Jane Ballot

Being me in the world

Sunday 17th May

In many ways, this is my favourite time of year, or, at least, my favourite weather: the cold parts of the day are not terribly, terribly cold yet and the days themselves are blissfully clear and warm, often even hot in the sun. There is always a blue, blue sky and everything just seems clear, bright and cheerful. It is the ideal weather for paddling during the day and running in the morning or evening.

Until you have a cold, that is.

I have felt so frustrated for the last few days, because I want to go and do something active, but am being eminently sensible because of this cold, which means no physical activity. At least, nothing too over-strenuous. I’ve actually been asked if I’d not rather sleep this off. That is something I am literally not capable of doing. It’s enough of a concession to my condition that I will not do exercise, to take myself to my sick bed is just something I don’t do.

That’s why I found the chemo a little harder than it may have been on me, I think. If I’d succumbed and just accepted being under the weather and not done stuff to fit into real life, it may have gone a little easier.

Oh, well, we all have our coping mechanisms.

When I saw the oncologist, he told me that it is unlikely that my sore knees are from the medication, as the arthralgia usually takes longer than 3 months to manifest. He also said it usually attacks smaller joints. I can’t bring myself to the place to go and have a whole lot more tests and doctor’s appointments to try and figure out what is going on with my knees, so I guess I’ll just live with them.

Funnily enough, they have been a bit better lately.

I have noticed the odd pain in my hands, well, in one or two joints. It hasn’t been bad and has passed quickly. I can’t help wondering if this is something to do with the medication. There is nothing much I can do, except just watch and see what happens.

So much of this cancer thing is a waiting game. In some ways, it is much harder now than it was 6 or 8 months ago. Then, it was all mapped out and I knew each time what I was waiting for. Now, I’m not sure what is going to manifest when. That makes it kind of easier and kind of harder.

The easier is that the threat has gone and I am completely clear of the cancer. The harder is that I’m not sure if the medication is going to affect me or not. I also don’t know how long it will take for my body to have completely got rid of the effects of the chemo and for me to get completely back to normal. Then, of course, despite the logic, what I know and what the experts tell me, there is always that little voice somewhere that echoes a kind of vulnerability to cancer.

The answer to most of this is ‘wait and see’, which, of course, I am not necessarily very good at, but about which I have absolutely no choice.

One thing cancer definitely does is teach you lessons – mainly about waiting!

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