Jane Ballot

Being me in the world

Tuesday 3rd February

So we were electrically challenged again tonight. Eskom, this time.

This, on top of still not having a washing machine and a stove that is not working…

I saw a friend of mine at the dam today who I haven’t seen for a while. When I told her that I still get so damn tired and can’t seem to do what I should / need to, she said I should set realistic goals. Well, my realistic goals at the moment include washing the school uniforms (by hand), trying to work out what to cook for breakfast and supper, in the microwave only, and really just getting through the domesticity of the day.

Never mind work deadlines L

I’ve always been an optimist. Sometimes I think I delude myself 😉  I will go to bed quite early when I am really exhausted, resolutely and confidently setting my alarm for about 3am, so that I can get up early after having slept off the exhaustion. My aim is to do work before I have to make school lunches etc.

Ha Ha! My usual pattern is to wake up with the alarm – and then hit snooze a couple of times! The exhaustion does not go so easily.

So, I pretty much feel really tired most of the time, but keep going on. The other day, someone asked me how I was doing and I said, “Rattling on.”  He thought I said, “Battling on” and was sympathetic. In some ways, I think there is a little of both going on here. What’s to do, though, but put my head down and do the best I can? J

Tomorrow I will go for the scan, x-ray and blood tests. Then to the doc on Friday. In some ways, I suppose this is the kind of D-day time. Surely he will make some kind of pronouncement. I am anticipating Temoxifen, too, which will be the next – long – step in this process. All in good time, I suppose.

I have learnt, throughout this cancer thing, not to anticipate too much, as things need to follow on from what the last thing has shown / revealed. I have also learnt, though, to read the signs and listen to what people say. Everything points to it all being okay and to just carrying on being aware and being cautious.

At what stage, I wonder, does ‘being aware’ stand a chance of ‘being paranoid’. I suppose it’s all a matter of degrees. I cannot live the rest of my life being paranoid about cancer and the threat to myself and to others. It has been thoroughly proven by my experience that no-one is immune, even if you don’t exhibit any of the high risk factors. It has also been thoroughly proven that awareness is essential and early detection is the key.

You can’t prevent cancer. You can definitely beat it, though.

I heard today about a friend of someone I know who has had 8 bouts of chemo in her life. My hat goes off to her and my heart goes out to her. Everyone is different and everyone’s treatment will be their own. There is no doubt, though, that having had a brush with this thing called cancer makes you understand it more thoroughly and see things just a little differently.

I have the greatest respect for anyone and everyone who goes through the processes involved with treating cancer. I suppose we kind of form a club – them that have been there.

Then there are those close to the cancer survivors. That is not an easy thing to be. Watching someone you love go through the process and the treatment can only be trying, upsetting and worrying. I have watched those close to me and seen how they have been affected – still are. If I could have spared them any of this, I would have.

In the togetherness lies all of our strength, though.

Last night, we sat in the sunroom with the two load-shedding lights. The one room was nearly as bright as with Eskom power. Nearly. The sense of being in this together was palpable, though. Just as it will be when I go for the scans and the D-day appointment.

Without that – without the love and support, so much would be infinitely more difficult.

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