There has been a slightly unsettling normality to this last week. Janine came through neutropenia very well and with nausea under control, the only signs that she might be having treatment have been the tiredness and the number of drugs and needles we have in the house. We even have our own sharps bin. I guess the daily visits from District Nurses might also be a clue and there was the night I was woken up by what I thought was (but somehow knew couldn’t be) the dishwasher beeping downstairs and which turned out (on the second time of checking an hour later) to be Janine’s syringe driver telling her there was an air lock. Fortunately, there was no repeat of that scene in Airplane. You know the one where ….
There had also been the ‘what’s this back pain – ah OK its just a side effect of the daily injections’ and the ‘that doesn’t sound good’ cough moments but they passed, serving only as a reminder that, beneath the surface, you can’t quite relax and there is a natural, ongoing fear of what might be round the next corner. Janine has been very gracious over my constant requests that she check her temperature. You’d think we were …. No that would be a miracle, believe me.
This morning, reality crept back in as Janine started to lose her hair. I’ll confess to feeling upset when she told me even though we knew this was inevitable. Yet part of me was also relieved. It isn’t something Janine is too concerned about and I was beginning to think it wouldn’t start until much later in the treatment or even after the last cycle, which somehow wouldn’t have felt right or even fair. I think Janine carries it beautifully and she has already taken it on. Today’s hero was ‘hairdresser to the stars’ Elaine Lewis who came round this evening to help create that Annie Lennox look. Next up Sinnead O’ Connor but keep your eyes out for the Beyonce wig.
If all continues to go well then Janine will be back at UCLH next Thursday for round two of the chemotherapy. I can’t remember what I have said before but the latest plan is for a definite three cycles, a four week rest and then a scan to see what has happened. That takes us to the end of March.
Maybe just maybe this will all be done in three months.