Jane Ballot

Being me in the world

Wednesday 25th February

My cousin starts her chemo tomorrow. Carl spoke to her and says that she is feeling very much like I felt when I was about to start mine. Part of those feelings were a sense of unreality because you feel well when you have cancer and almost wonder why there is talk of so much (and so harsh) treatment.

I remember.

Apparently, in Australia, the chemo patients are hospitalised for the 24 hours after the treatment. Not a bad idea, actually – then they can rest while the nausea sets in.

By far the worst time for me with the nausea was the first two days after the first chemo. I felt terrible. It was like I was at the bottom of a tunnel or deep well and couldn’t really see a way out. All that lay ahead was days of feeling like that and then, having to go through it all again and again.

It gets better, though. It all gets better.

In retrospect, maybe it wasn’t such a bright idea to be up at 5am the day after chemo, making school lunches and getting everyone off to school. Perhaps, if I’d had the opportunity to rest (or given it to myself), it wouldn’t have been so bad.

We are so wise after the event 😉

At this moment, I cannot imagine how I even thought that I would possibly be able to play polo at Champs next month. I suppose that I really had no idea what the impact of this whole cancer thing would be on me physically. I definitely had no idea how drained and exhausted I would feel – and for how long. When will I ever, ever not be so tired most of the time?

Then there is, of course, the effects of the operations. I literally had no idea how much they would affect me. My side and arm seem to be more affected by things lately. I don’t know if they are reacting against paddling, or if it’s because the feeling is starting to come back in tiny ways and the muscles are just telling me how much they were affected.

Whatever it is, it’s going to be a long, long time still before I will be physically fit and healed again. Again, patience is the name of the game. Fortunately, there is so much going on in real life that I don’t actually have that much time to be bogged down by the discomfort and the thoughts of When? Should I be doing anything? How can I expedite the process, or help it along?

And, again: when?

Then, again, of course, comes the obvious answer: all in good time. We embark on journeys so often without knowing the end point. This is not much different. The end will come when it comes. Until then, I will move along as I can and cope as best I can.


  1. Carl says:

    “Everything will be all right in the end. If it’s not all right, it is not yet the end”……. Patel, Hotel Manager, The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel


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