Jane Ballot

Being me in the world

Thursday 8th January

I hate the day before chemo. It just becomes so filled with thoughts of what is to come the next day. I can taste the ‘chemo taste’ and just begin to think about how I am going to feel when the drugs hit my poor old body again.

I also feel like a fraud.

What has happened to me has been devastating in its own way. It has been horrible. But it has been relatively mild compared to what many other victims of cancer go through.

I suppose, though, that we all bear what we have to bear and face what we have to face as it happens to us.

I still have a very healthy respect for people who go through a much more intensive process of chemo. I admire them intensely. It’s like the respect I quickly developed for Sarah after she had been paddling for about a year and I got in a long boat for the first time. Everything always looks different from the outside.

It’s nice to think that, maybe, someone has a respect for me in all this.

I do not want to be pricked and prodded again tomorrow. I do not want to see the red drug in the drip, slowly course its way into my hand. I do not want to taste that horrible taste as it hits my blood. I do not want to feel generally kak again for however long.

I do not want…

How many times do we say that in the world?

But then there are the other ‘not wants’…

I do not want to have cancer anymore. I do not want to live with the fear that there is something tiny in my lymph that may grow. I do not want my family to go through this again.

And so, in some strange way, I do want the chemo. Because I know what it does.

Tomorrow’s chemo is, after all, the last. In many ways this makes it more manageable, but, in others, it is also just another that I have to endure the consequences of. At least, though, I know that it is a process of getting completely better after it and not being hammered again in 3 weeks time.

Everything has its up side.

Facing the chemo also makes me feel as though I am being stuffed back into a corner I am trying to escape from. There is so much that needs to be done and I just cannot function at my normal level at the moment, especially straight after chemo.

Today Carl mentioned the state of semi-chaos that we all seem to be living in as we still sort out the things we have brought into our houses from 55. I so wish that I could have two free weeks, with no other commitments (and no chemo kak) to simply move things around, sort out (and chuck out) and just make sense of the space around me. The need to do that and the work I have to do, seem overwhelming at times. I find that simply doing the washing and cooking that has to be done routinely can be exhausting.

At this moment, I don’t want to be anything spectacular, I just want to be able to function as me again!

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