Jane Ballot

Being me in the world

Wednesday 10th December

Today marked the end of our tenure at Northcliff Primary School – 17 years. It’s really a very long time and yet seems to have flown. I can remember as though it was yesterday when I took David there for the first time. In contrast, though, it also feels like a lifetime has happened in the time we’ve been at the school.

It also seems right to move on. We have all outgrown primary school, just as Michael goes on towards high school.

In so many ways there has been far too much moving on this year, especially recently.

And it’s hard, it’s really hard. I am not too bad at dealing with things, good and bad. Moving on, though, is not something I do that well, I have discovered.

I still cannot actually believe that Mum has gone and, although I move along, I am truly not ready to move on from losing her.

I am also definitely not ready to move on to the next stage of my cancer journey, which is the next chemo. It just feels so damn soon that this is coming upon me. I simply cannot comprehend that on Monday I will willingly hold out my arm to have another needle shoved into it and then serve up my body to accommodate the red devil again – only to suffer not the “slings and arrows of outrageous fortune”, but of what feels like an uncomfortable, upsetting and just ongoing misfortune (sorry, Shakespeare).

It seems that the cumulative effect of the chemo, for me at any rate, is in the ongoing nature of the side effects. At this stage before the second treatment, I was feeling very much myself. Right now, I am really tired all the time, have a horrible taste in my mouth most of the time (of which I am reminded with each breath) and feel mostly continuously nauseous.

Such a great experience that I am willingly going to put myself through it again. And again.

Well, not really great.

What choice do I have, though? How else am I going to make sure that this cancer thing truly has gone? How would I deal with it if I don’t do this now?

It just feels so long. So very, very long.

And yet, in the scheme of things, it is not at all long. It is, in fact, so very short.

Nothing like the 17 years we have, almost literally, inhabited the primary school.

Nothing that I won’t look back on and wonder, “Where did that time go?”

It just would be really nice if it felt that way now 🙂


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