One of the segments of the 20/20 story that was done involved me doing a short photo essay of sorts about some topic related to what was going on in my life. I initially thought ‘lessons learnt during my journey’ was a good one, but then I quickly realised that it was way too hard to put such abstraction into a picture without requiring some lengthy description. I then decided to simplify it way down to things that have helped me get through the last few years.
Here are the 5 photos demonstrating what has helped me on my journey.
Faith – Easily the most important aspect of my life that has kept me going. The strength, the motivation, and the peace, have all stemmed from my faith. Faith should empower, not disempower, it should enable, rather than disable. I have seen faith do both in people with illness, terminal and non-terminal. If its disempowering, if there is disillusionment, or if there is disappointment, then basically you aren’t doing it right.
Medicine – Being a doctor, I am very much an evidence based person when it comes to my treatment, and at the end of the day, it is the realm of modern medicine that takes the credit for keeping me alive as long as I have been. This snippet of my personal mini-pharmacy is meant to portray how it has very much been a significant part of my life, and in large part, responsible for it still being here.
Work – I keep working because I love it. Work is both constructive because it is a distraction, and distracting because it is constructive (a bit of a chicken/egg scenario). It helps me remember I’m still alive, and gives me the opportunity to try and repay the favour of health care that has been bestowed upon me.
Community – Life is a journey that is meant to be with other people. When you try to go it alone, it becomes unfulfilling, no matter what achievements may come your way. With friends and family, life is far more richer, even when life sucks. This photo is taken at Crave Cafe in Morningside (go there if you can). A group of friends and I set up a collective to start a non-profit cafe who’s proceeds either go back into the cafe or the community around it. Its where we go to eat, to laugh, to drink, and to socialise. Its my local.
New Experiences – The final photo wasn’t taken specifically for the project, but I included it as it demonstrates how exploring what life has to offer, finding new places to visit, new things to see and do helps make you appreciate that life is forever about learning and exploring. The minute I settle into routine and stop trying to push the boundaries of comfort, I am not making the most of being alive.
Those were the photos I set out to achieve, they featured somewhat fleetingly in the 20/20 story, so I thought I would share them here with a bit more of an explanation.
Until next time…
As part of the whole 20/20 experience over the past few weeks, one of the things I was asked to do was to keep a video blog during my 49th round of chemotherapy. So this round’s update comes to you in video form, 3 short 1 minute videos for each day of chemo. For the show, they only did about 20 second snippets of each, so here they are in their entirety.
The next round is the half century….
The past 2 weeks after getting back from Italy has been occupied by many things in my life. One of which included moving house in the first 5 days back. It didn’t help that I managed to get a nice case of gastroenteritis upon the return trip which left me house bound for a few days. To add to the busyness of this all, 20/20 had contacted me just prior to Italy and requested to do a follow up story on me from their original one 18 months ago. So, in order to keep life interesting and full of surprises, we said yes. This meant the last 2 weeks also involved a lot of time with camera crew and interviewing. They filmed us move house, followed me around for a shift in Auckland Emergency Department, came over for dinner, and we spent some studio time with them.
The story went to air on Thursday night and we were very happy with it. We got to see it for the first time with everybody else, and felt the crew at 20/20 put it together really well. Hannah and I have had a huge amount of positive feedback from the story, both from friends, family, and strangers. We would like to thank the 20/20 crew publicly for their great work and company over that time.
For those that did not see the show, you can see it here..
Until next time…