Jane Ballot

Being me in the world

Tuesday 11th November

It’s interesting how life tends to send us lessons.

I have to write some notes on a novella for work. The book is The Death of Ivan Ilyich by Tolstoy – written in Russian 128 years ago. The language is a little dated and one has to get into the style, but I have actually enjoyed reading it.

And Tolstoy has some interesting things to say about life, the way we live and the way we deal with suffering. Most pertinent to all of us, I think. Great literature has universality. 🙂

It seems as though I am going through the different stages of the side-effects of chemo: there is the nausea, which is persistent, but (luckily) much lower-grade these days; now my mouth is becoming ‘sensitive’, which is helped by a highly medicinal-tasting mouthwash; so, now it’s just the hair that has to go…

I am not exactly looking forward to having my hair fall out. Who would? It just seems that, if it is going to happen, then it must get a move on and do it.

Funnily enough, in the past, I would most probably have been very nervous about having thoughts like that, because I would have seen it as almost tempting fate, I mean, what happens if I am the one person having had the ‘red devil’ whose hair does not actually fall out?

By all accounts, this is extraordinarily unlikely. This is the ‘hair-falling-out’ drug.

I am definitely not wishing for it to happen. I just think that I am psyched into it and what must be must be.

I also plan to shave my head as soon as there is ample evidence that it is actually coming out. I will not go so far as to just shave it, sommer – although I did toy with that idea. I have decided that I do need at least specific evidence.

I am collecting scarves (mainly from Mum) and buffs and I already own a whole lot of hats. No wigs. I don’t think I could stand the heat and the itchiness! Also, the thought of pretending I have hair for some egotistical / esoteric reason doesn’t appeal to me.

If I am destined to be hairless, so be it.

After all, the hair will grow back. And, knowing my hair, that will take a very short time. 🙂

Just another step!


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