Jane Ballot

Being me in the world

Sunday 8th March

Today was the second day of Champs. You learn so much from competition – mostly, often, not to be too sure and not to predict the outcome with too much conviction. You never know what is going to transpire.

It was really great playing the role of supporter, photographer and parent again. I will definitely get back into a boat and I will roll in a game – quite happily 😉 – but all in its own time. For now, things are as they are and I will just have to continue getting better slowly.

I am even starting to get used to the feeling of ‘duct tape’ under my arm, as well as the ‘lump’ that just sits there permanently. Well, mostly. I do look forward to the day when that is a little (or a lot) better.

Hopefully, this will actually happen. On the other hand, I just don’t know enough about the anatomy, or the track the lymph takes, or about scar tissue and adhesions to know what to expect. I would ask someone, but genuinely don’t know which doc I can ask. I’m really under the care of no-one except the oncologist now – and his role isn’t about the mastectomy scar etc.

Not quite sure where I fit in, in many ways. There are some questions I would like to have an answer to, but there does not seem to be an expert I can really consult.

I would still like to know if I should be doing anything specific to help my muscles to get better. Or if there are things I should be avoiding. In everything to do with the cancer thing – well, everything apart from what all the docs have done and the procedures they have followed – the one thing that permeates is the advice to ‘listen to your own body’. And so I do.

Mostly, I can tell when I have overdone it for my muscles, or when I just won’t be able to do too many laps on the dam. Sometimes, though, I wake up with the ‘swollen’ feeling in my side and I’m not sure what sleeping has to do with that.

This all takes time, I suppose.

Champs this weekend was about the game, but was also about the polo people getting together and working together to a common goal (well, not completely as there were winners and runners up), but, mostly, it was a really great weekend for all of us involved in the sport.

And that is a good thing.

I have said before that I inhabit communities that I become involved with. I think that the opportunity to be part of something involving people, as much as it brings challenges, it where we find different aspects of ourselves.

Apart from being about canoe polo, the Champs this weekend was also about family, the most important community for anyone to inhabit. David was playing; Sarah and I reffed; Dani helped at the table and with line-judging (so did Sarah) and Paul and Michael were supporting. Not many families can boast all six people involved in some way in the same event at the same time J

That’s how we roll, I suppose.

And that’s what’s made this whole cancer thing so much more bearable – and harder all at the same time.

Not only for the six of us, but for the rest of the family, it has been quite a ‘poopy’ road. I think any encounter with cancer must be hard for anyone involved. For me, it’s still the effect on everyone else that I wish could be avoided. We are all much happier now and have worked through most of the hard parts, but there are still things that people say, still ways that they react and still things they do that remind me of the fallout and the effects on those close to me.

That is still the worst thing about this.

At the same time, though, it is the very presence of the others on the journey with me that make it easier for me.

That is, I suppose, how we humans roll: we need our support structures around us to be able to be strong ourselves.

Leave a Reply

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