Jane Ballot

Being me in the world

Tuesday 30th December

I’m ba-a-a-ck!!! (At least, that’s what it feels like, mostly.)

For the first time this holiday, I woke up and went for a run and swim almost immediately, a la my usual style in Sedge. It wasn’t particularly early (7:15ish, rather than 6:30ish), but it was early enough and it felt good! (The fact that it started raining half-way through my run and that I swam in the rain is irrelevant, but just another factor making it fun.)

I still have the horrible taste in my mouth, fairly vaguely most of the time and quite dominantly at times. I also feel tired and am kind of nauseous at times. Mostly, though, for the first time since the 3rd chemo, I am feeling a whole lot more like me.

Then I think that it’s only next Friday that the whole thing has to begin again and I just want to run and hide. Of course, there’s the fact that that will be the last chemo J

Everything has its ‘other side’, it seems.

While I was running today, I found myself thinking back on this last year. It isn’t quite the end of the year, but as it’s a matter of hours, really, I suppose it’s natural to think about what has happened.

I made a list in my head of what has happened to us this last year and it overwhelmed even me, who has lived through all of it.

For me, it started with not making it into the SA Ladies team in April, which was such a huge thing for me at the time. So soon after that, we lost Mum, which was the worst thing that has happened this year for all of us. That alone is enormous and would affect anyone badly for a long time. So much happened after that, though, that I still feel as though we are all just reeling. Carl puts it so clearly when he says it’s as though we are trapped in the oncoming headlights and are too shocked to move.

I don’t think that I will ever get over losing Mum. Especially having had to go through this cancer thing, with all the complications and effects, has been very difficult.

The worst of all this, though, the very worst, for me has been to have to watch those around me, especially my children, suffer and have to deal with blow after blow after blow.

If there was some way I could have helped them to avoid any of it, I would have. Instead, I have only been able to try and be as strong as possible so that I could minimize the pain where I could – and to be there as a shoulder, reassuring presence and comfort as much as possible.

Even the whole cancer thing, which has really centred around me, has been easy compared to having to watch them deal with it.

Despite all of this, though, there have been good things this year. There always are, even if they are only small and in-between.

The best of all of these has been, for me, the way the family has rallied together. Of course, I feel this most strongly in relation to the cancer thing.

We are a formidable clan, though, and only strengthened through adversity.

So, as I was running and overwhelming myself with the memory of what has devastated us this last year, I was simultaneously celebrating the best that came out of the worst: the ‘us’ that has helped us all make it through an otherwise normal year laced with such horrible, horrible events.

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