Jane Ballot

Being me in the world

Friday 26th June

Today is Carl’s birthday. And what an adventure it was this evening.

Carl wanted to go to Cine Prestige with whoever in the family could go. He loves the opportunity to spoil us 🙂

We all duly arrived to watch the film, bought popcorn etc and went in to take our places in the luxury seats. David and I had to move over, because one of our seats was broken – not so good for the fancy place.

The trailers duly started and we were off. Lo and behold, there came the instruction ‘Put on your 3D glasses now’. Uh-oh. No-one had glasses, because we all believed it was a 2D version of the film. I rushed outside, with about half the patrons, to ask what was going on – and to be reassured that the film itself was, indeed, the 2D version. 5 minutes later, there I see one of the Ster Kinekor guys sneaking around the cinema asking everyone if they have their 3D glasses. Out we go again, to purchased said specs. Next, of course, the guys are sneaking around handing out complimentary glasses to everyone.

Okay, that sorted, we settled down to watch the movie.

Which lasted about 45 minutes when loadshedding kicked in.

Yay. Welcome to darkest Africa.

The rest of the evening was spend in a dark(ish) restaurant eating whatever could actually be cooked and having fun. It was rather ironic in some way that one of the things we couldn’t order was pizzas – so much for romanticised images of blazing pizza ovens ;(

Tomorrow evening is Carl’s 50th birthday party. We are all set to have a really good time. Carl is the past master at organising and hosting parties and has been working on this for months, so I’m sure this is to be an event to remember. Today, his actual birthday, was definitely memorable, so the bank of memories will just grow.

I am giving a short speech at the party, which I have not actually prepared. I’m pretty sure that 50 years of knowing Carl will come in handy, though, and will mean that I can think of at least something to say!

Never at a loss for words, that’s me.

I think that’s one of the reasons that I have been able to keep working through the various moments on this cancer journey and keeping sane – mostly. Being able to talk about something is usually the first step in either facing your problems / fears, or the first stage of making it manageable and, therefore, basically solvable.

I remember in the very beginning, when my cancer was first diagnosed, I was kind of loath to articulate the truth, particularly in writing. I seemed as though, if I actually wrote the words ‘I have breast cancer’, it would make it even more real and, somehow, more threatening.

It didn’t.

Well, I suppose it did, actually, in some ways, but not completely.

I still think that writing it, saying it, seemed to make it all the more real. It did not make it any more threatening than it was, though. That it had managed all on its own.

Writing it, though, confronting it on the screen, reading the dread words, definitely made it more manageable and was, possibly, the first step in reaching a point where I can now say, quite happily, I had breast cancer.


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