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Rock Maze
  • Writer's pictureNeil

Looking for the Bright Side

I track my walks and I track my sleep. The wonders of tech. I look at the data, which my Garmin smart watch collects, and can see there's definite patterns developing around my condition. No doubt, I'll collect the data until my watch flat lines. But in the meantime, there's some interest to be had. My best sleeps occur about now in my cycle. So last night I managed 6h 2min. Tonight it’s likely to be 7h+. Monitoring my steps is also interesting especially when I chuck in a 5.5-mile walk. Walk day 15,500 steps, next day (chemo day) 2,500 steps.

But the most interesting thing seems to be my stress levels, they on average, seem to be consistently dropping. I had quite a blip around diagnosis time but apparently I’m less stressed than at any time this year. It’s all this sitting around. I’m still eating healthily although biscuits have snuck back in, but the treadmill is gathering dust and I’m not getting many, even little, walks in. 

So I weighed myself yesterday. 13 stone. Finally after two and a half years of determination which has included significant lifestyle changes, taking up a sport (kind of) learning to swim, eating a meat free diet (I still eat fish), and cutting right back on booze. I have finally managed to lose 2st 6lb and hit my target weight. Perhaps I should be happy but I’m not. I’m definitely happy with my weight but not how I’ve achieved it. Now I’ll never know whether the last few lbs were hard work and determination or simply the bloody chemo. 

I suppose I should look on the bright side. Perhaps this is a time to look at the pros and cons of being slowly seen off by cancer. And as is my way I’m going to focus on the pros. I might touch on the cons later. And if you’re at all like me and hated Latin at school (Yes, I did a year of Latin!) you perhaps won’t know that this idiom is taken from the Latin pro for “for” and con for “against.”

So following this bit of Monty Python I’ll get on with my list.

Some things in life are bad They can really make you mad Other things just make you swear and curse When you're chewing on life's gristle Don't grumble, give a whistle And this'll help things turn out for the best

So let me see. 


I’ll not lose many more teeth.

Possible achievement of my ideal weight and BMI (in passing)

I won't need to buy any more shoes

I’m probably not going to get heart disease 

I can resume putting salt on my food

I can afford good bottles of red wine. Why skimp when my drinking was at an all time high of at least 2 bottles a day and now it’s about ½ a glass a day

I can eat junk food (highly unlikely)

I can excuse my bad behaviour 

I’ll not be responsible for selling my car, or getting a new one. 

Redecorating ....... a thing of the past (although Tricia might have something to say about this!)

Having an excuse for meeting friends for a walk (following government guidelines all the way)

Having lots of snoozes in the afternoon. 

I can wear a good shirt every day. 

My tools will last me a lifetime.


Now even the first  most insignificant con brings me to tears. Writing a list like this is impossible. 

I have never been without plans. Long, medium or short. My short term plans are really all around my chemo cycle. My medium term plans seem to be about the next two 2 months. My long term plans, my best planning, seems to have completely stopped. I seem to be denying myself the joy of imagining the future it’s just too scary. Maybe something in me has already died.

Oh no I’ve begun to chew on life’s gristle. 

So, it’s on with my Happy Socks and listen to some Monty Python.

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