Jane Ballot

Being me in the world

Monday 29th June

When you have something like cancer, I think that you learn quite quickly that it is worth taking any chance you may get to do something unusual or fun. Well, just about any chance.

That’s a funny thing, I think, because, in so many ways, my cancer feels as though it was not as ‘bad’ as so many others’, yet, I still feel the reality of looking at life differently and being aware of so much more.

I definitely had the ‘best’ way of having cancer, I reckon, if there is any ‘best’ way. Or, maybe it was jsut that my scenario was really good, being found early and really manageable. I was definitely lucky and everything was well-handled and I was well-treated. Cancer is cancer, however – that dreaded ‘C’ word that definitely has the connotations of ‘threat’ and ‘death’ associated with it. It doesn’t matter what your scenario is, you work through what you have and come out the other end with an altered look at life.

Sometimes, the taking of chances to do something different and fun is about making a choice, or seeing the opportunity. Sometimes, the opportunity is thrust at you.

Today, we drove via Gariep Dam. We decided to walk along the wall. Not even halfway there, one of the workers asked us if we’d like to tour the wall. Of course we said yes.

What fun. What an opportunity. And how fascinating.

Paul, of course, was in his element. All of the kids thought this was great. For me, it was an echo of us having taken a similar tour on a trip we took to the Cape with school kids many moons ago. It was also fascinating and really, really cool.

This opportunity, of course, had absolutely nothing to do with cancer or anything like that. It was just one of those things that makes me think of the idea of taking those chances and looking for things that are different.

We stopped for breakfast at a really cute side-of-the-road bakery in Trompsburg. Another opportunity taken and a new experience to add to so many others. Tonight we are staying at a Backpacker’s near the Addo Elephant  Park. Again, what fun. How different from the usual.

Tomorrow we will go into Addo. None of us have ever been there, so that will be wonderful, too. My cameras are fired up and ready to click!

Maybe it’s not always that you have to face something like cancer to prompt you to take those chances. Having had the disease/condition definitely fires up something in your brain that makes you take notice of them, though, and realise doubly how wonderful and important they are.

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