Jane Ballot

Being me in the world

Saturday 1st November

Day 26. (Or Day 4)

I seem to be going through an ‘I can’t believe it’ phase: Is this really me with the whole cancer thing?  It just all seems so unreal. Although the process has taken 8 weeks and there was a lot of waiting involved – for doctors, for results, for me to get better from the cold, it all seems, now, to have happened very quickly. And absolutely inexorably – driven by the necessity and just forging ahead. Like the roller coaster.

I also still have moments when I truly cannot believe that Mum has gone. Whenever Granny B phones from East London and one of the kids answers by saying, “Hi, Gran”, I genuinely want to ask, “Which Gran?”

So hard. So much to compute. So unreal.

It’s also like that with 55. When I go there to swim, or to do something in the house, nothing is the same. There are a number of bare rooms now. I know it’s going. I know it’ll no longer be there to just pop in and visit or to have a swim – but my mind can’t truly compute it.

In some ways I think it’s like that about chemo, too. I know it’s going to happen and I’ll have to deal with the fallout, but it’s all still non-real.

Hell, I’m having trouble really getting to grips with the fact that I – me – have had 3 operations in the last 8 weeks. I know it’s true, of course, (I literally have the scars!), but it seems to be so removed, so non-real, that I’m not quite sure what plane I’m living on 😉

I’m not sure if any of this would have been easier to live with if it had all been very concentrated and very focused in terms of time and even pain – so that there was a diagnosis, big operation, follow-up and even bed-rest. Would that sort of process make it seem more real and more containable?

This is, of course, basically a moot point, which could be debated until the cows come home: the situation is what it is and the nature of the beast is that it is a protracted process, which has moments of intensity.

Perhaps the ‘non-real’ feeling is just my way of dealing with it all. After all, chemo still has that feeling, although it is now only two days away.

I suppose we all do what we have to do and make our way through processes as they happen.

I came across a great quote from Charlie Chaplin today: “Nothing is permanent in this wicked world, not even our troubles.”

So true – and perhaps the reason that we can, eventually, make our way through anything and have the strength to face whatever is thrown our way.

As Sarah said, though, after everything that’s happened this year, Fate owes us big time!





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