Jane Ballot

Being me in the world

Tuesday 27th January

Sarah asked me today if the phrase ‘constant changes’ is an oxymoron. The words themselves are opposite ideas, but one can have changes that seem to happen all the time.

This made me think about how my mind is working at the moment.

I have discovered that I don’t particularly like change. Not big changes. I think, actually, that this is quite a human thing. We all like to know and not be unsure about what we may be facing, or have to deal with, or do without.

I feel as though there has just been too much change in the last year or so, too many things to deal with, too many adjustments to be made. Too many new understandings to come to.

I’m not quite sure what is constant anymore.

Just as I was beginning to understand and come to terms with the cancer journey, it seems to be yawning huge beyond this time. I’ve been warned about and have come to understand the process of the tests, operations and chemo. Now, though, the enormity of what is to come is hitting me. I suppose I never really processed the reality of the degree of injury and disfigurement to my poor old bod. It really has taken a beating.

I am constantly exhausted. This does not stop me from going for a jog, or a short paddle. When will I ever, ever be able to consider myself back to normal, though?

How long will it take for my muscles to get strong again? When will I be able to work on building paddling fitness properly again? When will I be able to actually run 4 / 5 kms?


It’s such a huge word. It means so much at times.

The inevitable answer is something like ‘when you are ready’. I want to know, though, when that may be.

I think I’m feeling slightly overwhelmed at the moment. I have no stove so, even without input from Eskom, I cannot cook properly. Not only must I plan meals (which I hate), but I have to consider what can be cooked in the microwave. I have no washing machine, so am washing by hand. The gate is playing up. The car is at the panelbeaters. It just feels like so much.

And, of course, all I want to do is to phone Mum.

All of this would be so much easier to cope with if I felt completely fit and well, instead of tired, bleary-eyed, fat and unfit! And with a horrible taste in my mouth.

At this moment I am beginning to think that the only constant in my life is change – mostly unexpected. And the constancy of the cancer journey. As this comes to an end and enters a whole new phase, for me particularly, I feel a bit adrift and daunted by what lies out there.

Things constantly changing.

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