Jane Ballot

Being me in the world

Saturday 23rd May

The next time anyone mentions the chemo taste, I am going to freak! (Or try very, very hard to pretend I haven’t heard).

It’s happened again. I haven’t had the chemo taste for a good few days. Carl asked me about it a day / two ago. This afternoon it came back again and has lasted right into the night.


Every time I really think I am moving into the phase of really, really being over the side effects of the chemo, the taste seems to zap me again; or I get very, very tired and I just remember all the side effects and feel as though there is really never going to be an absolute end to all of this.

“Just give it time.”

Sometimes it would be really nice to know just how much time ‘it’ needs to have. Like with the muscles that were damaged during the operation: it really feels as though there is never going to be an end to the discomfort and effects of the surgery and I will never be able to use my right side properly again.

As ‘they’ say: “Never say never.”

Everything has to come to an end. It only stands to reason that, eventually, the muscles will be completely healed (with scar tissue etc, but healed nonetheless) and I will, actually, be able to paddle properly and do other exercise without feeling the pain / discomfort or worrying about damaging the muscles further.

At the same time, though, I feel like an absolute fraud. This was a huge operation and a horrible journey to be on. It has also been contained, though, and is not a process that goes on and on and on. Some people live with conditions that never, ever see an end.

Then, again, come the thoughts that everything is real for the person who goes through it. This whole cancer thing has been quite an experience and something that has taken fortitude and strength to navigate so far. I think this will continue, although less intensely.

A lot of who we are is a result of what we go through and how we deal with it. The journeys that we embark on, or are forced to take, are part of our make-up. If I could do it again, I’m pretty sure I would avoid this particular journey. Having had to go through it all, though, has become part of who I am right now and how I carry on doing life.  That’s also been how I’ve approached every phase of this journey and how I intend to carry on: As best I know how.

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