Jane Ballot

Being me in the world

Friday 20th February

When we were little we used to play a game that involved crossing a lawn doing a variety of specific actions, or steps, like semi-leopard crawling that was called a ‘crocodile’. One of the actions was ‘three steps forward, two steps back’. That is how I feel at the moment.

For a good week or two, I’d been feeling so much better and, mostly, not so damn exhausted all the time. I even found myself not saying, “I’m so tired”, all the time.

Well, it’s like a case of ‘here we go again’.

For the last few days, I have been feeling so tired again. I also have to consciously  stop myself saying, “I’m so tired” so many times. But I am. I went to gym today and rode a bicycle. I was actually shocked at how much effort it took, at level 2/3, when I am used to riding much further at level 4/5.

I’m sure that some of my exhaustion has something to do with the terrible heat we’re having at the moment – it’s enough to drain anyone. Then, varsity went back this week and getting into teaching is tiring. I have also been doing a lot of driving around the countryside this week. Added to all of that, there has been a lot of emotional strain. I am also still incredibly unfit.

I wonder too, though, if part of it is just that my body is still working to get rid of the chemo drugs. I’m sure it must be. It just all takes time.

We heard today that our cousin in Australia has breast cancer. I haven’t spoken to her, but it seems to be a whole different scenario from me. It was found because the doc felt a lump in her lymph, which means it has already spread. It is treatable, though, which is the best thing to hear. It does sound as though it’s going to be a long, hard journey. Hopefully I will be able to offer her some comfort because I really will be able to empathise with her.

Then, too, I feel like a bit of a fraud. My cancer was so early and so well detected and so well treated, that it sometimes feels so small. Then again, it was cancer and nothing can take away the psychological threat of the disease/condition. The treatment was necessarily harsh, as my body is still telling me.

I definitely need time. Maybe I also need to slow down just slightly. How one frees oneself from all the emotional stress, is another story, especially when it acts on you unawares.

I can only try, though. Soon, I hope, I will be feeling more normal, not so damn tired and more just like myself.

This journey has taken patience and it is far from over. The one problem is that patience has never been my true virtue. I’ve had no choice over the last number of months, though, and so it continues.

Yesterday Oupa asked me how close I am to the goalposts. I told him that I was getting close. In my mind, I thought that the goalposts keep shifting! It seems as though they may have done so again. They are still in sight, though, and never were unreachable. The journey just needs a little more time and a little more patience.


Leave a Reply

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