Jane Ballot

Being me in the world

Friday 17th October

In some ways, it feels as though this cancer thing has made me become some kind of public property: I belong to others and not to me. Maybe that’s why going to take a class, or set an exam, or something quite mundane, but driven by me is important and the way I do things.

That and, of course, my natural stubbornness. So like Mum!

I truly miss her. This would have been hard enough to go through without her, but with it being literally a matter of months since she went, it’s all the more harder.

All the same, though, I also do truly believe that I am following the steps she would have recommended and I do know that she is with me. So is Dad.

The mountain has a new step: chemo.

I pretty much knew I would end up here. Not that it is something I wanted, or wished would happen, but it feels right to be going to have the treatment the doc has described. It’s the next step in ousting the cancer.

Now I just have to get rid of the drain – which blocked again yesterday. And is blocked again now. At least I am learning a whole lot of different ways of ublocking a drain. I just want it to be taken out now. I don’t mind having it in and am quite fond of my little handbag that it sits in all the time, except at night. It’s just sore and uncomfortable – and becoming a nuisance.

The only trouble is, if it’s taken out, then where will all the lymph (etc) that drains occasionally, or pools up in my ‘non-boob’, go?

I do know that I’m tired now of being in pain in my chest/side. It’s time for some healing to really take place.

Which also feeds my thoughts about reconstruction.

The doc’s receptionist explained a little more about the procedure.  (Something I really should have asked more about before the op…) It’s is long and sounds sore. I’m not convinced that I want that, simply for the convenience of looking ‘normal’.

I can honestly see myself rocking up at the dam, or going running, with a sports top on, under which is one squashed boob and one ‘non-boob’. It may make others look at me weirdly and may look a little strange, but what the hell. I’m definitely not of the ilk who considers the ‘offensive’ boob to be well got rid of. You can’t blame part of your body for an invasive thing. Hell, I think you can’t really blame anything.

I also definitely am not of the group that associates being a woman / ‘feminine’ with having two breasts. What the hell. If one had to go, it had to go.

As the oncologist points out, I may well feel differently in a few months time.

I think the answer at the moment is a waiting game. Let me do the chemo and see what transpires.

One step at a time.

For once in my life, this is not the time to be contemplating too much multi-tasking (apart from recuperating, working, sorting out Mum’s house, tidying my own house etc etc) 😉

Despite me not liking to make decisions, I do know that these things have a habit of working themselves out. So, let the chips fall where they may and all that, as the roller coaster carries on its way. 🙂



  1. Beverley says:

    Jane, a friend who was helping me through a rough time used to say to me ..’can u sit with this till the next time we talk?’ Drove me mad – no I want a solution, a plan of action and I want it now. In the end I had to sit with it and eventually the answers do fall into place. Trust your instinct, credit yourself with having made each decision with as much information as you could absorb at the time – and decisions will reveal themselves. In my thoughts, Beverley

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