I have recently been watching a reality tv series on Foxtel called Alone. Ten contestants are dropped into the wilderness with minimal resources. The idea is that they stay in the wilderness for a long as they can. They have no idea where they will be dropped of besides the name of the region and with this information they need to select only 10 items to take with them to survive. Last person standing wins $500,000 US. For some reason I was able to relate to this show with my own journey with bowel cancer.
Although I have had support from family, friends and co-workers as well as many people I have never met, there is an element of this journey that I have to travel alone. As with the competitors on Alone, I was placed into a scenario that I wasn’t expecting and hadn’t planned for. To start my journey I was given minimal information and had to work things out as I went along. Rather than learning to build a shelter, start a fire or catch a fish. I was learning how best to process me diagnosis, understanding my treatment options and the possible effects these treatments would have on the rest of my life.
Watching the participants go through their range of emotions resonated with me. The initial confusion of their new surrounds, the organising to ensure their camp was setup, the searching for new ways of dealing with a new world. Though to their anger of not being about to do something right, the frustration of not understanding their newly acquired lifestyle and the pure fear of the unexpected. These are all emotions that I have felt during my journey. I just didn’t expect to see it on a reality survival tv show. I have however decided to turn the idea of this show into an item on my bucket list. Between treatments I will endeavour to spend a night in the woods, alone, with minimal items. Just to see if I can do it.
At the end of my journey, however, there will be no prize money, no trophy and no fame. All I hope for is my life, or at least a bit more time.