Jane Ballot

Being me in the world

Wednesday 26th November

It seems that it is true that those things which we anticipate as being bad may not be so. It’s the day after chemo and I have yet to feel really gross. (Touch wood!)

Not that I’m complaining!

According to Dave, I’m taking this chemo in my stride, which, what with all the images of climbing mountains etc, just resonated with me.

Today he and Charnelle went striding off on their adventure to Vietnam and Cambodia. It’s always exciting and sad to see someone off on a trip. Partly, I envy them. Partly, I will just miss him so much.

This year truly has been about journeys for all of us.

The journey of 55 is nearly over, which is extremely upsetting and feels just too soon, too soon. Then, of course, I think that 55 was always about Mum and Dad – and now they are both gone. As much as the house means to us, it in itself is only bricks and mortar. The memories can never be taken from us. As hard as it is to think about a life without having 55 to go to whenever I feel like it, it’s harder to think about this life without Mum to talk to whenever I want to, or need to.

The heart, the life of the house has gone and, in some ways, it is right that the physicality must pass on to someone else. Hopefully the new owner will have a lovely, lovely life there, just as we’ve all had.

Right now, I’m sitting in a chair from 55. All through the house there are bits of furniture, paintings and other things from the house, so the physicality stays with us in many ways. We all have things from ‘home’ in our own houses and that does keep the connection real.

Everything comes back, though, to family. The Oncology sister yesterday commented that we seem to be a close family – this because there was me in the chair, with Paul, David, Sarah, Dani and Michael all in attendance. I could tell her with absolute certainty that, indeed, we are. And not just the six of us. The whole extended family is very close – thanks to the legacy established by Mum and Dad.

It is that closeness, above all, that has made all the journeys this year manageable.

I find that the cancer journey is mine, mainly – makes sense, seeing as I had the lump. But it has not been mine alone. With the family to support me through every stage, the mountain has been so much more climbable.

Maybe part of the reason that I seem to taking  this chemo in my stride, is because there are a whole lot of people carrying me. Including Dad and Mum. Even though I can no longer just phone her when I want to, or when I need to hear her voice, she is undoubtedly on the journey with me.



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