A Blank Canvas Waiting – Life After Prostate Cancer

by Michael Nicholson, Company Director and Business Owner, Somerset, UK

I was recently diagnosed with prostate cancer. It’s not something that I felt and there was no pain, but I had been getting very tired during the previous 12 months, so when the diagnosis was announced it was no huge surprise. I’d known it was time to stop because my body was saying so. Immediately prior to the diagnosis I had just planned my month ahead and it involved being in Germany for 5 days, Greece for 5 days, Kent for 2 days, possibly Spain for 4 days, London for 4 days and various meetings elsewhere – leaving only about 6 days at home. It was an insane schedule and it needed to stop. And by stopping, I suddenly realised that I had the most amazing blank canvas and I could work my magic on it in whatever way I truly chose to live.

The process of discovering the cancer started with seeing a consultant about the PSA levels that had been recorded at my regular medical check ups, which I had been persuaded to have following a heart attack three years earlier. During this time I had become open to finding out more about my health, which as a man was not something that I had been previously inclined to consider – so this in itself was a true change and fundamental in setting me on the best course to detect and treat early the cancer that presented.

Continue reading “A Blank Canvas Waiting – Life After Prostate Cancer”

Contagion – Part two: Non-communicable diseases, are they really not communicable?

By Anne Malatt and Paul Moses, Australia. 

In the not-so-distant past, contagious or communicable diseases were greatly feared, and the cause of many deaths, often on a mass scale. The Black Plague, the Spanish Flu, and smallpox all come to mind and are seared in our collective memories. With the advent of modern sanitation and medicine, these diseases have become much less common. As they have waned, the importance of non-communicable diseases has risen.

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), non-communicable diseases (NCDs) now account for 68% of all deaths, worldwide, every year. (1)

In Australia, chronic diseases are the leading cause of illness, disability and death, accounting for 90% of all deaths in 2011. (2)

What are non-communicable diseases (NCDs)?

Continue reading “Contagion – Part two: Non-communicable diseases, are they really not communicable?”

Contagion – Part one: Contagion

By Anne Malatt and Paul Moses, Australia.

When someone walks into a room, we know how they are feeling.

We can feel it with our whole being, and we then confirm it with our five senses.

If they are angry, we feel it first. We then see it in their facial expression, in the way they hold themselves hard and the way they move and walk, we can hear it in the way they bang things down or stomp their feet, we can smell and taste it in the air we breathe and we can touch it if they come into contact with us, but most of all we just feel it.

And we can react or respond in different ways.

Most of us tend to tense up, contract, and go hard ourselves, in an effort to protect ourselves from what we can feel is coming at us. We may be on edge, ready to fight, or flee. It may bring up memories and feelings in us of when other people have been angry with us, and may even have hurt us, or those we love.

Whatever our reaction, it can be very challenging to stay open and loving with someone who is behaving in this way, no matter how much we may love them.

So, can this anger be contagious?

Continue reading “Contagion – Part one: Contagion”

A skin rash tells its story.

By Joan Calder, retired/volunteer work, Frome, UK. 

Hello! I am called Pityriasis Lichenoides by the medical profession, although they freely admit they do not know what causes me to exist. It’s a long complicated name but it makes me feel important and I had a big presence in the body where I have lived for eight years, in fact, you could say, I have been in control of the situation during that time — up until now.

I was born in the gut of a female human; my parents are of unknown origin, although there is a possibility it started with my hostess’s inflammatory reaction out of a response to Father Virus or Mother Bacterium. This is not surprising considering the way she maltreated her body, and her emotional reactions to everything around her. I lived quite happily in those long dark serpentine tubes for a long time until one day she met what is called a Gentle Breath Meditation and started to practise it.

Continue reading “A skin rash tells its story.”

Gestational Diabetes

by Chan Ly, Commerical Interior Designer, Brays Creek, NSW

Throughout my adult life I had always considered myself as being healthy. I thought I was looking after myself by eating healthy food. I never smoked, drank alcohol, coffee or took any drugs. I felt my body was in good shape and I had always been petite and I would often over eat at meal times because I wouldn’t put on extra weight. The first time I ever had to go into hospital was to give birth to my beautiful son when I was 25. My entire pregnancy was amazing; I felt a little bit of morning sickness during the first trimester only, and labour was natural and fairly quick.

I had my second pregnancy 3 years later. I went through a very different experience. I had suffered from severe morning sickness throughout the first trimester. I was mostly dehydrated and I constantly ate to try to get rid of the nausea. I was working full time and living on a boat with my partner and son. I struggled through the first 3 months and felt so much better when the morning sickness subsided. During the second trimester, I was feeling more tired than usual and I went to all the regular check-ups at the hospital. It was a standard procedure at 26 weeks of pregnancy to do a glucose test to check for diabetes. When the results came back, I got a call from the nurse while I was at work to tell me that I was just slightly over the borderline of being classified as having gestational diabetes. I didn’t quite understand what this all meant at the time, how it all worked and what I was going to enter into. I just remember getting off the phone and crying. I cried, not because I was afraid of having gestational diabetes, but because I was disappointed and felt extremely sad that my body wasn’t coping with the pregnancy. I thought I was healthy and well, but now my body was telling me something different. I was under the illusion that I was very healthy because I had never experienced any illness or disease, until now. Continue reading “Gestational Diabetes”