Jane Ballot

Being me in the world

Wednesday 8th April

‘Be careful what you ask for,’ they say, ‘because you might just get it all.’

Freelancing can be a kind of ‘feast or famine’ life. It is always a balancing act between looking for and accepting projects to work on, while having the time to do justice to the demands of each project. The ideal situation would be to have some form of guaranteed income, particularly in the form of a steady stream of projects from one / two regular clients.

Well, today that seems like it is going to happen. The only thing is that there is suddenly a helluva lot of work that has to be done, kind of almost by the same date.

Oh well, a little hard work never hurt anyone!

I am extremely loath to think, even mention, the fact that the chemo taste seems to have gone. (This because it seems as though when I have mentioned this before, it has come back 😉 )

It’s becoming one of those things that you don’t know how horrible it was until you realise it really has got better. Then you wonder how you managed to work through the horrible time at all.

The same seems to be happening with my fitness. I hadn’t really computed just how much of a knock my body had taken until I went to gym and cycled. This was a bit strange in some ways, as I have been aware for months that I have been unable to run as far as I can when I’m fit. For some reason, though, sitting on that bike and struggling to ride half as far at half the effort (never mind the speed) just hit home.

I went to gym today and rode the bike. It seemed as though, suddenly, everything had changed: I managed 5 kms on effort level 4 quite easily. I am not so terribly unfit anymore, after all.

Then, of course, the logical part of my brain thinks back on the last little while and how I have been running and paddling quite steadily. In East London, I ran every day and the distances I actually ran (and didn’t have to walk) have been increasing. When I paddled on Tuesday, I did nearly 5kms fairly easily (and slowly).

Fitness is not something that comes right overnight. I know that. It just feels as though that is the case right now. And it feels great to know that I am slowly building back to where I may have been about a year or so ago.

This doesn’t mean that everything is ‘done and dusted’, though. It will take a long time still for my body to totally recover, especially from the operations. I still feel ‘duct-taped’ on my side and as though there is a lump under my arm. The whole site is still uncomfortable and gets sore as the feeling comes back slowly.

Again, I am reminded at times just how much trauma my muscles (etc) actually went through. It’s not something that defines or restricts what I do, though. It’s rather like a constant nag, of which I am more aware at different times.

I think there are many things in life that are like that. I find myself lying half-awake at night on occasion, just not quite happy and even, sometimes, terribly worried. It can take a little while to allow the reason for these feelings to come to the surface. Once I have named the point, it seems less worrisome – does not go away, but just feels more manageable.

There are many little nags in all of our lives. Sometimes they leap up and say ‘Remember me’; at others, they lie quiet and just are. Generally, they are not enough, either individually or even together, to cause too much upset. They are just things we live with.

Like the discomfort from the ops. It just is.

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