I wrote most of this sitting in Room 5, Haematology Unit, T13 North, UCLH which tells you immediately that Janine is back in hospital and the third cycle is underway. A bed became available yesterday afternoon (Monday) and we travelled up yesterday evening which was all very convenient and more like checking into a hotel for a few days rather than an admission to hospital. If only …….
The astute amongst you will have realised that T13 is not T16 and that Janine is on a different ward from before. That was the cause of some initial nervousness on her part but the room is very nice, the nursing team are great and the TV seems to be working without any money being required.
I haven’t mentioned this before but some of you will be able to appreciate my distress when, on entering the rooms Janine has had previously, we have been greeted by a message on the TV from Andrew Lansley the Health Secretary. We haven’t listened to the message but I wonder if he was explaining how one man’s ‘there will be no top down fundamental restructuring of the NHS’ is another man’s, well, complete top down fundamental restructuring of the NHS.
Moving swiftly back to Janine’s room, the views this time are across North London. It started as a beautiful early Spring day in Bracknell. Up in London, a fog became a haze but you could just see Regent’s Park and then Hampstead Heath in the distance. Parliament Hill Fields must have been there somewhere. For me, and maybe you, that evokes painful memories of some of the most punishing cross country courses devised by man. In my memory they both started and finished uphill. And they seemd to go on forever. There must be an analogy there somewhere
There turns out to have been distinct advantages in being forced to wait for this third cycle. Janine is in a much better position physically and emotionally than she would have been this time last week. She still doesn’t want this cycle, afraid that she will again come out of it feeling very ill and sick, but she is better prepared for it, knowing that it is an important consolidation of what has gone before. She will be scanned after this, probably in early April and then we will see what is needed. Current thinking is radiotherapy but we shall see.
One thing that really helped over the weekend was a song writing day with the church women’s writing group on Saturday. There are rumours of a new song from Janine and our much loved friend and folk troubadour Rosie Donnan. Watch this space. I have high hopes.
What also helped was being able to sit down on Sunday afternoon to watch England v Scotland. Having been to church in the morning and with Janine cooking lunch and with friends round, the day felt dangerously close to normal.
Which brings me finally to the title of this entry. I won’t tell you who was with us but watching the game I was able to witness first hand what I have imagined for a long time to be a national phenomena, that is the raised female pulse rates and increased oestrogen levels when Jonny Wilkinson is brought on as a substitute late in the second half of any England match.
Backs were definitely straightened, seating positions adjusted and cushions hugged a little tighter as the boy wonder turned man entered the fray. The FA Cup Final is approaching and we will no doubt be told for the umpteenth time of the national power surge at half time as kettles all over the country are set to boil. I think this Wilkinson effect may be similar and if we could only harness the increased energy levels (or the oestrogen) we might just be able to solve a whole host of global issues.
Could it also be that this substitution is actually tactically unnecessary and made simply to appeal to women everywhere, persuading mothers that, despite the bent noses, the flowering ears and the ever present risk of serious injury, this might just be a game for their sons ? Oh yes and also to ensure that they watch the game to the end.
On which note I shall finish. This match will hopefully end on Friday and if all goes to plan we will have Janine home for the weekend. Just in time for Ireland v England and another well timed substitution.