Jane Ballot

Being me in the world

Thursday 5th February

There is a song in Evita where one of the characters asks, “So, what happens now?”

Well, tomorrow is ‘see the Oncologist day’ and I guess I will hear what happens now.

I may be living in cloud Cuckoo-land, but I am pretty sure that he is going to say that everything is fine and that what happens next is carry on getting better from the chemo and take Temoxifen for the next 5 years.

At least, that’s what I think.

The one thing I wish I could shake is this immense tiredness I feel just about all the time. For me, that is the most eloquent evidence of how harsh the chemo chemicals are and the effect they have on the body. I’ve felt nauseous, had problems with my mouth, have eyes that just bug me all the time, felt as though my whole body is slowly drying out and lost my hair, but it is the tiredness that is the most draining. Literally.

I just cannot do what I am used to doing. All through the cancer thing and the chemo, that has been a huge thing for me to have to come to terms with and to work through. I don’t think I’ve achieved either very effectively. The tiredness persists and lingers – and just seems to make me feel less-and-less myself all the time.

Still, in the spirit of ‘onward and upward’, I do know that this will (perhaps eventually) get better, which will mean that I will need to sleep less and will be able to get more done. In some ways it seems silly to wish for that. I should enjoy the more relaxed pace of life and take time to linger.

It’s all about how you see yourself, though. And about what needs to be done. Generally, I just don’t seem to have enough hours available to me to do everything that has to be done – especially work-wise and sorting out the house. Now, what with being so tired all the time, what time that is available is being eaten into and I cannot see a way out of the need to get things completed. However, there are always ways of looking at things differently, always strategies that can be employed to do the very best we can.

There’s another song that asks the question, “What happens if the best just isn’t good enough?”

Well, define ‘best’. I firmly hold the belief that no-one is perfect, so the concept of ‘best’ can shift. We should strive to try our best under all the circumstances at the time. As the circumstances change, so can what we are trying to achieve.

And that is worth pursuing all the time.

I will make it through this next phase of this mountain. My eyes will get better and I will manage to do all that has to be done.

It’s just how it has to be.


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