Jane Ballot

Being me in the world

Tuesday 2nd December

Time is a strange thing. It can seem to creep along at times, but then it can also fly.

On one hand I cannot believe that only three months ago, I was innocent of the insidious lurker in my boob that would, literally, change my life forever when it was discovered three days later. On the other hand, though, I cannot believe that all this has already been going on for three months. But then, it also feels like the longest time in the world that I have been without hair, let alone without a boob…

In the same fashion, life has a strangely familiar ‘without Mum’ feel to it some of the time – with the accompanying sadness and hollow feeling that will never, ever go away. At the same time, though, there is also this sense that it really cannot have happened, especially so very, very recently.

Last night my hand stopped only just short of picking up the phone to call Mum, because I needed to ask her something.

I don’t think that will ever, ever change.

As the end of the year gallops closer, so does the next chemo. I still can’t believe that I have to let this happen to me twice more. I am not even half way through all the side effects. At the same time, though, I am already planning the party. Any excuse, right?

Gran asked me how I occupy my time while dealing with all this chemo etc. My answer really is: with real life. There is so much work to do, so many meals to cook, so many arrangements to be made for the holidays and next year already.

In some ways I am not fond of this time of year, because it seems as though everyone and everything already projects into the new year and the holiday period is set to gallop by. At the same time, though, this is my favourite time of year. I love summer. I love the sun. I love being able to go to Sedge and to spend time there. I love having the family around.

I won’t project too much. Time can be helped to go just that much more slowly, sometimes.

And I will take the time to remember Mum: all the goodness, all the preciousness – even as we will struggle through our first Christmas without her.


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