Jane Ballot

Being me in the world

Sunday 2nd November

Day 27. (Or Day 5)

I am not looking forward to chemo – I mean, please, who would?! I’ve decided that I don’t have the energy to be scared of it anymore, though. At this exact moment, I can’t say that I feel exactly happy about the prospect, but I will take what comes and deal with it as best I can.

Oh, I’m pretty sure that the nerves will kick in and I won’t feel quite so calm in the morning, but there’s still the whole of today to enjoy.

Yesterday the four of us finally sat down and went through most of Mum’s jewellery – potentially one of the most emotional and upsetting processes we could undertake. It has really been circumstance that has meant this is one of the last things we all have to do together and that we haven’t tackled so far. Doing it so long after losing her has proven to be a good thing, though.

Mum’s jewellery was so much part of her and just about each piece brings back so many memories of her throughout our lives.

Far from being a highly emotional and upsetting process, I found that it was more about fondly remembering her through the pieces and the images we had of her. We all miss her so much and it was a lovely time of sharing moments and memories between the four of us.

It is still so familiar and comforting to go to 55 – but also heart-rending, as the end of that era is definitely coming to a close soon. I find that having bits of furniture and paintings in my house keeps reminding me of times spent at our family home over the years – and those will never fade. I am also so grateful that David, Sarah, Dani and Mike all had the chance to make so many of their own memories of Gran and Papa too – which they are reminded of when they see the furniture etc. In many ways, it’s like having Mum and Dad in our house too.

Both Mum and Dad taught us so much and gave us so much. One of my aims has always to be as good a parent to my own children as they have always been to us. I hope I live up to this in some small measure.

So often through this cancer thing, people have made wonderful comments about the ‘way I am handling it’. The word ‘strong’ often features. The other day, one of my friends described me as being a Trojan. (I told her, more like Amazon 😉  ) Sarah asked me yesterday how I feel when these comments are made. My answer is actually quite simple: I think to myself, “So, I am actually like Mum!”

I wish so much that she was still here.

I do know, though, that she is still with me. It would just be so good to just talk to her and to hug her.

As a parent, I wish I could spare my children all of this. That is what I hate the most about this whole cancer thing – and the protracted process. Okay, I am not quite so very chuffed at the fact that I have to go through it and that I am minus one boob now and that my shoulder and side are so very sore (and will be for a while, I reckon). I just really would love it if they didn’t have to live through it all too.

In fact, I would be far happier if no-one close to me had to be affected by all this. That just seems so unfair.

We soldier on, though and make it closer to the top of the mountain one step, one day, at a time, though.

And it’s okay. This is doable.

And, ironically, manageable mostly simply because I have so much love and support. As hard as it is watching others be affected, it’s a reinforcement of the fact that we stand strongest because we never stand alone.



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *