Jane Ballot

Being me in the world

Thursday 11th September

It’s so weird…Yesterday was Mum’s birthday. We all had supper at her house, despite the state it’s in with boxes all over the place. Paul made a comment afterwards that my cancer was like the elephant in the room – you know, the one that everyone sees, but no-one comments on?

I don’t know if it’s like that, but there is definitely a presence that just won’t go away. It’s kind of sinister, but also not.

Noel uses an analogy to a snake: we are afraid of them, until we actually see them. Then it’s a case of, “Ok. I can deal with this.”

I do feel much the same about this. I think we are so acculturated to thinking, “Cancer – death”, that we lose sight of the fact (or, maybe we just don’t know) that there are different types of cancer, different degrees even – and different threats.

I’m not happy about this. It’s okay, though. The prognosis is good. The journey will be hard (and sore, I’m sure), but it will be okay.

The worst part is seeing everyone else’s reaction. I HATE, above all, causing hurt to those I care about. Now I am acutely aware that I am a mother, wife, sister, aunt, sister-in-law, daughter-in-law – even a cousin, friend and colleague. All those people are affected in some way by this. Seeing how my family react is horrible. They don’t need this. I suppose, none of us do.

I’m not a martyr to the cause, trust me. I almost wish, though, that I could go and be in complete isolation somewhere and go through this, so that no-one else has to suffer because of it. At the same time, though, I know that the very presence of all the people who care will be exactly what I need. Hell, I need it already!

So…God works in mysterious ways…

Today began as a poopie day (as a friend of mine would say). I have felt scared  – not terrified (I’ve done the ‘mortality-terror’ thing), but scared/nervous, with that hollow feeling in the stomach. I decided to go for a run. This turned into a combination of jogging and walking, as my boob is still sore after being harpooned by the biopsy needles on Monday. Anyway, one has many thoughts as one runs / walks. Some of these were about how great the weather is. It’s really hot already and summer is definitely here. (Sorry, Spring!) I ran into a friend who walks everywhere in our area. We had a chat about life, cancer and everything. She left me with the thought that she had read something today that said one shouldn’t only pray for oneself, but for our fellow humans too. I turned on my ipod again and the very next song (on shuffle) was Faith by George Michael. If that’s not a message from above, I don’t know what else is!!

I’m still scared. I would be inhuman if I wasn’t. I’m scared of the thought of having an operation. (The tiniest needle terrifies me.) I’m also scared of the feeling of having chemo, if I have to; and of what it may be like to be without a boob, if I have to have that done. I’m also scared of what I can’t control (control-freak that I am). But it’s okay. It will all be okay. Every one of those fears I can find a way to manage.

With faith. And a lot more!

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