Jane Ballot

Being me in the world

Wednesday 5th November

Day 30. (Or Day 8)

For the first time, I was feeling resentful of this cancer – or about it. I’m not sure which is the right preposition to use here. (The English teacher coming out 😉  )

I reckon it is resentful ‘about’ cancer, not ‘of’ it. The cancer itself is not something that takes a decision, I think – it is just something that happens. It is possible, though, to feel resentful about it – or having it.

(I’m also not quite sure what tense to use here. I had / have cancer. Technically, I suppose I’ve had cancer – but am in the aftermath.)

My resentment is based on the fact that I have to be subjected to this treatment – practically voluntarily – three more times; and I’m not even through the aftermath of the first encounter with the Red Devil and its compatriot. I can’t imagine even thinking about wanting to make myself feel like this again and again – and again.

Someone pointed out that this journey is nearly over – having had the op and begun chemo. In terms of time, though, the journey is barely half way. And that makes it hard to think about.

I haven’t been resentful up till now.

I don’t actually resent having had the mastectomy – it was something that had to happen. I haven’t resented the drain with all its complications. I didn’t even resent the tissue expander and its issues. Chemo, though, just feels so calculated and even self-inflicted – and just because some silly disease / condition decided to make its home in my breast.

Then I heard about someone I work with, who is having intense radiation and chemo for six weeks and my problems pale into insignificance. Well, almost. What she is going through I can vaguely begin to understand.

Resentment is petty. We all do what we have to do and must bare what we have to bare.

Given all that, I refuse to take to my bed, although lying down is quite a good way to deal with nausea. Bugger that. There is so much more to do in this world!

I also seriously remember what Mum told me about morning sickness. (I am also becoming very convinced that that was a good training ground for this experience – ironically.) Mum’s advice was to eat little bits regularly. So, as usual, Mum is the wise one and I will overcome, with her help.

I will also buy Bovril.

I remember living on Coke and Matzos with Bovril when I was pregnant with Sarah. (One of the reasons I don’t drink Coke at all anymore!)

However, desperate times and all that!

I have also determined that exercise is good for combatting nausea – or for taking one’s mind off it! So I may just walk to the Spar to buy the Bovril, seeing as how running is still a little painful when it jerks my side and shoulder.

In some ways, it feels as though the mountain has plateaued slightly. This does happen, though – with real mountains, I mean. There will be another steep climb to tackle in a while.

For this moment, though, I will plod on along ‘nausea trail’ – one step at a time and get closer to that next climb and the final peak.



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