like them or not. But if my taxes were going more into the NHS than into ridiculous wars in Iraq then maybe the budget could stretch?

More than 3,000 people are diagnosed with liver cancer every year in the UK and their prognosis is generally poor.

Only about 20% of patients are alive one year after diagnosis, dropping to just 5% after five years.

I am breaking those rules! I'm one year plus on the eve of the anniversary of the failed operation

It's your NHS, make a noise. Maybe the money put into conflicts abroad could pay for the Drug Treatment that your loved one's might need. You have a voice - USE IT!

If you have cancer, you can survive regardless of the type of treatment. You have to really want to.

Monday, 16 November 2009

There Is No Authority But Yourself


Its been a day in bed, feeling rather poorly. These days hit you out of the blue and there's no pattern to it. I'll be alright tomorrow but after participating in the BJJ on Saturday I hoped to take part tonight. This tumours may be on the way out, but it's going to go kicking and screaming! Not to be with training today then, that day will come though.

When i was in my late teens I was heavily influenced by a band called Crass, to the extent that i toured around with them helping and learning about PA's and Sound Engineering. I brought this knowledge back to Aberdeen and set up the Music Support Group which was then copied throughout Youth Work places in the city. Some of these still exist.

We'd put the money we raised from gigs into paying local musicians to teach young unemployed how to play guitar, drums etc. You see, you don't have to live to stereotype, you can achieve anything and you merely need to go for it. With the way our society is, there's many young people who don't get this and leave school believing that they are no good as that's all they were told.

It doesn't matter at what age you are, you can change and do what you dream of. Its just a question of identifying what your dreams are, beyond the barrage of materialistic icons that we are told we must have to be fulfilled.

My life went from the music support group into martial arts and despite the different medium, my life's work is the same. People achieve and can make their choices for themselves, regardless of whether i agree or not. They just need to have the strength to take responsibility for their own actions.

Thats what i have done with my illness, i've taken responsibility for my own situation and i'm going to change it. Many simply give up. Not me.

This is a documentary with people who never told me i was wrong, who allowed me to participate and don't judge. Some of it isn't pleasant but you have to understand that the end of the 70's and the early 80's wasn't a pleasant time for many.





Not prayer, not devotion

Posted:

Prayer obviously produces results; otherwise millions wouldn’t pray. And in praying, obviously the mind is made quiet; by constant repetition of certain phrases, the mind does become quiet. And in that quietness there is a certain intimation, certain perceptions, certain responses. But that is still a part of the trick of the mind because, after all, through a form of mesmerism you can make the mind very quiet. And in that quietness there are certain hidden responses arising from the unconscious and from outside the consciousness. But it is still a state in which there is no understanding. And meditation is not devotion—devotion to an idea, to a picture, to a principle—because the things of the mind are still idolatrous. One may not worship a statue, considering it idolatrous and silly, superstitious; but one does worship, as most people do, the things in the mind—and that is also idolatrous. And to be devoted to a picture or an idea, to a Master, is not meditation. Obviously, it’s a form of escape from oneself. It’s a very comforting escape, but it’s still an escape. The Collected Works vol V, p 361

Saturday, 14 November 2009

A week of mainly UP's

Chris Moir receives instruction in between rounds

I had the Swine Flu jab on Thursday which saw me spend the whole of Friday in bed feeling poorly. After a good week where i put in some hours at work, the end was terrible. Kali had been the same all week too and Caz is fighting off a cold.

I managed to get it together to take a CSW workshop last night but I am chuffed to have gone down and participated in light drilling in the BJJ class with Peter PJJ Richardson and Scott Scotosan Pressley.

Generally, I'm much stronger and whilst I get the lows, I see them being less and less.

Don't know if I mentioned the new ring at the gym, seen here below!

Supporters who have given me words of support along with Caz


The foundation of a righteous life

Posted:

Meditation is hard work. It demands the highest form of discipline—not conformity, not imitation, not obedience—but a discipline which comes through constant awareness, not only of things about you outwardly, but also inwardly.

So meditation is not an activity of isolation but is action in everyday life which demands co-operation, sensitivity and intelligence. Without laying the foundation of a righteous life, meditation becomes an escape and therefore has no value whatsoever.

A righteous life is not the following of social morality, but the freedom from envy, greed and the search for power—which all breed enmity. The freedom from these does not come through the activity of will but by being aware of them through self-knowing. Without knowing the activities of self, meditation becomes sensuous excitement and therefore of very little significance.Meditations, p 6

Sunday, 8 November 2009

A Time to Remember


People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf.....Men can only be highly civilized while other men, inevitably less civilized, are there to guard and feed them. George Orwell

To move forward to peace we need representatives who will not be tainted by financial gain or fanatical or fundamental dogma. But they need to be our representatives.

This requires an engaged population, not a disenfranchised one. It starts, for me, with personal responsibility, living ones life in a manner that you treat others as you would want to be treated.

Yesteday was spent with the fighters on a show in Aberdeen. Leigh and Ray stood up to represent - although others were unable to be matched - and both did well. There is no such thing as failure, there's just a different result. You take what you experience and you turn it into a win by learning from the experience and adopting the lessons. It was both their first time in that arena, so both will be stronger for it.
James McIntyre puts up with me
All it needs now is for Chelsea to win against Man Utd. I have no doubts.

The first step is the last step

Posted:

... The first step is the last step. The first step is to perceive, perceive what you are thinking, perceive your ambition, perceive your anxiety, your loneliness, your despair, this extraordinary sense of sorrow, perceive it, without any condemnation, justification, without wishing it to be different. Just to perceive it, as it is. When you perceive it as it is, then there is a totally different kind of action taking place, and that action is the final action. Right? That is, when you perceive something as being false or as being true, that perception is the final action, which is the final step. Now listen to it. I perceive the falseness of following somebody else, somebody else’s instruction—Krishna, Buddha, Christ, it does not matter who it is. I see, there is the perception of the truth that following somebody is utterly false. Because your reason, your logic and everything points out how absurd it is to follow somebody. Now that perception is the final step, and when you have perceived, you leave it, forget it, because the next minute you have to perceive anew, which is again the final step.Krishnamurti in India 1970-71, p 50

Friday, 6 November 2009

CT Results

Scan results show further reduction in the tumour, down to 4.1 x 3.6. This is a reduction that is "Better than Most"!

A letter has been sent for Transplant consideration, although we expect, as previously discussed, that it will not be considered. It will however now bring in the top Liver brains to look at what they consider as best option, which include things like radio frequency.

Then after a small period of recuperation, the medication will focus on repairing the liver.

Thursday, 5 November 2009

Hints

Still not heard from anyone about the CT Scan results, so I phoned up the Liver doctor. Speaking to his secretary I requested notification of any results.

She did inform me that a letter has been sent off to the Head of the Transplant Team. This will be the request to have me considered for Transplant, something I talked of a month or so ago.

What that news tells me that the CT scan would have cleared e of any secondary Turmours, especially in the chest. I can celebrate that.

Whether there was a reduction in the size of the tumours in my Liver I am yet to find out, but i'm sure they are reducing.

Its not been a good week, i'm tired and daren't be too far away from the toilet!

We went to see Eddie Izzard last night and an excellent show he did with ninja sheep and camels on the Ark!



Perry turns 21 tomorrow! WOW!

Monday, 2 November 2009

It's raining; it's pouring.

Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse
It's raining; it's pouring.
The old man is snoring.
He went to bed and bumped his head,
And he wouldn't get up in the morning.
Think I might need to build an Ark. The ducks will be okay though! More rain forecasted....hmmmmm

Still waiting on the CT scan results. They might be in the post but the Royal Mail strike may be disrupting their arrival. I'll phone soon to find out.

Last week was a good week. I put in quite a lot more work and I felt good. Friday afternoon saw a sleep needed though. I then went down and partially joined in the Friday night Kettlebell/circuit class. I felt good even though i was careful. I don't believe this was the cause of my unwell feeling on Saturday morning, where i felt sick and shivery. I took it easy on Saturday and Sunday, but felt weak.

Today was better in that I was in the office and alert. I was hoping to join in the BJJ class but I'm tired and there are spasms shooting through my liver when i move. I must pay more attention to the amount ogf water I'm drinking. I don't think I'm drinking enough at the moment. My Sunday night sleep was disrupted with cramps.

Other than this I'm slightly heavy at 90kg which some of which is water retention. My stomach is bloated, a sympton of a poor functioning liver. What I'm eating has not risen a huge amount.

Caz had a weekend away in Edinburgh with her pal Julie and took advantage with a nice spa trip on Sunday. I'm glad she is back but this predicament is hard for her too.

Lord of the Rings Fan? This is brilliant.

Stuart Godfrey, a friend, has made his own music video. Well done.

Wednesday, 28 October 2009

Permaculture

Gandhi: Earth provides enough to satisfy every man's need, but not every man's greed.

During this year we have been looking to sell and therefore buy a new house. To be perfectly honest, the determining factor of suitability was the ability to walk around stark bollock naked without either offending or titillating anyone. [The latter being more in hope than in reality!]

I wanted seclusion from city noise. I wanted to see the stars and I wanted fresh air.

We are now in this position and have bought a house which will see us settled before the Winter solstice. There is work to be done in the property but that work will see some ethical choices.

Our heat source will be an air source heat pump, using natural air to fuel the heating we will use, freeing ourselves from oil based solutions. This will work alongside a wood stove which will heat the house in the worst that winter will send.

We will continue to look into other methods of ethical living, where we treat the earth with respect as a living organism. Click here to learn more about permaculture.


Meantime, whilst the benefits of the new drug recipe were set back after the exhausting weekend with the fights, I find myself able to do more work. I do have a bloating issue and have gone up suddenly to over 90kg, but I'm using the likes of Fennel and other natural remedies to bring it into order.



Learning from experience?

Posted:

Questioner: Can we learn from experience?
Krishnamurti: Certainly not. Learning implies freedom, curiosity, inquiry. When a child learns something, he is curious about it, he wants to know, it is a free momentum, not a momentum of having acquired and of moving from that acquisition. We have innumerable experiences; we have had five thousand years of wars.We have not learnt a thing from them except to invent more deadly machinery with which to kill each other. We have had many experiences with our friends, with our wives, with our husbands, with our nation—we have not learnt. Learning, in fact, can only take place when there is freedom from experience. The Impossible Question, p 78

Monday, 26 October 2009

Caz's Fight

Caz Ewan vs Mary McKay (Caledonian MT) 5x 1.5 mins C Class (Win Caz points)

Sunday, 25 October 2009

Achieving your goals

Wai
Well the guys did very well last night. We had three wins out of three on a tremendous show which was deafening at times!

Saturday started early walking the dog, followed by a trip to the Doctors for the flu jab. Then i went down to the school and taugt a 90 minute class covering Silat and CSW. Back to pick up Caz, take Kali to the the dog sitter and then down for the weigh ins. Caz is fine, Alan is light and his opponent heavy. That gets sorted but there always a lot of hanging around at this point.

Fight time comes and Caz powers her opponent for 5 rounds, even though she's been laid low with a heavy cold for over a week. Its a good win and her opponent was a good match. Alans up next and he had the chin to show that he could take the heavy punches which was all his opponent really had. Alan smiled during the round breaks as he was thoroughly enjoying the experience. Chris was against a good strong fighter from Cork but came through strong in the end.

Keith organised the show and was top of the bill. He trains with us on Mondays but represents Ronnie MacPherson, and he did very well winning his bout. All in all a great show which didnt see us get home till late and exhausted.
Caz acknowledges her 'fan club'
Someone asked me if i was proud and I guess there is, but it's more than that. This is my lifes work and the fighters are just learning to deal with certain situations for themselves. It's part of their growth, so being 'proud' isn't the intention. It's nice to see that we develop our skills and can compete against clubs totally focussed on fighting whereas we look to develop the arts. Whilst three fighters achieved, there was a whole team behind them who came together and achieved.

What makes me 'proud' is when i get notes like the one below, where I hear that I have provided the platform for someone to go and achieve. I may not necessarily choose that path but then again it isn't my journey. theres some more in the comments section on certain posts but whilst I may not reply then I do appreciate them and hope you will give that strength to those near you when they have difficulties


G'day Pat,
You probably won't remember me, but I trained under your direction at the Tillydrone Community Centre in Aberdeen many years ago now...I think possibly 1991-1992(?). I only remember "Dod" (talented boxer) and "Bob" (older guy - hard as nails, worked at the paper mill) as the other students there.
I am still training, albeit in a haphazard way, and am attending a Krav Maga knife seminar in the coming days.
Per the e-mail address, I now live in Perth, Western Australia, and happened to google martial arts in Aberdeen for some reason - can't think why, Karma maybe - then chanced upon your website (congrats on the School - looks the biz) then saw your news.
All I can say Pat is that you (+ the other guys) were an inspiration...you gave me self-confidence and focus at a time in my life when I really needed it...the proof is in the pudding (so to speak), I followed my dreams, joined the Army and the rest is history...here I am, "living the dream" in WA. You and the other guys all helped make me who I am.
I wish you all the very best in your recovery Pat...who knows, if I make it back to Aberdeen, I'll look you up for a coffee and check out the facilities at your School. Best wishes for a full recovery,
Regards Duncan

Kia ora e hoa Greetings my friend
I have been following your blog and inspired by your continued strength and determination. It has helped me personally and I have shared your wisdom with a friend here in a similar situation.....
..I thought I would share some Tibetan wisdom I rediscovered recently with my girls
1. a man walks down a path. He sees a hole. He falls into it. It isn’t his fault. It takes a very long time to get out.
2. a man walks down a path. He sees a hole. He pretends it isn’t there. He falls in. It isn’t his fault. It takes a long time to get out.
3. a man walks down a path. He sees a hole. He falls in. It’s a habit. He gets out quickly.
4. a man walks down a path. He sees a hole. He walks around it.
5. a man walks down a different path.

Kia kaha! Be strong! Dino

Thursday, 22 October 2009

feeling stronger

Feeling stronger every day. Did a long shift at the office yesterday - 8 hours. I ended up teaching at night as well. I'll take it easy and tomorrow i'll do kettle bells, TRX exercises and some bag work.



Hearing without the ear - J Krishnamurti

There is an art of listening. The word “art” implies putting everything in its right place. If you understand the meaning of that word, the real art is not painting pictures, but the art of putting your life in its proper place, which is to live harmoniously. When you have put everything in yourself in its right place, you are free. Putting everything in its right place is part of intelligence. You will say we are giving a new meaning to that word “intelligence”. One must. Intelligence implies reading between the lines, between the words, between two silences, between speech, listening with your mind all the time alert to listen. You hear not only with the ear, but also without the ear.

On Love and Loneliness, pp 87-88

Tuesday, 20 October 2009

CT Scan

Caz at Madstock earlier in the year

Today i had my CT scan. It will be a week or so for results.

I feel very different. We have changed from the Spironolactone to Furosemide. This has seen several vital changes in my reaction to the drugs:
  • I have no tenderness in the breast area that was hampering me before. I couldn't hold a box in my arms without huge discomfort.
  • I feel much less dizzy when exercising - i did some cartwheels tonight!
  • I'm bloating and have gone up to 90kg in a very short period of time without a huge increase in diet.
The bloating may just be a reaction to the change which is strange as that is meant to be what the drug stops happening. I'm starting to use Flaxseed in my diet as these supply anti-inflammatory omega 3 oils which are essential for health.

Bread is hard to give up, it's such a staple but a lot of people have problems with it - if you lack digestive enzymes for example it will not be fully digested. It will ferment and release by-products and cause wind. It also has a high glycemic index which means it will keep weight on.

Try different breads - Spelt is similar to wheat but has less gluten, rye is good gear but an acquired taste, millet is extra nutritious. If you have to have the bread get the best quality wholegrain - brown bread is dyed white bread, wholemeal is second best to wholegrain.

Whole grains contain an array of nutrients which help to break down the wheat itself - so you can see as bread is further and further refined it loses these qualities and becomes harder to digest. It's bizarre that they now fortify breads and cereals with the very things that can be found in the original whole-grain!
Fennel, aniseed, cardamon will all help with wind - in Chinese medicine they 'move the qi'.


Caz fights in Thai boxing on Saturday. She is recovering from a very heavy cold and it 's cleared mostly just in time. I'm sure she'll do well and there will be many there to support her and the other AMAG and Aberdeen fighters.

Have you ever sat very silently, not with your attention fixed on anything, not making an effort to concentrate, but with the mind very quiet, really still? Then you hear everything, don’t you? You hear the far-off noises as well as those that are nearer and those that are very close by, the immediate sounds—which means, really, that you are listening to everything. Your mind is not confined to one narrow little channel. If you can listen in this way, listen with ease, without strain, you will find an extraordinary change taking place within you, a change which comes without your volition, without your asking; and in that change there is great beauty and depth of insight.This Matter of Culture, p 32

Friday, 16 October 2009

The cat

The Cat

Peter Bonetti
was a child hood hero. My uncle got me in the early 70's the goalkeeper jersey and i had the original cotton gloves before the rubber palms was introduced. My uncle was a goalkeeper in the Swansea schoolboys team when they were quite an elite organisation. He played at clubs like Blackpool, Millwall and Wrexham.

I say this because Danny, a Chinese Medicine expert explained the use of Milk Thistle in these terms:

Milk thistle is a hepato-protective - imagine a goalkeeper standing guard at a cell door trying not to let anything in - there is conflicting evidence that as a result the Lamivedene is less effective as less is absorbed. Lamivedene basically inhibits an enzyme prouced by the retrovirus that may have caused the cancer in the first place. The enzyme basically allows the retrovirus to replicate inside the cell. But there is also evidence that milk thistle inhibits the retrovirus itself.
Your GP/oncologist will advise against it because they are not trained in its biochemistry and will therefore err on the side of caution with all herbal medicine. The choice is yours really but the evidence IS conflicting. Certainly if you are coming off the drug for a while then start the milk thistle. It is illegal for me to tell people what to do with their medication so all I can do is present the information.
There are also hepato-restorative (as opposed to hepato-protective) herbs and foods which help to regenerate liver tissue. These would include artichoke and asparagus and dandelion. Eating these regularly would help - dandelion can be bought as a dried root from health food shops - boil in a pan with a lid on for 10 mins, strain and drink.

I'm going to visit a herbalist in my area - http://www.nimh.org.uk/ - these guys have the credentials.

I'm eating porridge with raisins in the morning, a great way to start the day - slow release carbs and raisins build the blood. I'm chewing pumpkin seeds as a snack will offer a steady supply of all 8 essential amino-acids (protein).


Wednesday, 14 October 2009

Beyond belief

More than at any time before, I have now the conviction that I am going to beat this. I've spoken about it, visualised it and now, whilst I know there will be many ups and downs yet to be faced, I just have a feeling that cannot be put into in words and is beyond belief, beyond faith

that
I'm
going
to
win
this!

Saturday, 10 October 2009

Learning about the Liver

I'm learning more about the liver. My understanding of it can help is any decision making process.

This info has been supplied to me by Danny, a Chinese Medicine Specialist, to whom my association is by a loose association to activities around a band and lifestyle I actively enjoyed in my late teens, early twenties. I'm in his debt for this, not that he intends any remittance.

I will be resuming the Milk thistle regime, combined with artichoke and dandelion.
snippets:
The liver stores blood and regulates the volume of blood circulation according to the needs of various tissues and organs. During rest the amount of blood required by the body decreases and the surplus is stored in the liver. During vigorous activity blood is released from the liver to increase the volume of circulating blood. As Wang Bin's Annotations on the Suwen notes, "The liver stores blood, the heart circulates blood. When the body moves blood circulates in the channels, when at rest it flows back to the liver." If the liver's blood storage function is abnormal, there will be an affect on normal body activities causing hemorrhagic diseases. For example, if liver blood is deficient the following problems may appear: the symptoms of vertigo, contracture of spasm of muscles and tendons, impairment of flexion and extension of limbs or scanty menstruation and amenorrhea.

The liver harmonizes the emotions. Traditional Chinese medicine considers that the normal or abnormal function of an unrestrained and free flowing qi is directly related to emotional activities, and that the mental state is not only dominated by the heart but also the liver. When qi activities are normal, the body has a harmonious circulation of qi and blood, an easy mind and happy emotions. If there is a dysfunction of qi's free flow, it will directly affect the individual's emotional state. For example, liver qi stagnation will give rise to stuffiness and fullness of the chest, unhappy feelings, hypochondriasis, or even mental depression, crying, irregular menstruation, etc. If there is hyperactivity of the liver qi, there may be irritability, anger, insomnia, dream disturbed sleep, dizziness, vertigo, a ringing in the ear (tinnitus), or deafness. Any sudden change in the normal pattern of the emotions, especially great anger or mental depression, can affect and free flowing and spreading function of liver qi resulting in the pathological changes of liver qi stagnation.

"Nails are the remains of the tendons," The dryness or moisture of the nails can reflect the sufficiency or insufficiency of liver blood. When liver blood is plentiful the tendons are supple and the nails appear hard and moist. If liver blood is insufficient and incapable of nourishing the tendons, then the nails may be thin, soft, brittle, and pale.

Thursday, 8 October 2009

A visit to the hospital

I'm pleased to see Gavin doing so well in his recovery from the training accident. His legs are getting back to work and the neck brace is off. Hopefully he might be out of the hospital this weekend.

Its not been a nice week health wise. I've felt nauseous, tired, cold, fatigued and spasms that have shot into my liver. That's with the Chels having beaten the bin dippers at the weekend as well!

I was in to see the Cancer Dr yesterday for an appointment. I asked her about what the long term view was and whether they had thought I wasn't going to make it after the operation.

She concurred that it did look like I was in the wrong end of the reapers scythe but that with the drug and my attitude this was now all change.

I talked about how good I'd felt with the weeks holiday without the medication and we discussed how the body goes into comfort zones. This has led to a possible pulsing of the medication, depending on results after that upcoming CT scan, possibly on a 3 month on 1 month off rotation. That would be great, allowing my body time to heal and get fitter, put in some hours at work etc.

Blood pressure was ok, a prod around the tummy showed the liver was ok, despite the spasms. Onward we go!

Creative I was, creative I am, and creative I shall remain.
‘ART AND NOTHING BUT ART.’

Sunday, 4 October 2009

Guardian of the genome

Fighter Training - Sunday

What a weekend of mixed fortunes.

Saturday was busy and i taught two long classes, Silat and BJJ. Unfortunately one student got a bad injury in the BJJ and is in hospital as we speak. It has disturbed me although there is no blame to lay at any ones door. Yesterday became a long day.

Today i trained the fighters and a tremendous session put in by all. After that i went to meet my son and watch Chelsea against Liverpool. Chelsea won, Liverpool didn't. Puts us Top Of The League!

During the game I had cramps. After dropping my son off, i managed to get home, feeling very feint as i got in through the door. I am cramping badly and have bouts of nausea.

Caz on a night out on Thursday - look gorgeous!

Scientists on brink of cancer treatment revolution: a human protein called p53, shown to play a pivotal role in the spread of nearly all cancers. Cancers arise because DNA errors build up inside the body's cel ls. It is the role of p53 to correct those errors and prevent cancerous mutations from spreading. Hence its nickname, the "guardian of the genome". It organises repairs to damaged cells and, in those beyond repair, it arranges for the cell to be killed off before it can spread and divide

kali wanted her picture on as well!


JKrishnamurti.org - Daily Quote You and I as individuals will have to transform ourselves

The individual is obviously of the greatest significance in society because it is only the individual who is capable of creative activity, not the mass - and I shall explain presently what I mean by that word creative. If you see this fact, then you will also realize that what you are in yourself is of the highest importance. Your capacity to think, to function with wholeness, with an integration in which there is no self-contradiction - this has an enormous significance.

We see that if there is to be any real change in the world - and there must be a real change - then you and I as individuals will have to transform ourselves. Unless there is a radical change in each one of us, life becomes an endless imitation, ultimately leading to boredom, frustration, and hopelessness.


Thursday, 1 October 2009

Just a tiddler

a small fish in a big ocean - I'll take my inspiration from the likes of Guro Dan Inosanto

On Saturday several us traveled down to Glasgow for the Ultimate Self Protection (USP) course, in which I covered aspects of getting off the ground as quickly as possible whilst inflicting maximum necessary damage against the aggressor. It was amusing to watch some people who thought that they know it be unable to do as taught.

I am one of the most qualified instructors in Scotland and yet there are those with far less experience or ability who believe that they are either equal or know more. We all learn and some of the participants who displayed the better attitude got my attention and I gave them more. Ego holds you back! I travel - when I am well - great distances to learn and experience from the best but there are those who wish to be a big fish in the small pond.

I have world renown experts in my school at times to teach and I'm often surprised at the turnout. An Erik Paulson on the doorstep and people don't make the effort! Look at the quality of students coming out of the school! Its with good fortune I have more time with the AMAG students and my own instructors and studies.

After a satisfying day, a long journey back and after we eat some Thai takeaway, Bob conducts a hypnotherapy session on me. It takes about 40 minutes and wipes Bob out while i awake refreshed and focused on clear visualisations!

Sunday saw me train the fighters although many are absent with seasonal colds. I go home and simply sleep as exhaustion takes me in both arms. I have restarted my Sorafenib as well which affects my appetite.

Monday again sees me sleep and teach in the BJJ class at night. On Tuesday I attend a 1st aid refresher course and teach two classes at night. I am completely exhausted and am in bed before 10. The refresher course continues on Wednesday and i get my certification renewed! The threat of my giving mouth to mouth resuscitation should make sure no-one falls in around me!

I've been at work today but will go for a cat nap soon. The medication requires this. The weather has turned chilly. bbrrrr
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