Jane Ballot

Being me in the world

Friday 19th December

Here we are at Sedgefield. Mum isn’t here and it just feels so wrong.

We were here in July without her and, to be true, have been here at other times without her, or Dad. But not at this time of year. Not at Christmas. She should be here. In fact, she should have been here when we arrived, welcoming us to the house.

But she’s not. And it’s just so wrong.

At the same time, though, it is just so good to finally be here. When the chemo was postponed on Monday, it really felt as though we may never make it, or that our time would be really short. The truth is, Sedge is one of those places we know so well that I can literally be here for ten minutes and it feels as though I’ve never been away.  All the memories and all the time spent here over the years just seem to run together into one, large memory that becomes a reality.

It feels like coming home.

The side-effects of the chemo seem to be setting in slowly. I have the horrible taste in my mouth, but I am still able to eat. I have been nauseous, but not too bad. I spent most of the journey down sleeping, which took the edge off everything, I think. I have also been diligent about taking my anti-nausea medication, which also makes a difference.

The side-effects suck, but can be managed as best as possible. I am hoping that being here, with the beach and the hammock in the garden, it will be easier to work through.  Without being trapped in ‘real life’, with the demands of getting up early to get everyone ready for school and making breakfast and lunches, it seems as though things will be easier.

At this stage, I don’t feel too bad about the next week or so (however long the side effects will really last). I do know that I am SO pleased that this will only happen one more time. I may not be three-quarters of the way through yet, but it feels good to know that the actual treatments are in the ‘three down, one to go’ range.

I know that Mum would encourage me to see it that way. She was always so practical. I hope that she will be proud of me and the way I try to forge ahead, despite feeling a bit kak or tired most of the time.

Keep moving forward, one step at a time – it’s really the only way to take on a journey.

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