Jane Ballot

Being me in the world

Thursday 20th November

After nearly two days of having velcro on my head, I am tired of having to wear a bandana / beanie – or, at least, think about having a cold / protected head all the time. 😉

Well, not completely.

I do think that if our weather wasn’t being so wintry, it may be a little better. I sort of understand how bald guys must feel. I am used, though, to having lots of hair to protect my poor old head!

What is difficult is to think that this is most probably (if everyone is to be believed) going to be my situation for at least the next two months or so. I’m actually fine with having no hair – mostly. It’s the discomfort that comes with it that seems to be a little taxing.

On the other hand, the trauma of having my hair fall out in strands and then chunks has been removed; and the pain I was experiencing has gone completely, which is wonderful. So, living with the alternative is not such a pain!

Everything is like that in life, I think – relative to something else. I’m sure that there are people who have chemo for longer than I am having and whose hair stays out for longer too.

For the first time in two weeks yesterday, I sat at the computer writing for most of the morning, as I usually do when I write a set of lessons for a deadline. It was good to be ‘normal’ again and feel completely productive.

Again, it’s almost as though I hadn’t realised how much the chemo had knocked me until now, when my immune system is getting stronger – just to be knocked out again on Tuesday 🙁

I can’t work out if I’m getting stressed for chemo (or the few days afterwards, actually), or not. I definitely am not looking forward to feeling that horrible nausea again. Perhaps this time I’ll play the dying swan and take to my sick bed! (Or not – this is me we are talking about!)

I think, actually, that, sometimes, it’s just completely counter-productive to project too much into the future. At least about feelings. I firmly believe that we have to make plans. I mean, hell, this whole cancer thing has been about waiting, making a plan, waiting for the next step, making another plan. I think that we should try to anticipate what may need to be done, but also try hard not to become bogged down in anticipating how dreadful something may be. That doesn’t help us deal with anything any better. In fact, it can make the whole thing worse. Sometimes, too, we are surprised when something is not so bad.

I remember during the two days after the last chemo feeling really trapped in a world of nausea. It felt like a tunnel out of which there was no escape. I also remember thinking, “WHY would I want to put myself through this again three times?!”

If anyone pointed out the ‘great’ thing that there were only three more sessions to go, it did not make me feel any better. In fact, it made it worse, because it emphasized the fact that this would happen again.

Now? Well, now I can anticipate the chemo and the after-effects fairly dispassionately, because I think we tend to be able to forget the horrible realities and the details.

It will be true that the second chemo will be 50% of the way there. I just hope that not too many people try to comfort me with that thought in the first few days afterwards, when all I will be thinking will be something like, “Oh no. Do I really have to go through this all even once more!”



Leave a Reply

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