Jane Ballot

Being me in the world

Wednesday 1st April

I seem to be getting confused by dates and days – surely a sign of being truly in holiday mode! Despite this, though, I have been working steadily, on-and-off, for the past two days and am basically up-to-date with my freelance work, even though I lost a good 4 days (thanks to the virus) and some files I needed.

In so many ways, I am feeling so much closer to normal in the last day or two. I went for a run again this morning – all the way to the beach and back. I even ran most of the way (meaning that I was not so tired so quickly and had to walk). I even had a little swim at the beach, despite the Arctic water!

We spend a lovely morning on the beach, lying in the sun, playing with the tennis ball and generally having fun. It was very windy, but really, really lovely.

Again, so many other times on the same beach run together in my head, making it seem as though we have been here forever.

I still find myself wanting to phone / text Mum quite often, just to tell her what I am up to here, because that is so much part of what I would always have done.

Everything is not completely normal.

Sometimes I realise that no-one else actually understands the impact of everything on me still. It’s as though, while I had the cancer and was going through the treatment, it was necessary and even vital to make sure I was fine and to give me active support and encouragement. Now that the cancer is gone, it’s as though that need has petered out. Real life goes on and the crisis is over, so we just all go along as ever before. For me, though, the crisis may be over, but it really feels like the journey has barely begun, which may be weird in many ways. The harsh fact is, though, that this thing impacts on me every single day.

Then I ‘ruk myself reg’ again and just realise that all the support is still there and will actually never go away. It’s just that I don’t need it so verbally and so regularly as I did during the horrible time and the intense treatment.

In that lies a whole lot of my strength.

I was messaging Bridget and I told her to remember the image of climbing the mountains at the farm. It reminded me of my own journey.

I have no idea when it will actually be over. I’m pretty sure the answer is never. On the way, though, there are mountains, there are hills and there are also plateaus, which may be enormous. In a lot of ways, it’s as though I climbed the hugest of the mountains and am now traversing a large plateau, which is fairly even-going, but also has some dips and hills. Each of these needs to be negotiated one step at a time, just as with the highest of mountains. It may seem to be an easy part of the journey because the turf is not that rough. This doesn’t make it any less real, though.

The journey is not over, but the immensity of the uphill is not present at the moment. I do not need such a number of hands to help me up and over, as I plod along. I do know, though, that the hands are there, just out of sight, ready to ‘step in’ whenever necessary – and guided by the hearts that are never absent.

Such is the journey made lighter and easier to negotiate by all those around me.




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