Jane Ballot

Being me in the world

Monday 29th September

What I find quite interesting is that, ever since I first found out that I had a lump, never mind that it is malignant, I have never asked the question, “Why me?”

I have asked questions like, “What next?” and “Why now?”, but not “Why me?” I suppose that part of the reason is that the obvious answer is, “Why not me?” I mean, I think the statistics are something like one in eight women will get some form of breast lump (if not breast cancer). As much as I would love to be any one of the other seven, the fact that I am the one is just as it is. I firmly believe that this is not some form of specific singling out and is definitely not some kind of divine retribution or punishment. It just happens to be me.

Let’s be clear, I am not glad that it’s me. I am immensely glad, though, that it is not either of my sisters, or any other woman that I care about. I would never choose this, but having landed in the situation, I can deal with it.

The timing just sucks, of course. For all of us.

That’s the hardest thing for me: to know, and to see the evidence of, the strain that this puts others under. Especially the family. I mean, hell, they really have been through enough this year!

In the strangest way, this is almost easiest for me, although I am the direct ‘victim’. Maybe it’s just my nature, maybe it’s just how I see things, but I think it is far worse for the other members of the family, who have to think about the effect and know that they can literally do nothing to make me better.

I know that I can, though. And I am. And I will.

There’s a song fromĀ The Sound of MusicĀ that is playing in my head at the moment – and has been for about three-and-a-half weeks now. (This sounds so like Carl, who finds inspiration in songs; and Mum, who loved musicals so much. Maybe it’s just in the blood!)

The song goes is called ‘I Have Confidence in Me’. I am acutely aware that this relates to the fact that everyone says that the first (and most important, possibly) factor in fighting and surviving cancer is having a positive attitude. I do, though – have confidence in my own ability to fight and overcome. And in the team of doctors and health care professionals rallying for me.

The song goes (slightly edited):

So, let them bring on all their problems,
I’ll do better than my best.
I have confidence
They’ll put me to the test!
But I’ll make them see
I have confidence in me.

With each step I am more certain,
Everything will turn out fine.
I have confidence,
The world can all be mine!
They’ll have to agree
I have confidence in me.
I have confidence in sunshine,
I have confidence in rain.
I have confidence that spring will come again!
Besides, which you see
I have confidence in me.

Strength doesn’t lie in numbers.
Strength doesn’t lie in wealth,
Strength lies in nights of peaceful slumbers,
When you wake up, wake up! It’s healthy!
All I trust I leave my heart to,
All I trust becomes my own!
I have confidence in confidence alone.
I have confidence in confidence alone!
Besides, which you see,
I have confidence in me!

And that’s how I feel. I will damn well show ‘them’ that I have the confidence to overcome this. And I will!


  1. Angele says:

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