Jane Ballot

Being me in the world

Tuesday 26th May

Sometimes I hate only having one boob. Sometimes it really upsets me that I have had to have this happen to me. Sometimes it is just horrible.

At other times, it really doesn’t bother me and is almost normal.

Sometimes I don’t even notice the discomfort, pulling and now pain in my right side, particularly under my arm.

At other times I despair that I will ever get better.

It just seems so long, so very, very long that it’s been like this. And it seems as though, just when I think things are getting a bit better, it all just seems to get worse again, or just to keep on being there.

I’ve practically just got off the water, where I managed to do two laps with pain under my right arm the whole way. It’s obviously not debilitating, but it is enough to be discouraging.

Sometimes when I paddle, it feels as though the water is made of syrup and I can paddle as hard as I like, I just seem to get nowhere. Then there are days when the boat seems to glide through the water and everything feels right. Today was one of those days. Except for my arm, that is. It just feels like such waste to have everything else working and not to be able to paddle as long and hard as I would like to.



Give it time…

The lessons one learns from adverse happenings like this cancer thing are numerous. I think one of the biggest is to look, again, at everything in perspective. As a drama person, I am used to contextualising texts and performances and understanding more than just what I see. As a cancer survivor, I am very aware of the range and seriousness of the whole gambit of cancers and  the effects on individuals. I have a healthy respect for anyone facing the (unfortunately quite common) enemy and doing battle. Mostly, it’s a silent battle, which, somehow, makes it quite a lot harder.

The human spirit is amazing, though.

My cousin in Australia is still not very far along on her cancer journey. She is holding up, staying in there and even making jokes about some things. Good for her! That’s the way to face down the silent, serious lurker.

All of us have so much within ourselves that we perhaps don’t know about until it needs to be called to the fore to help us to get through things.

That fascinates me. People fascinate me. Perhaps, in many ways, I should be saying thank you to the cancer experience, for giving me opportunity to reinforce my fascination with the human spirit.

Maybe, in its own way, however long it takes and however sore it still is, the discomfort and now pain under my arm is just a reminder of all of that.

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