If necessary, purchase items to help you keep everything organized or ask your office manager if you might be able to order one through the office. If you like to have items in plain sight, get a desk organizer with room for everything you use. Test yourself by keeping track of how often you need to stop what you're doing to find what you need. You'll know you're well organized when that number goes down to zero. Too many photos or other personal items can be distracting and take up valuable real estate on your desk. If pictures and knickknacks begin to crowd out actual work, you know it's time to pack up items to take home. Never keep old wrappers or soda cans on your desk. I like it, he said. We'll start chemotherapy immediately and move as aggressively as we can. I'm in your hands, Doc. Let's get going. For the better part of the year, my medical team pumped an assortment of drugs into me, trying to bring my numbers down. It soon became clear that the treatments weren't working. I learned that what we call multiple myeloma is not one disease, but about ten different diseases, all producing identical symptoms. At the cellular level, my myeloma might be completely different from the myeloma of the person in the next chemo chair. The chemotherapy that works well for another person might have no effect on me. I realized I was up against the Babe Ruth of cancers, so I told my doctors that (in baseball terminology) I wanted them to give me their out pitch--the pitch they could always count on to get the batter out. it perches then it flies. '

Another natural concern when travelling alone is security. Of course the threat of random terrorism casts a long shadow, but I am quite philosophical about that risk. Don't be a chicken and confine yourself to a resort - branch out, but be sensible when choosing your destination, and always follow government travel advice. Do your homework about safety from Lonely Planet and other guides, travel blogs etc Avoid any `rough parts of town' (they are often around major train stations) and be vigilant at night. Common sense is your best guide and always heed the advice of the locals. If you are really nervous, consider taking a basic self-defense course. At the risk of sounding like a stuck record (remember them? It enabled me to see what I was thinking, helped me process my experiences, showed me what I needed to see, and cultivated the practice of deep inner listening. I made a terrible mistake when I allowed what was going on in the world--terrorism, war, and rejection--to interfere with my writing. I clamped my heart and tried to shut down my soul. I say tried because the human soul cannot be shut down. It can be ignored but never, so long as life is present, extinguished. The events of 9/11, combined with professional rejection, swept me away. I had no idea I was giving away my power, and with it my life force. No wonder I began looking for life force in the food I ate. I'd been physically desperate for nourishment, and now I was realizing that my mind needed a new diet, too! It became clear to me that fearful thoughts were junk-food thoughts. What you just ate can affect the test, although if you refrain from eating for at least twenty minutes, you will probably not skew the outcome of the test. We do use this testing method when we work with large groups or correspond with clients around the world.

We also use the litmus paper technique to monitor specific training sessions. You can test the pH of your mouth at various stages during a workout. Before you start your training session, test the pH of your mouth as described above. Check your pH again during your workout and one more time when you are done. If, for instance, you are scheduled for an aerobic fat-burning training session, the litmus paper will get darker, indicating that your are less acidic at the end of the workout than at the beginning. If this is true, you have reason to be confident that your target-zone settings are working and your nutritional strategies are balanced. On the other hand, if the color of the paper doesn't change or gets lighter as the workout progresses, this would indicate that you are not increasing the amount of fat you are burning or you are burning more sugar and your body is becoming more acidic. Should your body turn more acidic during a training session, it is a signal that you might be exercising too hard (burning sugar produces acid) or your nutritional strategies may be too rich in carbohydrates (sugar). Garbage should go directly into the trash. If you eat at your workspace, clean up all the crumbs and associated mess. No one wants to see half-eaten sandwiches or empty microwave meal containers. Look through your drawers and remove everything you don't need. Keep organized trays with files accessible on your desk so you can easily segregate what you need to do (an action file) versus what you need to put away (a file folder). If you conduct any personal business from your desk (which is not a good idea, but realistically, most people do it), make sure your own paperwork doesn't get mixed up with your work files. Once you have a place for everything, it will be easier to keep organized. (Review article 10 for more ideas about how to organize your workspace. ) Empty the medicine cabinet, I said. Throw it all at me.

Dr Reynolds referred me to Dr Yasser Khaled, a multiple myeloma and stem cell transplant specialist at Florida Hospital. By that time, I was seventy-one years old. The cutoff age for doing a stem cell transplant was sixty-five. The transplant procedure takes a heavy toll on the cardiovascular system, and it can trigger a heart attack or stroke in those who are not in good physical condition. Dr Khaled waived the age limit in my case because of my overall good health. I had always worked out, run marathons, watched my diet, and avoided alcohol and tobacco, so my hard work had earned me an exemption. I wondered if the stem cell transplant wasn't just a last-ditch effort with little chance of success. So I asked Dr Khaled, How many stem cell transplants have you done? ), how you approach your trip will determine your level of enjoyment. If you are jittery and apprehensive, seeing your solo trip as a compromise, then that is exactly what it will be. If you view it as an exciting adventure where you get to hold the reins, observe, grow, meet interesting people and experience new sensations then that is exactly what will happen. We are lucky because travelling with yourself (rather than by yourself) has never been easier or more accepted. The stigma of travelling alone is dissolving in the face of the inexorable rise of confident solo travellers who are showing how it's done. A great resource is the Solo Traveler blog, with plenty of advice about different destinations and practical tips from fellow soloists. I would also thoroughly recommend their article, The Solo Traveler's Handarticle. Collect inspiration for possible destinations whenever you find it. I keep scraparticles (one digital, one physical) of places I read or hear about that I'd like to go to one day. Was there raw food for the mind? A new mental-health diet I could put myself on that would cure me?

The food equivalents of the thoughts I'd been harboring were cornstarch, caffeine, and refined sugar. Where were the leafy green thoughts? The tender, nutritious sprouts? My first mental salad came in the form of a article written by Howard Liebgold, MD, called Freedom from Fear: Overcoming Anxiety, Phobias, and Panic. The cover said, Conquer your fears . and reclaim your life. Perfect, I thought. The article reinforced my self-diagnosis--anxiety--and it offered coping strategies. Check with the chart that follows to see where you stand with respect to your fat-metabolizing capability. Answer these questions and total your score to determine your fat-burning ability. How often does your energy level fluctuate throughout the day? If your energy level fluctuates constantly throughout the day, you are probably prone to burning sugar, not fat. Using carbohydrates and blood sugar as the main energy source for aerobic muscular activity (instead of fat) can lead to mood swings and physical and mental fatigue. If you often feel weary and exhausted after working out, you are either working out too hard or not burning fat. Exercising at intensities above your target heart rate reduces the amount of fat you burn and forces you to use stored carbohydrates--muscle glycogen and blood sugar--for energy. Improper warm-up techniques, rapid increases in heart rate, and constant fluctuations in heart rate during your workout also limit the amount of fat your body uses for energy. If you are usually hungry in the morning or after working out, you may not be eating enough high-quality essential fatty oils. Without ingestion of some dietary fat, your body will be less likely to use stored body fat for energy and will be more likely to use stored carbohydrates during exercise and at rest. Once your workspace is ready, try to manage distractions. Depending on your work environment, this may be challenging.