Saturday, 30 May 2009

The winning mindset

My team won the FA Cup today. Losing a goal after 25 seconds isn't the best start, but the players kept their focus and did what was required with the 2-1 scoreline betraying the dominance they had.

That mindset is what we all need to persevere in the face of adversity. Delete the negativity of others and see yourself as a winner, an achiever, a doer. Last week we had Daniel Lonero in the gym, as we do many international Instructors.

We surround ourselves with winners and we become winners ourselves. Look at the traits of people that you like and copy them to 'improve' yourself. If you think as a winner then that's what you will be. Imitate a loser and guess what!
Peter, Daniel and Yours Truly

I have a scan this week. The results of this will be a clear indication of whats happening, especially with the timeline. Little reduction keeps a longer timeline. Greater reduction means a shorter timeline before I'm back fit and healthy. Take a guess whats in my mind. MASSIVE REDUCTION!

Caz got me this for my birthday. Toy watch! Thanks hon x

Tuesday, 26 May 2009

simply live it and do it

Daniel Lonero

The endoscopy went well as it ever can. the results are that from the banding I do not have varices anymore! So no more banding! There is no scientific answer for success. You can't define it. You've simply got to live it and do it.

Nice to see Daniel.

Matt. 7:1 "Do not judge, or you too will be judged."

John 8:7 "He who is without sin among you, let him throw the first stone ...."

No answer is in itself an answer.

Monday, 25 May 2009

I love to ride my ...

I love to ride my motorbike! I've been going into the office to work, so i've been back on the bike.

Every day i get to the office I have a big grin on my face. That's how to live life!

I have an endoscopy tomorrow afternoon, to check that the banding is working. Daniel Lonero is back in town to teach so it will be great to see him again. The weathers been great - life's just wonderful!

I was pleased to see Matt Hughes beat Serra in the UFC. Hughes had been working with Greg Nelson whos fighter Sean Sherk wasn't so fortunate on the night.

Saturday, 23 May 2009

That's What Good Friends Are For...

I don't need to ask because it is irrelevant, its a distraction.

The Sun have run a story - if that's what you call it - on my friend and readers of this blog will know him from my tales.

In my illness I have received phone calls from Bob who has always been there to offer without hesitation words of encouragement. He has done things for me that have set me on a path where I will survive this critical illness. When he's been busy he's found the time to give me call, sometimes at appropriate times where i've been down, very down.

I first met Bob on a course in Arbroath where he was teaching Muay Thai . I invited him to my school and we bowled over by his knowledge and presentation of Muay Thai. Twenty years before i had read his editorials in the Combat Martial Arts magazine religiously and still have copies of them. Since then we have become an active school in Phraya Pichai organisation and our standard has improved greatly from his teaching.

I have introduced him to world class martial artists who have all been impressed by his teaching and i'm not talking about mcdojo artists either. These are veterans who don't take fools lightly.

All in all I have met people who have been helped by Bob. they will stand up and be counted. He could be a millionaire if he was ambitious, but he's too busy enjoying life with his partner. They have invited me into their home and are genuine people.

I have a friend who has been a true pal. That's good enough for me.

The itch has cleared up and my energy levels are on the up. I'm learning not to overstep the boundaries so not to tire myself out. I've been back at work for 9 hours a week, pushing it up to 12 next week. Small steps are all that are required.

Bobs up in a fortnight. A welcome guest.

Tuesday, 19 May 2009

I'll be back

Ever wanted to know what you look like as a Terminator?

A full day of sleep on Sunday, Monday appointments in and around the hospital and today in at work. Getting the balance of sleep and activity is hard but if i don't rest then its impacts heavily on me. Right at the beginning Greg Nelson warned me it would be a roller coaster ride and he wasn't wrong.

I am back on the sorafenib, the itch has reduced but is still there. I'm using a lot of different creams to try and get the best one. The olive oil mix is still the best, but i daren't go too close to the cooker! ; )

“Be great in act, as you have been in thought.”
“Do not wait for extraordinary circumstances to do good action; try to use ordinary situations.”

Friday, 15 May 2009

re framing

A few people have questioned the current title of the blog 'How Cancer Has Saved Pat's Life' and what i meant by it.

It's called re framing and it is quite simply taking something that you look at and looking at it from a different direction.

As an instructor I often find people say that they wish to achieve something but they are unable to do it. That is a result of the conditioning that has come from the put downs they have had throughout school, life in general. [This highlights the relevance of the Krishnamurti quotes where he talks about having no history to be free.]

We talk about free choice a lot in this country, but the choice is actually far from free. Its manipulated by the vision we have that has been built up by others visions of reality. Orwell was one of the best authors to use this in his stories. There's manipulated choice, based on prejudices we have from our history and percieved interpretations of events.

So what we do is re frame the way we look at things and change the limitations ourselves and others have put on us. In my case, the BIG C which people referred to as Cancer was a death sentence that sends a chill through most peoples hearts. In my action, i have re framed it in order that i don't get handicapped by other peoples perceptions.

My issue is my liver. The cancer or turmour is because of the imbalance in my liver. I don't see the Cancer as anything but a side issue, that is not to say it's not serious, but its the Liver that will define my longevity.

In the same way, I might be in a team of strong experienced individuals at work. Its eay to feel like the weak link and not have the confidence to stand your ground. So I would reframe this situation and look at the strengths I bring to the group, what I have that is vital to the groups development.

Taking this route you will always be able to overcome those fears so many of us have.

Indira Gandhi: "Don't ever take a fence down until you know why it was put up."


Very soon, you will see a great many people wearing Red every Friday.

The reason?

Our idea of showing solidarity and support for our troops with dignity and respect starts this Friday and continues each and every Friday until the troops all come home.

Thursday, 14 May 2009


The itch continues despite the anti-histamine, although it has still calmed down. This is the non drowsy version but I'm sleeping more than usual. I have been in the office and getting used to being back. Hopefully i can increase the hours soon.

Saying that i usually wake up before 7am bright and early, but the week i went back to work I had to sleep in!

I subscribe to an outrageous newsletter under the title PopBitch, but this was a serious point:

Charlie's Angel Farrah Fawcett faced cancer the hard way

In the British Press' rush to canonise Jade Goody for sharing her death with us - "It is all for her children, you know" - we might not have considered the knock-on effect to other people unfortunate enough to become seriously ill while famous.

Look at what Farrah Fawcett has had to say:

* "It's much easier to go through something and deal with it without being under a microscope".
* She was deprived of the choice that most other cancer patients have: when, and even whether, to share information with family, friends or strangers.
* Put under pressure by the hospital treating her to set up a cancer foundation in her name.
* A National Enquirer article headlined "Farrah Begs: 'Let Me Die'" promoted a flurry of letters from cancer patients telling her not to give up as she was a role model - but it was untrue.

After reading this, and thinking about what it must have been like for Patrick Swayze to read those "Five weeks to live" headlines 14 months ago, perhaps we should re-think whether the day-by-day account of terminal illness should be public property, just because they are celebrities?

The article:

Hangover = Wine flu.
Still Bored: When swine flu really is dangerous:

Tuesday, 12 May 2009

Update on the Itch

The Dr has taken me off the Sorafenib for a week. I'm on Cetirizine Hydrochloride to stop the itch and to use moisturising cream over the body. I'm still juicing and drinking loads of water.

Today i went back to work for 3 hours. I'll do 3 days at 3 hours for a couple of weeks and we'll take it from there. The Dr has advised me not to travel to the US as this will wear me out and insurance issues will come into play.

I forgot to mention that Bob Spour went and did a session with Alec McLeish, the manager of Birmingham FC. Using his advice, they changed the way they talked to players leading upto the final game in which they clinched promotion. I hope this opens some more business for him.

Caz has been up at Inverness and I look forward to her return tonight. My son Perry moved to his own flat yesterday and I helped shift some stuff for him. After a superb victory over Arsenal, its been a good few days even with the itch!

Sunday, 10 May 2009

Hand and Foot Syndrome

The Itchy Skin

I have spoken to Danny, an acquaintance who is a practitioner in Traditional Chinese Medicine and he has advised me on the current problem. The itchiness I am getting is most likely a side-effect of Sorafenib. It is known as hand and foot syndrome.

In all skin conditions the skin is taking over from the liver as the liver is over-worked as it is. In such instances the skin, as a secondary organ of elimination takes over the process. Ideally you would want to tackle this at source but as things are, it might be better working with the symptoms.

There's a number of creams could be used to help suppress the itchiness. You could always use a combination of 100% essential oils of Tea Tree and Lavender mixed in a base oil such as olive oil at a ratio of 10% essential oil/90% olive oil and applied direct. These are good skin oils and will relieve itching and will also have numerous other benefits. As I write I am ready to be cooked!
An old but effective traditional Scottish remedy would be to boil up some oats, allow to cool, place inside an old sock or the like and gently rub over the affected area. Again this has an anti-itch effect and takes the heat out of the area.

In traditional Chinese medicine the condition is known as Fire Poison and a diet of cooling food is recommended. This would include celery, parsley, beetroot and cabbage. Cucumber and other cooling salad vegetables would also be useful. Juice vegetables consisting of 2 apples, 4 sticks celery, a thumb size piece of ginger and 1/4 of a cabbage. Blitz in the juicer and drink straight away, ideally 3 times per day. This will assist with general detoxification and improve liver function. It will not interfere with the medication.

Regarding bile salts, the primary function is to break down fats so if there is some disturbance in the mechanism then adapt your diet to cutting down saturated fats and avoiding completely hydrogenated fats. This will mean less work. Bile salts also prevent the formation of stones so it's important to maintain good function.

Now another aspect of the bile acids is the absorption of carotene's from food. This is what causes the skin itch as carotene/vitamin A is almost always depleted in skin conditions.

Finally bile acids also play a role in detoxification of cholesterol. To improve the production of bile? Bitter tasting foods - the salad vegetable chicory, popular in France, is very good but generally any bitter tasting food/substance will stimulate bile secretion.

Psyllium husks is basically indigestible fibre which gently scrapes through the length of the digestive tract but also improves bile detoxification. Drink plenty of water. 2.5 litres per day. Porridge with raisins will also help the mechanism.

Saturday, 9 May 2009

Bare Necessities

I heard back from the hospital and the next batch of Sorafenib will be available to pick up this afternoon. In the meantime i am itching all over the body. Suspicion falls on a coconut foam bath product that Caz bought and i used a couple of nights ago. I feel like Baloo out of the Jungle Book!

Friday, 8 May 2009

I have a great life and I love living it

Its been a funny old week

We've had the worry over Kali who had a wee operation last week to remove a lump. Trying to stop her licking or biting the stitches, rather than get her to wear the lampshade you occasionally see dogs in, has meant a lot of supervision of her. The news there is that it was a tumor, they believe they cut it all out, it was Grade 1 on a scale of 1-5. instructions are to watch her for the next year.

There's been times where i have been exhausted. No tantrums but i think that is a symptom of tiredness and stress. We had our new mattress delivered and I'm noticing much better sleeps already. Hair on my legs is starting to disappear, especially where it rubs against jeans.

Chelsea lot to Barcelona in a controversial manner. The powers that be appointed a ref to the match who was clearly out of his depth and this impacted highly on the result. That exhausted me!

i cannot get hold of my Oncologist and so cant get a renewal of my prescription. My current supply of Sorafenib runs out tonight, so I'll be running on empty for a couple of days i guess. i meet with work on Monday to see about starting 3 days at 3 hours a week as a start.

When people ask me how my life is, i say 'pretty good'. It is. I know i have complications right now that may curtail it, but in general I have a great life and I love living it. - Daily Quote Thought has been built through time

One has to understand the nature of thought, that is, first desire, then pleasure, and then why thought interferes at all. If I find out the relationship among these three, then desire becomes a very small affair. I can see a beautiful house, and leave it; I see a beautiful woman, and not produce all the reactions. Thought has been built through time. Thought is time. If you do not think, there will be no tomorrow. And, we have to think; but if that thinking is based on pleasure, on desire, then thought becomes a problem, then thinking becomes a danger.

So, is it possible to see a house, a woman, and not let thought interfere with it? Not deliberately - not say that thought must not interfere because it brings pain, sorrow, and all the rest of it, but actually see the fact not the explanation; see the actual fact that, when thought interferes with desire or when thought gives importance to desire, then it becomes pleasure, and where there is pleasure there is always pain. The two, pleasure and pain, are not separate: pleasure is pain. You can see that very obviously. Most of our values, concepts, ideals, relationships between man, woman, neighbor and yourself - all that is based on pleasure, and hence all our problems. We function with the principle of pleasure.

Collected Works, Vol. XVI - 62

Sunday, 3 May 2009

Cancer saved my life!

It's already been a busy May.

Bob flew in on Friday and so we had a relaxing Friday night.
Saturday we are up and out the door early to get down to Glasgow to present an Ultimate Self Protection course we are staging monthly over 6 months. This worked out well and we made it home around 8.30 at night exhausted.

Not so tired that Bob did some therapy on me to encourage healing of the body in a subconscious manner.

Using the metaphor of a snowman melting in the sun, this now is a visualisation of my tumor shrinking and disappearing.
If it were not for the tumor the deterioration of the liver would have continued and been irreparable, but the Tumor popped its head over the trench waving a flag to attract attention and, whilst it is time for the tumor to go now it's done it's job, it has alerted us to the chronic Liver situation.

This reframing of how Cancer is seen simply destroys the old taboos that exist all around me and which subliminally affect my recovery. If the cancerous tumor isn't seen as the apocalyptic threat then it won't have the better of me. Fear makes things bigger, but we have put this in perspective, reframed it and taken the fear away.

No Fear No Doubt!

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