Chapter 9 It’s a long way to the top if you…

A while now since I gave a status update on how it goes. I was expecting good news today as I am now changing immune suppressors and so some of my side effects should disappear. I was secretly hoping that my cortisone could do the same… Unfortunately, I have been told today that I’ll stay on that one till the GVH goes away. The good side is that my eyes are getting better and this week Schirmer’s test is much better than in February moving from 0 to 6 mm, so there is always something positive.

Even if it is not what I expected in terms of next step, it means that the GVH in my eyes might go away slowly and hopefully certainly. On the other hand, I still have my Gamma GT are too high which could be coming from a lever GVH but maybe not as it is this marker only going up. Not being a specialist I leave it to them and will see what will come from the echo graphs I need to take next week. The funny story is that overweight (caused by the cortisone) is also a source to increase Gamma GT…

Some people of my generation may have realised that this chapter’s title refers to a AC/DC song: It’s a long way to the top… The reason behind this is that if I did not make the decision to quit smoking in 2006, I might not have been here explaining my experience. The surgeons explained me that my body would have been so damaged that I would not have been in a position to fight against the illness. So maybe I can talk about how a leadership training in 2006 had a tremendous impact on going through all of this.

So I was in Geelong for a leadership training and I was the only smoker there. Had my two boys already on my back asking me to stop as they did not want me to die young… So I came up as target to quit smoking! My coach there told me that there is a method with a 98% success rate: hypnotherapy. I must say that I was really reluctant as I did not believe in that opportunity! Going back home Kuala Lumpur these days, I did talk to a friend from Rotary Club of Pantai Valley and he told me that he could manage to get it done. Carsten thus gave me an appointment in his office. He is a NLP practitioner well known in multiple countries… anyway I went there as going into the unknown but at least I knew the person and trusted him.

The first appointment was more like an interview to understand why I wanted to stop (consumption was around 20 cigarettes per day) smoking and what were the drivers for me to do this. It took around 1 hour to do this including a test to check whether I could be receptive to hypnotherapy. It happens that it is really light hypnosis, I would even say close to relaxation. You feel like when you drive early morning to the office, auto-pilot type of feeling.

One week later, I went back to Carsten’s office and he relaxed me, made me listen to the two recordings he tailored for me… Again 1hour… It did explain I was not quitting as it is a negative behaviour but that I was now smoking-free I.e. I can control myself and make my own decisions. After the exercise, I threw away my pack and never touched a cigarette since!
The first week I was listening to the recordings to go to sleep till I realised I could even drink a beer at the Souled-Out bar & restaurant then I understood it really works? I can keep talking to smokers outside without craving, never felt the urge of smoking whatsoever! This is amazing, the only moments I saw me smoking, it was in dreams… too funny.

This may look like a UFO in this story but it shows how decisions even if distant may have a huge impact years later and it offers me also a reason to talk about this method that worked really well with me. As Carsten told me, it only works if you are ready and this is why he does not promote this therapy… He thinks that if you come to him to do this, it means that the job is already 90% done… Truly a great guy!

My next chapter will be based on my future next steps based on my future tests and I also would like to thank my Rotarian friends from Rotary Club Esneux Aywaille for their trust electing me as President for the Rotary year 2013/2014! Hopefully these chapters will help some people to better understand what some of their friends, relatives can feel if they are hit by this or to make a good decision that may help them later!

Thank you for reading this blog and your comments, e-mails are always welcome.

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