Day 21 – Planning

One day at a time! Today has been another of rest and sleep.  Although I did not run a temperature overnight I had a trouble getting much sleep once again due to the huge number of tests, checks and interruptions.

There is good news in this if you look hard – the doctors tell me that the return of the blood cells and general haematology health does not correlate to the amount of sleep you get.  And their solution is “The best place to get sleep is at home!”  Wise words but not so helpful when you are in here for a month or more.

So no extra platelets (current count 20) and Red Blood cells (Cound 85) with WCC 0.1 and Neutrophils 0.  These are not expected to lift for another few days at least.

So given my obvious interest in planning I have been asking myself the question is it possible to plan in hospital and is it worth the effort?

Apart from the obvious step of one day at a time there are other attributes of planning that have helped me each day,

A standard thing is to set a long term goal and then break it down into small manageable chunks that can be easily tackled on a day to day basis.

My long term goal is to return to full health – simple.

But there are a number of aspects of this that I have absolutely no control over – I am totally in the hands of my medical team.  So putting these things to one side, there are only a small number of things that I do have control over to help me reach my long term goal.  There is absolutely no point in me worrying or spending time on the matters that are outside my direct control.

So the 4 things I have some control over are:

  1. My nutrition (to a point)
  2. My mental well-being and positive attitude
  3. Support from Family and Friends
  4. Physical wellbeing

Although I started working on the first to the best of my ability, the team found an inflamed small bowel was preventing me maintaining the right nutrition and moved me on to the IV (TPN) solution.  This has removed nutrition from my control.

Mental well-being is a pretty straightforward.  For me this is keeping a positive attitude at all times, no matter how down you might feel.  You can always imagine someone who might be worse off than yourself and by keeping the mind active with things like this Blog, reading, listening to the ABC radio, watching the odd back episode of The House or Utopia I can keep myself occupied and positive.  However these things have to be planned into each day – they don’t just happen.  The whiteboard in the room is quite useful for planning these things.

Day 21 cards and photos
Photos and cards all contribute to my overall mental well-being

Family support has been very very strong.  As you know I had my complete family here for the first week and this was of tremendous benefit.  Having encouraged Dougall to return to the US and Claire to Perth I now receive daily calls or messages to see how things are going.  Lachy comes in most days.

Day 21 lachy helping wiht the blog
Lachy hard at work editing the blog

Jan has been absolutely fantastic.  She will be here from 8.00am to 8.00pm if needed and always comes with clean clothes and bed linen for me (I have my own doona and pillows).  She is also there for every discussion and concern that I might have and is also a star at sorting through this blog and reworking the “Chemo Brain” gobbledegook prior to posting!  (yes it is a joint effort here!)

And the fabulous support my friends have provided me either through texts or the blog (and the odd call when I can take them) of course makes a huge different to my mental wellbeing.

Exercise is important for any recovery program and it would be much easier to simply sit in the chair than pull the runners on and get out there.  For this I have a strict plan of 4 sessions each day at 6.30/10.30/3.30/6.00pm.  This is on the whiteboard for me to follow.

Day 21 white board
Planning the daily exercise has been a big help

So in conclusion planning is important in hospital and for the very limited things I have some control over, applying good planning principles should help me achieve my long term goal.

11 thoughts on “Day 21 – Planning

  1. Sounds like a big flight plan to me Geoffrey. Keep up the great work and positive attitude, its no a matter of time till you’re back on auto pilot.


  2. Geoffrey maybe you can get into a bit of psycho-cybernetics while you are in there. Play a round of golf at the Wagga Country Club every day in your mind and when you get out you can whip Clucas’s butt on your first round back.


  3. When you take the very first step on a road, you also take the last – glad to see the road you have stepped onto is paved with plans to succeed (as always). You are an inspiration Geoff! No surprise there! Keep smiling!


  4. Wow, I’m so glad I found out about your blog today Geoff. You’ve been in my thoughts but I didn’t want to humbug you and Jan. Now I can check in daily.
    You are truly inspirational!
    I’m sending positive vibes across the nation. I hope they add to all those you have from your loved ones to make a difference.
    Keep 23rd May 2018 free.
    We have a Fervor dinner in the Bungles!


  5. Geoffrey, It is extremely pleasing to see you looking so well in today’s photo. That TPN Solution obviously doing its job nicely! (Get the recipe)
    Your blog has without doubt been thought provoking and tonight you now have me pondering whether this current trend of ‘shakes’ and Nutri bullet liquid meals is leading us towards a nutritional IV world.
    Keep up your writing and momentum to recovery.


  6. Glad to hear a better night and day,

    The mind is a wonderful thing. There must be some truth to mind over matter. Your positive approach along with the help of your family must make achieving the goal heaps more possible.

    I’ve always liked the Moody Blues. I like their melodies and lyrics and the way they made major changes in the melodies of a song to make them far more interesting and entertaining. The lyrics have a message too. One of their lines is … “thinking is the best way to travel….”

    I love travelling. I get it from my mother. She would have travelled the world had she had the chance. I remember she would knock you over to get to the car if you suggested a drive to somewhere. I often revisit places I’ve been by accessing memory.

    So I like Fozzie’s suggestion about playing the Country Club in your mind. In the same vein you can also remind yourself of the many flights you’ve done ….. or picture those you would like to do and critique the standard with mind notes in the log book along the way.

    Have a restful night and morning.

    Thanks to Jan for the blog editing – they are a credit to you both.



  7. Another day and another life lesson!!
    The important things continue to count and the important people continue to count.
    Keep going well Geoff


  8. Found this post very relatable to me at the moment 🙂
    Planning and goal setting is something I have always done in my work, but more recently trying to implement into my personal life too. I don’t seem to have my head around it as much as you just yet, but it definitely helps in reaching long term goals and staying focused and motivated!
    Wellbeing and Health, important aspects of any journey!
    Doing great Geoff – continue to good work!


  9. Hey buddy,

    Meditation is a helpful practice if you need a boost to your positive attitude. Peter Brock practiced daily, It assists to balance and bring you back to centre, but you seem to be managing just fine by yourself.

    Utopia – having seen the inside workings of govt, I can attest that Rob Sitch has nailed it. Unbelievable the crap that goes on. I recall a crowd that researched our body movements at our desks. Spine to remain erect at all times and no more than 45degree swivel to reach for anything, including the bin, phone, keyboard, files. Knees to remain at 90 degrees to hips and feet firmly on the floor. We all had the best part of a week devoted to training on how to sit at our workplace. Unreal! So clever, highlight of my week!

    Keep up the great work of self care mate, how did the photos of the willy wagtail turn out? He’s looking out for you!

    Sending love and hugs to you all!


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