Jane Ballot

Being me in the world

Monday 17th November

It’s amazing what can happen in 24 hours.

Yesterday I got back on the water for the first time in two months. My aim was, literally, to get into a boat and to see how my shoulder coped with paddling at all. I debated about getting into a polobat, but decided to be sensible and stick to a long boat. It’s almost impossible to discipline oneself to be circumspect and not use one arm too much in a vuvbat. At least in a long boat, you can use the rudder to steer if you paddle harder on one side!

Not only did I get my own boat out (dragged out of a low rack, more like!), but I got it onto the water and into it quite happily. The paddling lasted for 1km, during which my shoulder did start to hurt, but I did it – I was back!

Not sure how often I’ll be paddling, or how far, to make sure that I don’t overdo it with the shoulder. It’s amazing how good it felt being back, though – just to feel as though I was in control again 😉  The sun and water are always good companions on a beautiful day too. 🙂

All the time, though, there was a horrible niggle in the back of my mind: one of the Dabs guys went missing in East London during a surfski race. Any member of Dabs – in fact, anyone connected with paddling – is hoping and praying for him.

Sometimes our own issues and what we see as troubles pale into insignificance…

Today is two weeks after the first chemo – and the time when I was told my hair will start to fall out. Well, bang on cue, there is evidence that it is starting to happen. What no-one tells you, though, is that, when the ‘red devil’ finally makes it to your scalp and affects the hair, it is damn sore: particularly when you are lying on your head and there is pressure against a pillow.

So, I had a really bad night – much of which was spent dealing with a really, really sore head!

I think I’m now at the stage that, if it is going to fall out, it must just go!

In a way, it’s quite frightening to think that the drugs are still happily circulating and having an effect such a long tine after having been administered. Chemo, I suppose, is really strong medicine: not for sissies!

But still, as I deal with a sore head and thoughts of losing my hair, Mark’s family and friends must be frantic about him.

Humans are social beings and it’s wonderful to see how we can band together in times of trouble. If thoughts and prayers can possibly bring him home, they will.

Just as the thoughts and prayers of those around us constantly help us to fight whatever battle we are faced with at any time.


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