Jane Ballot

Being me in the world

Saturday 13th September

I am starting to freak out. Not about the cancer. That I feel I have a handle on. (I’m pretty sure this will change a few times in the next week, or even longer). I am freaking out about the operation and the fall out afterwards. In fact, I am freaking out at the very thought of any operation at all. I have the lowest pain threshold possible and the highest possible level of intolerance for anything to do with entrails (as my dad used to call them). Given all of this, it does not bode well for my thought processes concerning me having an operation.

Oh, I talk about it quite easily: I will have surgery – a lump removed, or something more, even a mastectomy. Quite stupidly easily in fact. The implications of the words don’t really settle in. In some ways, I think I am consciously putting aside any thoughts and “horrid imaginings” (to borrow from Macbeth). It’s really the only way to deal with much of this right now. Sometimes, though, the thoughts creep up unbidden – like when I was out paddling on the dam yesterday. Then it becomes a physical race against my own thoughts: if I can expend enough energy just simply moving, I might outrun the images forming unbidden in my imagination. Unfortunately, this can only last a certain amount of time. One does tend to have to take one’s head (and its contents, physiological and imaginary) with one.

So, what now?

More of the waiting game. All the imaginings that do “unfix my hair” (Macbeth again), are really irrelevant until I know what I will be facing. I do have a pretty shrewd idea, though. And the imaginings are, indeed, quite horrid.

There is so much that I wish wasn’t true.

I sit here working at the computer and it all seems normal. Hell, I’m even watching some silly movie on tv as I write. But it’s always there. It is true. It is me, not someone else. I am going to have to go through whatever I will have to go through. Not easy to contemplate.

I also wish, though, that Mum was still here. But she isn’t. And I do have to go to her house again and sort it out, because it has been sold.

There is so much that I wish wasn’t real and that I could actually change.

On the other hand, it is what it is and has to be dealt with.

Just another mountain to climb in this year of great peaks that challenge us.



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