Jane Ballot

Being me in the world

Monday 3rd November

Day 28. (or Day 6)

I think this drain will finally come out today – given all the evidence! Still have to see the doc, though.

I think it must be a well-known thing that adversity brings out the best in people. In fact, I’m sure that there are a whole lot of sayings about this, but I don’t have the energy to think of any, or to google them! I don’t know if this cancer things counts as adversity, or not and I’m definitely not going to explore notions of ‘the best’ in anyone – but, there is no doubt that facing cancer has taught me many things.

Patience is one of them. (At least, learning to live with processes and to have to wait for things – me, for whom patience is not my virtue!)

One thing I have definitely learnt is that although this cancer thing may be about me, seeing as I have had it and have to go through all the prodding and processes (if I don’t see a doctor or hospital for a long time after this, I will be very happy), but it is very definitely not only about me. In fact, it is most definitely about a whole lot of people – most notably about those closest to me.

Given that, it is also important to know and understand that everyone deals with it in their own ways. I am definitely the type of person to give others their space and the opportunity to (as Dad would say) ‘do their own thing’. It seems to me now that this is even more important when adversity (or cancer, if this is the right ‘category’) is involved.

At my 50th party last year, in my speech I said that I “inhabit communities”. Anyone who has worked or played sport with me will know that I am right about that. I am also, as Dad would also say (wise man that 🙂  ), loyal to a fault – to institutions / organizations I work for, clubs I play for and, most importantly, to my family. (Even if I know you’re right, do not criticize any member of my family, because I will fight you 😉  )

So, given that, if I understand myself to be so much embedded in different communities, then I have to allow the others in the community to be able to offer their support, and express their own worry, in ways that help them. And I have discovered that I am good at doing that. (Must be a Drama thing 😉  )

It is of course, through listening to what others say and receiving the way they offer support, that I gain so much support myself.

There will be a phrase that someone uses, or even a word, that will make me laugh. There will be a wish that someone sends that makes me cry.

All of this just serves to build me up further.

I have a favourite show on Disney Channel (don’t laugh and don’t ask – long story about being sick in Durban and only having limited channels to watch!) that is about mermaids. The theme song keeps playing in my brain. It begins with: ‘In this world, we’re all alone’.

Fortunately, for me that is totally untrue. What an honour it is to be part of such a wonderful close and extended community.

How great is it to be shown and told, over and over, that I am definitely not alone through all of this.

Chemo – here we come!!! 🙂



  1. Beverley Cooke says:

    Jane, today more perhaps than other days, you and the family have constantly been in my thoughts. I hope the treatment was not too horrendous, and that the chemo does its job quickly!
    Hugs from all of us in Linbrp

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