Jane Ballot

Being me in the world

Thursday 16th December

It’s a long time since I’ve been in Joburg this late in December. It feels weird, even as it feels familiar. It also feels wrong, somehow.

We should have arrived in Sedgefield today. We should have been unpacking and making beds and sorting things out.

We should…

There is so much in life that we should be doing, or should have done, or should think about doing.

Mum always said that we are so much wiser if we can look at life through a ‘retrospectroscope’, because everything makes sense in a different kind of way when you look back on it.

It would also make a whole lot more sense if we could look forward. Imagine then, though, how boring life would be. There would be no surprises, no upsets, no ‘unusualaties’ to grab us by the throat, heart, or head and say, “Look!”

Everything would be predictable and we would know exactly what to do to make things happen as they should.


Such a funny little word. Maybe I should ( 😉 ) rather say ‘we could have been in Sedge by now’.

Yes, we could have. But then there are so many other things that could have happened. Not only in the last couple of days, but in the last 3 months or so. This cancer thing could have been a whole lot different. I could have been in a different position right now, with a whole different story to tell and, perhaps, a different prognosis.

But it isn’t. I am where I am.

One of the major reasons for this is from the moment the lump was found and I was booked for a mammogram, I have been guided by the experts. I have taken decisions along the way, but it has been like the roller coaster that Mark likened it to. There really has been no other way to go. And that includes these few days.

Roller coasters do have those moments of stasis. Then they are off again.

Even so, I have never been very good at doing nothing, or, in fact at sitting still. I cannot say that having had cancer has made me any better at it. In fact, the most time I have spent sitting still for a very long time has possibly been during the chemo sessions. 🙂

The roller coaster is creeping up another uphill on its track. The journey continues, albeit with another unpredictable moment. It will reach the next crest, though, and then the wild ride will begin again.

The progression is inexorable. Since the first moment, this journey has been mapped out – well, broadly. There have been ‘poopy’ moments and delays and unpredictable reactions along the way. On it goes, though, one step at a time, onward and upward.

I can only do what I can do and I can only deal with what I have to deal with. And I can only keep on going up this mountain.

Inexorably, towards the end.


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