Jane Ballot

Being me in the world

Sunday 1st February

I have been watching a DVD selection of episodes of one of our old favourites, BONANZA. It is what Dad always described as the best ‘skip, skiet and donder’! Apart from being so totally unrealistic in many ways (for any problem, whatsoever, wave your gun in the general direction of the ‘bad guy’ and pull the trigger – without any blood or injury, the baddie will die most convincingly), every second of every episode (or so it seems) has a soundtrack of dated romantic, dramatic, threatening etc etc music.

If only life had a soundtrack, then we would know what to expect.

I wonder what my soundtrack would have sounded like on September 5th last year. Or on the Monday when I went for the mammogram.

But life doesn’t have a soundtrack and we do often get caught on the back foot. And we do have to deal with what is thrown our way, often unexpectedly.

I may not have a soundtrack, but I do seem to have a theme tune. At least, a new one.

Dani has been walking around the house singing ‘I’m still standing’ by Elton John. She told me that it should be my theme tune, especially the lyrics that say:

I’m still standing better than I ever did / looking like a true survivor, feeling like a little kid.

I think it’s brilliant. Especially the last part. You’re never too old to feel just like a kid. Or behave like one. 😉

Seriously, I think it’s most appropriate. Despite what I’ve been hit with over the last couple of months, I am still standing (and running and paddling) and just being as I am.

When I told Sarah about my fascination with how a cancer patient is supposed to behave and how so many people are so impressed with how I’ve handled this whole thing and how I just feel that I don’t know any other way to do it, she made an interesting observation: she said that that is just how I do things – I don’t take time / days off from work if I’m sick; I will go running even with a sore knee; if I have a cold, I will dose myself up and swim anyway.

So, despite me feeling so much not like myself a lot of the time and despite me wanting to feel normal again, maybe the whole thing is that I am just me through all of this. I’m ‘just doing it’ in my ‘Nike chick’ (a la Noelene) way and forging ahead despite everything that has happened.

Maybe I haven’t been able to do things quite as I have in the past, or would if I was totally whole, fit and well – but I have been doing them and, damn it all, I am still standing and will continue to do so.

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