Jane Ballot

Being me in the world

Thursday 16th October

Today feels like another D-day. We will finally see the oncologist and find out about the chemo and the way forward.

Another step.

Yesterday, it was off to the doc again, as my drain had blocked. Again. This morning, there is nothing in the tube, at all. I emptied about 20mls, but there is nothing coming through that I can see any evidence of. So now, is the tube blocked again, or am I just finished draining – sommer? (Watch this space!)

Yesterday seemed to be a day of questions – what to think and what to do about reconstruction. Sarah and I visited a friend we made when I was in hospital and we had a good chat about everything. (Tony’s like that – she gets you chatting 🙂  )

This was after long chats with quite a few members of the family.

I’m still not sure about the reconstruction.

I do know, though, that it would have been eminently useful to me now (if I’d known it then) to see the oncologist, as well as the other docs, before the operation. Much of what you read and all the docs say the patient needs to be as well-informed as possible about the condition and possible treatments etc. Much of that is up to the patient, right? Makes sense. If only the patient had the emotional space and forward-thinkingness (neologism, maybe 😉  ) to know exactly how to be informed.

Right now, I am a little frustrated with myself more than anything in that there was so much more I needed to find out before having the op. I even feel a little silly, because I didn’t think of some things.

Mum would love this! She always said it’s always amazing how much wiser we are when we see life through a ‘retrospectroscope’ – looking back from a different and, perhaps, more informed position.

Well, retrospectively, there are things I would have done differently. What is interesting, though, is that these have nothing to do with the cancer. I mean, I am quite happy with the way the cancer has been, and is being, handled. That’s, literally, in hand and on the path it needs to be on to be got rid of, totally.

It’s the damn reconstruction. And the fact that there is a choice involved!

I know that I will be heavily guided by what the oncologist has to say. I also know that I almost want to hear him say what I am thinking (not quite so) sub-consciously.

He becomes the primary physician and I will follow his guidance specifically. This whole thing began with, and is primarily about, the cancer, after all – and the process that must be followed is always about getting rid of that and assuring me of as little a chance in the future of recurrence in any form.

The reconstruction? Well, that’s only a secondary consideration and merely something that can be done. There is no mandate.


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