Jane Ballot

Being me in the world

Tuesday 10th March

I’ve discovered the next uphill to negotiate on this journey.

For a long time, I’ve had trouble with my knees, that seems to come and go. I had an arthroscopy nearly 20 years ago, because I had loose cartilage in my one knee and it needed to be scraped. Over the years since then, on-and-off, either or both my knees will be sore, get swollen or just be sensitive. Being me, I just go ahead with running and whatever – even sitting cross-legged, even though that can make the pain worse. 😉

A few years ago, I had some kind of scan and found out that I have tears in the cartilage of both knees, which pretty much causes the pain. Funnily enough, during the whole cancer thing – and for a while before – I have not had any trouble with my knees.

This has all changed in the last month or so – ever since I’ve been taking the hormone medication, which can cause joint pain. It seems that the effects can mostly be felt in weak joints. Well, that’s my knees I guess! So now I hobble around a bit when I get up from sitting with bent knees (not always cross-legged) and I reckon this will go on for a long time. Fortunately the pain goes when I straighten the knees and start moving them – and it is not at all debilitating. I also can’t feel them when I’m running or paddling, so things are not so terribly bad after all!

Just another thing to get used to.

In all of this, I think, there are lessons to be learned about life in general. We are thrown a whole lot of curve balls, that will have a range of effects from practically nothing to life-changing moments. What we need to learn to do is to work through what happens and keep going – sometimes with sore knees and sometimes with a smile on our faces.

No reactions are predictable and no outcomes are guaranteed. Everything is about trying to keep the journey going as smoothly as possible, trying to make sure that things move on as they should.

And trying to make sure that those on the journey with us – especially those we care most about – are able to take what comes as best they can.

We were watching an episode of Glee, in which Burt tells Kurt (his son) that he has prostate cancer. Kurt is, understandably, upset. Of course, the moment resonated with all of us. The reality of what has happened to my kids and how they have felt about it was slammed home for me when Sarah said, quite firmly, “You don’t react like that to news like that.”

She should know.

If only she didn’t have to – hadn’t had to have that experience. If only none of them had.

Sometimes the curve balls we are thrown are really hard to deal with. We find ways, though, to play them – mostly together and that is why we are able to move beyond the moment of impact and to keep moving, whacky knees or not!

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