Jane Ballot

Being me in the world

Monday 26th January

This cancer thing is now in a different phase. The chemo is over and I am working through the side effects, which, presumably, will eventually stop bugging me. The actual cancer has been removed and thoroughly treated. I will most probably go onto long-term (well, 5 years) of hormone drugs. It’s kind of as though the intense journey is slowly coming to an end.

And yet, now is the time when I feel it all actually really beginning to impact on me.

I find myself thinking what it will actually be like to live for the rest of my life without one boob. I have been very adamant about not worrying about looking a little strange, or different. I definitely haven’t really changed how I normally dress – wearing vests and other tightish tops, rather than voluminous things that will hide my lop-sidedness. What will it really be like for a long time, though? Will I always feel like this? Will I want to wear a ‘normal’ bra again, rather than the equivalent of a sports top?

Does all this really matter?

It’s as though my mind is only now really computing what it all really means.

My hair is starting to grow again. In fact, it is really rather long – about a centimetre 😉  It is coming back white and really quite fine. I have been quite happy about facing things without hair. Now, though, it is starting to concern me that my hair may never be as it was. In fact, if I end up with wispy white hair, I swear I will shave it all off and go kaalkop permanently!

There is no reason to believe that this will happen. It is a concern, though.

Sarah finds it fascinating that, after all I’ve been through, my biggest concern is that my hair won’t be the same 😉

This evening, Dani was saying prayers and mentioned my operations and the chemo. Hearing it stated like that just hammered home, again, exactly what this journey has been about.

It’s a lot. It’s been a lot. And it’s definitely not over. At least, dealing with the fallout is far from done. Both my arms have pain: the left one from the thrombosed veins; the right one from the muscles under my arm. They are definitely not healed and it seems as though this is going to take a long time.

Onward up the mountain.

It feels as though, now the rollercoaster is approaching the final straight and flat, there is so much else to think about.

And yet, it is not really different, or anything more. Every moment of this journey has been about step-by-step. The pace may be slowing down dramatically, but it is still the same principle.

Besides, there is still the party to plan! Just another phase to move into.

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