Jane Ballot

Being me in the world

Friday 9th January

Today I had my last chemo. Four down, none to go.

A friend sent me a message and asked if I was having any red devil. My reply was to tell her that the four were done and dusted.

That’s not quite true. The actual chemo treatments may be over, but the effects of the red devil will still take a number of weeks to clear through my system. I am not finished this journey – but, at least I know that I will not be kicked a whole big way back down the mountain by having another chemo in 3 weeks time.

My hair is trying hard to grow, despite the drugs telling it it can’t. I have a kind of very fine, white covering all over my head that must be nearly a half centimetre long. Maybe my hair will grow back white! My head is also completely covered with stubble that looks darker. So, who knows what will happen. The best thing is that my will hair will grow back and, once the 3 / 4 weeks of side effects from this chemo are over, there will be nothing stopping it doing its thing!

I had the ‘chemo taste’ in my mouth the whole day today and the nausea set in this afternoon – fortunately not too horribly, yet. I think I’m adopting the ‘ignore it and it may not be so bad’ attitude. Also, if I keep busy doing things (like hanging out hordes of washing), then it keeps my mind off the side effects, a bit. I am really not looking forward to dealing with all the fallout, but I will take my drugs to stave off the worst of the nausea and stomach pains and will try to rest as much as possible.

Bugger the kak from the chemo, I am still me!

I think that is my biggest problem – and has been throughout this whole cancer thing. I want, simply, to be me, to be able to feel that I control my life and to have the energy (never mind the time) to do what has to be done and what I want to do.

I hate rollercoasters. I don’t like relying on the uncertainty of what someone else has planned for me and the horrible rush of the dips after the slow climb up the hills. I don’t like not knowing if I am going to be thrown left or right, or if I will be forced around a corner at a horrible angle. I like to be in control.

This cancer has been like a slow-paced roller coaster – the pace, effects, events and bumping and bruising have been out of my control. Many of them still are.

I have learnt a whole lot more about patience than I knew before, though. I have learnt to go with the flow, to a degree, and to accept that people will do things to me that I may not enjoy, but that are necessary. I have learnt to allow people to watch me and monitor me without completely freaking out when I feel overwhelmed. I have learnt to let people do things for me when it is not necessarily completely necessary, but because it is part of their way of dealing with a situation that no-one is happy with and which affects everyone. I have learnt to let things be not only about me, simply because that is the easier way for most people close to me. I am slowly starting to learn the meaning of ‘slow down’ and listen to your body.

These are good lessons. And they are hard lessons.

When you have no choice, though, you learn the lessons that need to be learnt. For the sake of everybody.

Maybe I am more in control than I realise.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *