Jane Ballot

Being me in the world

Saturday 27th December

I stood on the beach and howled today. Not literally – I cried buckets.

I miss Mum a lot. All the time. I don’t speak about her and I don’t even consciously think that she is missing from what we do a lot of the time. There is just this gap, though. She is not here.

Yesterday we walked to Gericke’s point – a usual ‘pilgrimage’ that we all make at least once when we’re here. It’s a route that is tide-dependent (at Spring tide particularly) and, with the low tide being in the middle of the day at the moment, yesterday was a wonderfully serendipitious moment to take advantage of, particularly as the weather was not really ‘beach weather’. (Not that this ever stops us. Me, I could live on the beach!)

I am now feeling a bit happier about beach time. Still a whole lot more hours to go and be sandy, sunny and surfy, though! 😉  After all, why come to the coast if you’re not going to actually be on the coast?

I’m not sure if taking a protein supplement, or just generally resting more is helping the side-effects of the chemo, but (touch wood!) I do seem to be generally feeling a little better than I was this time through the last chemo. On the other hand, it may just be that memory is not serving me completely correctly. I do know that my mouth is a whole lot better than it has been even this time and the nausea is not too bad – it really only comes every-so-often. Even my digestive system seems to be, mostly, sorting itself out!

What is really bugging me is that my left arm is sore a lot of the time, particularly when I stretch it out, because of the veins that are thrombosing due to the chemo. I actually feel sorry for this arm. I am not supposed to have the right arm pricked, prodded or invaded because of the lack of lymph nodes and the possible threat of lymphoedema, so it’s always the left arm that gets the punishment. Now, of course, I have a right arm that is still not completely useful because of the trauma to the muscles on that side and a left arm that is being ‘beaten up’ and suffering the consequences. Poor me!

This does not, of course, mean that anything much changes. I have been paddling and, in fact, think that today is an eminently suitable day to do so again; and I go running regularly now – not very far or fast, but I have been running again. I have also been cycling.

Good times.

So, life is not so different after all, it’s just about a different pace.

And Mum? Well, she isn’t here, which we all notice and which is hard to bear, especially when it hits me at key moments, like walking along the beach to Gericke’s.

She is just in the next room, though, or around the next little bend in the coast. Always just out of sight. Always there.


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