Jane Ballot

Being me in the world

Thursday 5th March

It’s six months today since the lump was found in my boob. It feels like a whole lifetime has passed since then. And yet, it also feels just like yesterday.

So much feels like just yesterday.

I personally can’t actually believe that Mum has gone. She just feels so close, so here.

I had a meeting yesterday kind of near Wits, after which I had a couple of hours to kill before I had to teach. It would have been so normal to go to 55 to see Mum before she had to go to the rooms. I so wished I had been able to do that. I so wish I am able to pop in there whenever I want to on the way home from school or varsity. I so wish…

When Michael was smaller, he used to go into a complete decline about things at times. His whole body would kind of just ‘fhwump’ and he would almost literally hang around, looking really sad. That’s how I feel sometimes. The reason is not always clear, but, at times, I will just feel the need to ‘fhwump’ – to be overwhelmed by emotions and just be. Sometimes there are tears, sometimes not.

I think it’s all about confronting realities at times and just allowing the moment to happen where my mind has to confront the situation and my heart has to be allowed to feel the effects.

I told Sarah today that I don’t like being deformed. She said I am not, but there’s always the absence of the boob and the scars that say otherwise. It’s mostly okay, but sometimes it isn’t. Sometimes, the impact of the operation and everything that happened just hits home.

Then, of course, there are signs that the chemo is finally starting to move out of my body. I don’t feel so dried out anymore. My ear doesn’t stick to my head when I sleep on my side. I still get tired, but not mind-numbingly exhausted. The taste is still present, but not all-pervasive.

Slowly, my body is returning to normal.

Then again, though, the area around the op site and under my arm is still completely numb and uncomfortable and even, strangely, painful. At least, there is pain near the site. My muscles are still trying hard to recover. They are undoubtedly getting better, but this is a long road.

It is, however, a road that leads somewhere. It may take a while to reach that place, but reach it I will.

Recovery is relative to the injury. The evidence of the operation and the time the recovery is taking indicate clearly that this was a huge operation and not to be under-estimated.

I may ‘fhwump’ at times, but I think that is normal. I will always keep marching on, though. After all, how are you supposed to get to the end of a journey if you don’t keep moving forward? 😉

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