Jane Ballot

Being me in the world

Sunday 12th July

Everything is relative. Everything affects us in some kind of way, often which we don’t realise at the time.

I spoke to Bridget the other day, looking, I think, for some kind of conversation with one person who I know actually knows. It was quite interesting that I barely said anything about how I was feeling, when she asked if I was feeling a little vulnerable.

Perhaps it was a coincidence. Perhaps there was some kind of telepathic communication over the thousands of kilometres. More likely, though, it was an intuitive response. She understands from within how this cancer thing affects you.

For her, she is still in the middle of it all – literally taking it step-by-step through the treatment and still playing the waiting game: waiting for surgery, waiting for the results, waiting for more treatment. The one good thing about all of this is that the outcome is certain: her cancer is operable and will be sorted. It is just difficult, when you are on the inside, to project that far ahead to a ‘normality’.

Hell, when you are basically on the other side of the mountain, like I am, it is still not that easy to project into a ‘without cancer’ present. I think, though, that that is the one reality about cancer: once it has hit you, there can never be a ‘without cancer’ anything. Or, at least, a ‘not affected by the thought of’ cancer present.

A comment was made that, from my writing, it seems that I spend a lot of time thinking about the cancer thing. In some ways, yes; in many others, no. I definitely do not think about cancer 24/7 (I actually really don’t like that saying, but it is really so very expressive) – there is just so much else in the world to be concerned with and about! It is true, though, that cancer is something that affects you in ways you never realised, most of them subconscious, it seems.

I read an article that was about “I am a cancer survivor, but that does not define me”, which is so wonderfully accurate. Having survived cancer is only one thing I have done, even in the last year. At the same time, though, it is one of the things that has had a huge effect on me – and I am still in the timeframe of feeling the effects.

This blog, too, is about my cancer journey, so my writing will always come back to the disease/condition.

It does not define me. It does not consume me. It does, however, inform some of what I do.

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