Jane Ballot

Being me in the world

Tuesday 30th September

25 day since the lump was found…

During those last 25 days, I have been generously described as ‘brave’ and ‘amazing’; and the way I am handling this whole cancer thing as being’fantastic’.  I am not sure that I am any of those. I honestly don’t know how else to deal with this, but to face it head-on and do what must be done.

Then, today, I had a kind of a revalation about things.

I was at 55, down at the swimming pool. Recently, I expressed the desire just to phone Mum and chat to her. I have been variously advised to just sit quietly and talk to her and she will answer, or to look for signs of her around. All of these make sense. So, with that in mind, and with the vague sense I feel every-so-often that I am wasting opportunities to really explore the feelings I do have, I sat quietly at the pool and thought about all of that. I thought about the fact that I am scared for the operation, mainly because I feel so completely fine and the concept of anything linked to ‘entrails’ (as Dad would say) upsets me. I also thought about Mum and losing her – and Dad. I thought about us no longer having 55 in the near future. It is all so sad, so devastating and so final.

And then I realised that, try as hard as I might, I wasn’t going to hear Mum speak to me – not in actual words and not in some specific moment of clarity. That was because I understood completely that she is speaking to me all the time. They both are. Somehow, I know – literally just know – that they are with me and guiding me all the time. Maybe that’s why I can face this cancer like I have and focus on the step-by-step. Maybe that’s one of the reasons why I can be so positive. Part of it comes from who I am and part of it is coming from the strength that they are giving me all the time.

On the Monday when I had the mammogram and biopsy, I was fairly overwhelmed by a sense of my own mortality and the implications that ‘cancer’ holds for all of us. I went to 55 and walked down the garden. Somewhere near the pool, I felt Mum and Dad tell me that it was all going to be fine. I just knew.

That’s my revelation. Mum is gone. So is Dad. And yet, they are not. I cannot speak to them in real words and in person anymore, but they speak to me all the time.

And that is largely why I can do what must be done.


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