Jane Ballot

Being me in the world

Thursday 25th September

I feel as though I’m in some form of limbo.

There was such a build up to the lymph biopsy on Monday – especially with the focus on making sure that my chest was not too bad to have a general anaesthetic – that it almost feels as though that was the ‘big one’. Yesterday, I found that the idea that there is still the ‘big op’ to come was quite weird to compute.

We were at 55 again, clearing and sorting and I think that there is just so much ‘real life’going on that the idea of having cancer with all the implications just does not dominate what I do and how I think. Which is a good thing. I could not imagine being in a state where all I thought about was having cancer: what it means, what it could imply and how to deal with it. Everyone, everyone says ‘step-by-step’ and ‘day-by-day’ and, if there’s one thing I’ve learnt from the process so far, it is that cancer is a long haul thing. It’s definitely not like being sick with some identifiable disease that needs these drugs, or like having an injury that needs that procedure to fix. Cancer is an invader and it needs an effective strategy to combat it.

Good strategies are based on information and understanding. Gathering the information and building up the insight takes time. And that is how this game is played.

It’s just quite hard, sometimes, being the one literally in the middle – the one in whom the campaign has to be waged. In some ways I can’t believe that it’s only just on 3 weeks since this all began – tomorrow it’ll be exactly three weeks since the lump was first found. I seem to have lived a lifetime in that time and it really feels like it! In other ways, though, I cannot actually believe that this whole thing has only been going on for only 3 weeks. It seems to be such a short time to have faced so many demons and to have experienced just about every emotion in the book.

And the worst is yet to come. Well, maybe. Actually, I’m not so sure that it is the worst. I suppose what it is is that the actual war is still to be waged, which feels so weird. I’ll see the doc on Saturday again. This will be THE appointment – where he finally gives his opinion about how to proceed, after which the treatment can begin.

The limbo I’m in is that I’ve known about this for nearly 3 weeks and, in fact, nothing has been done about it yet, which feels weird, as I’ve been prodded and scanned and probed; and I’ve been taking medication and puffing and nebulising diligently – and all just to find out what is actually going on.

The rest is yet to come.

The girls love the song, ‘One Day More’¬†from¬†Les Miserables. I heard it in Sarah’s car the other day and it occurred to me that that is yet another anthem for me in this campaign.

Indeed, step-by-step, one thing at a time – one day more.


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