Jane Ballot

Being me in the world

Tuesday 9th June

Today is Dani’s birthday. 16 years ago, I faced a Caesar and the trauma (or so it seemed then) of being cut open. I used to wish that there was some way the baby could just kind of ‘osmose’ out and I wouldn’t have to face the horrible thoughts of the anaesthetic and the operation (which were, of course, always worse than the actual events).

Out of each operation came one of my children, though, so any discomfort, pain and worrying thoughts were completely irrelevant and such a small price to pay!

I would do it all again, gladly J

I made Dani a little rainbow cake this morning, my first ever. It looked rather garish, but tasted nice. She got a little chocolate cake yesterday and I’m not sure what I’ll make her tomorrow.

Today was basically a whole day of practical exams and presentations. To watch students producing something different, sometimes challenging and entertaining is great. It’s also so rewarding to see how they pull out all the stops for an exam (at least, most of them do.) I am so proud of my 4th years, because they really came to the party. The other classes did well, too. It’s exhausting doing those exams, but really encouraging and such fun.

One of my students was worrying because of the load of work and just not feeling as though coping is even possible. We chatted and I think I gave a different perspective and helped to lighten the load a bit. Well, not literally, but the overwhelming thought of the load.

For me, it’s about almost compartmentalising – putting things in some kind of order and understanding what must actually be done for each demand; and by when. I found myself thinking that one thing having cancer really does teach you is that things can (and should) be tackled one step at a time. In that way, most things become manageable.

I don’t think I look for lessons to learn from things that happen. At least, not from everything. Maybe it’s because I’m an educator, though, that I do find that there is so much that we can learn and so many things that teach us all the time.

Having cancer is really kak. It is also a wonderful learning opportunity.

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