Jane Ballot

Being me in the world

Saturday 11th October

Whenever one of the matrics I taught chatted to me about study and career options, I would ask 2 questions:

“What do you want to be when you’re big?”

“What don’t you want to do?”

I feel a bit like that now.

In reply to the first question,  I could easily say: “I’m still finding out as I go along.”

In reply to the second – right now, I would say, “I don’t want to have cancer again. I do want to be as close to 100% sure as I can be that this won’t happen again.”

To be completely honest, though, I would have to add: “Or if it does recur – in any spot – that it is found very early and zapped efficiently again.”

You see, as I sit here, I have absolutely no doubt that my cancer is being treated in the best possible way by the best possible  people. I’m tempted to say that it holds no fears for me. That would be wrong, though: any unknown, any potentially life-threatening condition has to hold some kind of fear. I’m pretty sure I’m going to be wary of cancer for the rest of my life, even when chemo’s over and I’m pronounced clear.

(Hell, I had a lump ‘thingy’ on my leg, which the doc biopsied. My question was, “I don’t have cancer of the leg, do I?”)

What I mean is that I am completely sure that this cancer will be ousted. I’ve always said it’s going to be a long process, with quite a few kak moments on the way, but its doable and the only way forward.

Mark describes it as a roller-coaster and I must go along with the ride – taking what comes.

I must say that it does feel like that: the path has been chosen and I’m guided by the professionals. (It’s just that ‘patience’ thing 😉  )

There are some choices along the way, though, some decisions that I can make – and I am so very bad at making decisions at times. Especially about me.

This is when I miss Mum so very much. I really need to hear her voice, giving her opinion – guiding me. It’s not so very lekker having to be all grown up and making decisions for myself without my mummy’s expertise and wisdom!

I’m not sure, right now, if I want a reconstruction or not.

Before the op, I never knew how I would feel having had a breast removed (despite the anticipation of reaching Amazon-hood). Part of the op was to have a tissue-expander put in, so the process has effectively begun and the options are open.

Now that I’ve confronted the op-aftermath, it’s okay. And I’m not sure how I feel. Part of me thinks it would be nice to look ‘normal’ again – hell, even to have a bit of a boob-lift! Another part is not so sure that I really do want to have a bit of plastic (or silicone, or whatever) inside me.

Boob-lift and all, who am I kidding? If God intended my boob(s) to sag, then what’s wrong with just being as it should be? If God (fate, cancer) determined that one boob comes off, then why fight it? Why not just work with it?

I hate making decisions.

In relation to the whole ‘cancer thing’, this is such a small consideration.

I have no problem with the more important decisions so far and know that I’m prepared for whatever chemo comes – even including nausea and hair-loss if it comes to that.

I feel like Hamlet – although my question is not quite so existential:

“To boob, or not to boob, that is the question.” 😉



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