Jane Ballot

Being me in the world

Saturday 9th May

‘Another day, another dollar’ is a phrase that comes to mind in my life every-so-often. I feel bad if I don’t work enough on a particular day. For me, this usually means that I have not got up early enough and done work on the computer before the usual things of the day really begin. Weekends are notorious days like this for me, when there is so much to do, generally involving the family, that I just don’t seem to take enough time to do work. Then I find that I get those feelings of not really being completely back to normal, because I get so tired quite often still that I literally cannot work the long hours ‘after hours’ that I know I need to.

I try to remember the doc just smiling on Thursday when I told him, quite frustrated about it, that I still get tired. He said to give myself time. Patience…

I did actually do quite a lot of work yesterday, in between Wits Open Day and lunch and going for a walk with the girls. Sometimes I don’t realise just how much a person can get done.

Yesterday morning, I literally turned to pick up the phone to phone Mum to talk to her about the scopes. It’s always a shock when that happens. It’s as though, in that moment of realisation, that I’ve lost her again. I’m sure part of how I’m feeling right now and how much I’m missing her is that tomorrow is Mother’s Day. The first ever when I won’t have a mother. At least, not right with me.

Maybe because of all the feelings that are sitting there about Mum, I really felt the weight of the mastectomy and everything today. It was also because of something the doc said when I asked him if I am healing normally and he said, yes and said something about the trauma the muscles and tissue have gone through. To hear a professional comment on the enormity of the operation and the impact on my body just slams it all home again.

Sometimes I think I haven’t taken the time I should have to really process what has happened to me. I’m not sure if this means that I should have really allowed myself to have a good weep quite often, or just really, really focused on the implications. I’m not actually sure.

I was talking about this with the girls and Dani said that she thinks that no-one can actually understand the effect the operations and the chemo have had on me. She also said that she doesn’t know if I really understand that.

So true.

I am finding out as I go along exactly what the physical and emotional effects have been. And still are. This is not an easy thing to deal with. It is also not something one just sails through.

However, with fortitude, support and positivity (not sure if that’s a neologism, or just a ‘weirdness’, but it feels right!) it is a process that is manageable and, actually, a journey of discovery all in its own class.

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