Jane Ballot

Being me in the world

Thursday 3rd September

Michael and I drove past the dam this evening, just to see the set up where they guys were playing polo. Usually I am fine with the fact that I can’t play at the moment – haven’t been able to for a long time now, because the muscles in my side just wouldn’t deal well with it. I can be mostly philosophical and accept that it will be a while before I am completely recovered from the operations.

Tonight, though, I found myself feeling quite resentful towards the cancer thing, because it has deprived me of being able to get back on the water and into the fray. I actually do miss playing and miss being fit and strong like I was. Once the feelings were there, the natural thought-chain led to thoughts about how this is not such a nice situation to be in, that I don’t really like being without one boob, or having to have gone through the treatment.

Then, of course, the thoughts and feelings were gone, or, at least, they moved to the back of my mind somewhere where they obviously still dwell, but from where they do not dominate.

Partly, it’s just unproductive to have thoughts like that, as there is nothing that can change the situation. Yes, it is unfair that it had to be me who had the cancer and has to deal with the outfall. On the other hand, though, if it was not me then who?

I definitely would not rather it had been someone that I know – most definitely neither of my sisters. Having Bridget going through her own cancer journey is close enough. I’d far rather she hadn’t had to, either. Maybe, though, it is the two of us who have had this so that we can work together and support each other from within.

I don’t believe in pre-destiny. I don’t believe that there was this cancer sitting around and I was specifically targeted for some cosmic reason. These things happen and I just happened to be in the firing line.

I am like Mum in that I tend to be extremely practical. I could weep and wail as much as I like – could have done so for the last year or so – but it would change nothing and would have got me absolutely nowhere. Yes, it is annoying and upsetting that my muscles have been messed up and still don’t seem to be getting completely strong again. Yes, it is not really that nice to be without a boob and be unable to do all the physical activity I was doing a year ago, have always done.

But, so what, though? This is how it is. What I need to do is exactly what I have been doing: move ahead as best as I can; take each moment, each challenge head-on and do what has to be done to work through it; carry on doing whatever level of physical activity I can until my muscles get back their strength; focus on what is and make the most of everything that comes along.

That is how the mountain is conquered – one step, one rise at a time. That is how I have got to where I am now and am as fit, strong and positive as I am.

Just occasionally, though, I will miss something, like miss being part of polo, miss being in the middle of a game.

Just occasionally.

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