Jane Ballot

Being me in the world

Friday 17th July

We watched a really cute movie this evening – Playing it Cool. The main attraction of the film in the DVD shop I think was that it stars Chris Evans. As it turned out, the film is really well written, very funny, quite cute and great fun – and Chris Evans is actually good.

In the film, they refer to the book, Love in the Time of Cholera, which (as described by Chris Evans’ character) is basically about a couple who take a lifetime to get together. When they finally do, they choose to stay on their boat, sailing the seas with the cholera flag flying, so that they won’t have to go ashore anywhere, because they won’t be allowed to. Chris Evans’ character speaks about each of us choosing who we would have on our boats with us, if we had to do likewise.

I think that this cancer thing is somewhat like the boat idea, ‘cept it’s not about who you choose to go on the boat with you, but who stands up to be counted. Through the experience of the cancer, various people show support in different ways. Of these, there are some who stay the course and who truly, truly prove their support and understanding. Those are the people to go on my boat.

I think that one of the problems with this cancer thing is that it’s not a definable trip – the journey is subject to so many variables, many of which are not predictable.

Like the chemo taste.

I made the mistake of indicating that I had not had it for a long time and that maybe it was over.

Well, no. Since Tuesday evening, it has been back, as annoying, draining and upsetting as ever. Just a reminder, I suppose, of the harshness of the chemo.

Oh well, that’s how it goes, I suppose. The thing that gets me down a little, though, is that I can taste the taste with every breath I take, literally. A constant reminder that I really wish would just go. I am so over it now. Also the nagging thought that the chemo really does remain in one’s system…

I ran again today, despite it being damn cold. I am being fairly diligent about trying to run every day, because I think it really is a good discipline – and because I really do want to get back to being fit again.

I suppose that’s how we all function – identify something we want to achieve and then work to make it happen the best we can. Some people are way more successful than others, often because they are more driven and determined. Often, though, things we aim for get interrupted by what we have to do to make real life happen. Running every morning is not so easy when I have to get kids ready for school and even do the school lift, let alone be at Wits early myself. Then of course, it is a matter of finding a close alternative.

Things happen. Things change. What we need to do is to adapt to the change and make what may be abnormal part of the norm and the unusual closer to the usual. In that way, we can bring real life and the special together to construct our lives meaningfully.


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