Jane Ballot

Being me in the world

Friday 17th April

‘Hurry up and wait’. That’s how my colleague described what happens at an airport. And it is so true.

This evening we flew back to Joburg. After the workshop, it was a matter of travelling through the Friday evening traffic in Bloem to get to the airport. We arrived a good hour before boarding time. Yay! Early for the flight and sure to be on it, with our bags and all. Comes 6 o’clock and we find out, by happening to see the briefly featured notification on a screen, that the flight has been delayed. Another half hour wait. This quickly became 40 minutes and then we took off – delayed almost as long as we were in the air. When we landed, we parked somewhere in Benoni (or so it seemed) and had to wait a further 30 minutes for the amenities to arrive and then for a second bus to take us to the terminal building. I made the second-last train by one minute and had to go straight to Sandton, having missed the connection to Rosebank.

Hurry up and wait.

That’s actually a good way to describe the cancer thing. From the beginning, when the lump was first found and I had to spend the weekend waiting for the mammogram, before I told anyone that there was something to find and the ‘real excitement’ began, it has been the situation where there were various events that were to come, but for which I had to wait. Almost every time, there seemed to be some sort of delay, some of them longer and more unpredictable than others: waiting for the surgeon I wanted to come back from leave; waiting for my chest to be okay when I had a cold; waiting to get the results of the sentinel lymph node biopsy; waiting to see the doc to find out the results of the biopsy… So it went on.

And that’s how things have to go, I think. There are always delays along any path – things that we don’t see coming that can get in the way of a smooth journey. We have to negotiate these glitches and, sometimes, even just wait for them to sort themselves out. Eventually, we will get there, even if it means rushing through the airport towards the station, hoping that you’ll make the last train.

Then there are always those bonus moments, like when you make the second last train and would have had 20 minutes to spare for the last one!

I have had the chemo taste for most of this week, but it has definitely been better in the last few days. Maybe is has gone, maybe not. I just have to wait and see.

Just another glitch that will, eventually, work itself out.

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