Jane Ballot

Being me in the world

Tuesday 13th January

It’s funny how emotions come together and try one at times, all at once.

On the other hand, maybe it’s to be expected: if you feel emotional about one issue, then anything else that speaks to your emotions can seem even worse – or simply deeper.

We have finally managed to secure a date when we will all be available to go to the farm to scatter Mum’s ashes. This has been a problem to arrange because we have had to fit in with our minister and the many commitments of the 19 people in our family.

But now we have a date.

This, of course, serves to surface all the emotions associated with Mum’s loss – and with Dad’s too. It seems to have been so long ago, and yet it was just yesterday that she was working in the garden at Sedge, or walking at the farm, or just being at 55 so we could pop in and visit her. Or so it seems.

Besides, for me there is the whole ‘it’s not real’ thing going on, so it all is rather difficult to fully come to terms with having lost Mum and to work through it all.

The steadfast thing that stands in all this is, I think, the family. We all suffered the loss. We all still mourn her. To a degree, we all understand the others.

I find that this damn cancer tends to exacerbate emotions at times. I think I feel Mum’s loss more strongly when I am not feeling so well. Perhaps this is just the human thing. After all, don’t we all want the comfort of our mothers most intensely when we are ill?

Today was not a bad day, as far as the nausea etc is concerned. However, the damn ‘chemo taste’ in my mouth is pervasive and just seems to be eternal! It must just go away!

Experience has indicated that it will stay for a good few weeks, but that it lessens in intensity. Roll on those days…

What is interesting to experience, though (as well as being quite frustrating) is the ‘drying out’ of my body. I know that the chemo can cause the saliva in one’s mouth to decrease, which is why one becomes susceptible to infections etc. What you don’t think about is the mucus in the nose and eyes. In fact, the moisture in the whole body. If I sleep on my side, then my ear gets stuck to my head and must work its way loose. If I rub my nose, the sides of my nose stick to my septum and have to work back to normal again. Very weird. And kind of annoying.

All in a day’s chemo side-effects, I suppose.

And something no-one warns you about.

Then, one of the veins in my left hand decided to thrombose and be damn sore. What next?!

(This, after I had the last chemo in my right hand!)

Small things bug us maybe too much. They do, though, form a distraction from the bigger things sometimes. Just as long as they don’t over-ride them and have us expending too many emotions on what is, really, just a passing discomfort.

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