Jane Ballot

Being me in the world

Monday 13th April

It’s funny how often we anticipate something with a degree of trepidation, but the reality turns out to be not quite so bad, ordinary even.

On Sunday afternoon, I wasn’t looking forward to this week. Dani and Mike were going back to school, which meant the beginning of getting up early, cooking breakfast, making school lunches and generally more organising and more pressure. It seemed, actually, to be a little bit of a silly feeling, as I’d already been back at work for the week and getting up early to be in an early class is not such a drama. This next week also brings a trip to Bloem, though, for a workshop and that brings with it different stress.

I don’t like causing upset to other people and I know that the children will be upset by my being away for a few days. It also means the disruption of routines and things changing a little for everyone.

On the other hand, though, everyone is very capable and I know we will all be okay. On top of that, the workshop will be interesting and the trip will be rather fun, I think.

Sarah and Dani cannot believe I’m flying to Bloem. After all, it’s just a few hours down the road J

The funny thing is that, with the cancer thing, I’m not quite sure how, but I don’t remember facing everything specifically with trepidation. I think I was in a generally ‘trepidatious’ state about the whole process and just had to take each step, each procedure, as it came.

When I think back on the months of September to January, everything seems very surreal. The irony is that, when the cancer had been diagnosed and I was waiting to hear what the docs said, I remember saying that the whole thing felt very surreal. It was the weirdest feeling to have something invading a part of my body, of which I had no sense and which exhibited no symptoms.

Cancer is really a most inconsiderate disease/condition!

Now, the surreal feeling relates to the whole experience, rather than the concept of cancer. I still have absolutely no sense of having had something invasive in my body. I also never experienced any symptoms of the disease/condition. I have gone through a whole lot of experiences and procedures, though, which I definitely experienced and which have left scars of different kinds.

And yet, it all seems unbelievable – almost as though it happened to someone else.

But it was me, though, definitely – I was there!

I think this is evidence of the ability of the human spirit to recover. I haven’t in any way blocked out what happened to me. It is all incredibly real and close, at the same time that it seems to be removed and surreal. Such is the nature of the human psyche, I suppose.

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