A New Plan

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I did not want to lie down to my fate but instead find a way to assist the brilliant medical team, from the NHS Western General Hospital in Edinburgh, in giving me as much time as possible. This led to a significant amount of research which led to the development of a healing plan designed to complement and enhance the wonderful work of our medical practitioners to ensure the best possible chance of longevity. In trying to bring some order in to what I felt I needed, I developed the 5 Fs:

Food – Believing after the research that we truly are what we eat and that a good diet could improve my chances of longevity I tried the raw vegan diet but didn’t get on at all well with it partly because I dived in too deep too quickly and ended up needing treatment to calm the internal pain caused by the shock I gave the body!! However I learned lots from the experience and have settled on key feeding principles such as following the NHS Choices website advice on the healthy diet ie Avoid where possible processed foods and through the week eat red meat in small quantities once a week, white meat in small quantities no more than twice a week, oily fish in small quantities no more than once a week, white fish more often, plenty of calcium containing foods and loads and loads of fruit and vegetables (8 portions a day!!). For fruit and vegetables I try and eat organic, fresh and raw where possible. Fruit Smoothies and Vegetable Juices are great – and even taste great - mostly!!

Physical Training – I know, I know but it sounds like an F!! I firmly believe in the healing power of a strong body which strengthens the immune system. I figured therefore that good doses of physical exercise would help the body fight the disease through a strong immune system. Remembering also that the tumour wants to take my motor and cognitive functions; surely sports and other activities which force the cognitive and motor functions to coordinate and work properly could even train the brain to work around any degradation rather than succumb to it. Could I train the left side of the brain using activity requiring the coordination of cognitive and motor function to such an extent that should the tumour in the right temporal lobe try and switch me off the left side of the brain will then kick in like a backup generator!?!? I had after all been able to train the brain to take on the balance function through visual reckoning after having had my inner ear removed. It was hard work but my balance is largely restored – as long as I keep my eyes open!!

Faith – As a man with a strong faith I have always sought solace at times of trouble. However it was all too easy to blame God for my predicament. Instead I realised that through prayer, meditation and reading I could draw great strength from the wisdom of God’s word thus helping in developing and maintaining a positive mental attitude focused on healing.

Focus – It is all too easy to dwell on what might have been and on what might not now ever happen. I shouldn’t worry about the future. Instead I need to focus on healing combined with living life to the full and making the most of this time with family and friends while trying to slate the thirst I have to do something worthwhile. I needed to find a true focus that would fulfil me thereby settling the mind and thus improve my healing chances.

Family – I have been blessed with two of the most delightful children I could ever want to meet coupled with a large, warm and loving family. On top of that I am also blessed with a strong and supportive group of friends both in Doune and beyond. Like a leech I feed on the positive energy such a supportive family and group of friends brings and always feel so much stronger after spending time with them. Despite my prognosis the children have a future and as such became a priority for me to ensure that my diagnosis would not tarnish their future. I needed to give them the best life I could and the best opportunity for the future. My greatest concern was that the children should not suffer as a result of the disease. Instead could I encourage and inspire them to succeed and be happy in life?