Wednesday, 27 November 2013


    I stood under the brightest star imaginable the other night. It was about four in the morning and if it hadn't been for the fact that I was scantily clad I would have whistled for the dog and together we would have followed it to Bethlehem. It was also the only star in the sky - no word of a lie.
    A few days later I came downstairs to find a blackbird in our hallway. Showing no fear it put its head to one side, looked at me with beady eyes and hopped out of the door. The resemblance to my Great Aunt Mildred was uncanny.
    I can only assume that the back door had been blown open by the wind but I would like to point something out, our back door is wrought iron, it is very heavy and on the day in question there was only a light breeze. In my mind there was no doubt, they were both signs.
    As a young child I was always seeing signs and making bargains with the big man - if you make me pass my Maths' homework then I promise I will be good  - that sort of thing. I never ever passed my Maths' homework and therefore never ever saw the necessity to fulfil my part of the bargain!
    I told my husband about my signs. He gave me 'that look' - the one which he has recently developed and which says "There's no harm in humouring her, she's on massive medication and not thinking straight, just smile and wave boys, smile and wave."
    During my next chemotherapy session however, something happened that convinced me that I was right.
    They have recently changed my drugs. This means I get to wear a 'cold cap.' Back in September when the heat was intolerable I would have killed for a'cold cap' but sadly it wasn't an option then. Now however, now that I'm bald and the temperature has plummeted I have no choice.
    The cold cap is actually a helmet filled with a freezing heavy viscous fluid. It is used to promote hair growth once the chemotherapy treatment has finished. I became alarmed when nurse Audrey started to wrap the same thing around my ankles and wrists but she hastened to assure me that it was to stop my nails from discolouring. To complete the whole ensemble I have an eye mask for my lashes and brows.
    Nurse Audrey stepped back to admire her handiwork, patted my shoulder and disappeared. My husband also chose that moment to go for a coffee and I was left alone in my own private Alaska.
    I couldn't move, I couldn't see, I was freezing cold and I soon became overwhelmingly claustrophobic and scared. I reached blindly for the call button but succeeded only in dislodging my cold cap. The heavy fluid slowly flowed to the left hand side and settled in a solid mass. I honestly thought my neck was going to break.
    Then the door opened, soft footsteps approached the bed and strong gentle hands moved me back into position. My mask slipped slightly and I quickly caught sight of a tall man in a white coat. In silence he placed a stethoscope on my heart, held my hand briefly and then was gone.
    I spent the next fifty minutes wrapped in a cocoon of warmth and serenity dreaming of polar bear cubs and brown paper packages tied up with string.
    Nurse Audrey said that she was almost sure that there were no male nurses in the day hospital that morning. She and my husband exchanged glances before giving me 'that look.'
    Sighing with exasperation I reached over to the table to reclaim my jewellery and suddenly everything fell into place. Glinting on the bedside table was a sliver 'guardian angel charm bracelet' that my sister in law had sent a few weeks previously. I slid it onto my arm smiling to myself.
    I knew I hadn't been mistaken. I knew I had seen the signs.
    You see I do believe in angels and I believe in fairies, I believe that my husband is a saint (sometimes) and I have never doubted the existence of Santa Claus, most especially at this time of year.
    I believe... well actually I'll let Audrey Hepburn finish this blog - she hits the nail right on the head.
" I believe in pink. I believe that laughing is the best calorie burner. I believe in kissing, kissing a lot. I believe in being strong when everything seems to be going wrong. I believe that happy girls are the prettiest. I believe that tomorrow is another day and I believe in miracles." 


  1. Beautifully written Janie, you brave wonderful lady...and btw I can see 'that look'!! xxx

  2. Hi Janie, what a beautiful post. It made me think of my granddad who was a nurse and the kindest man ever. I'm sure angels help out where they can - and lovely to know yours is keeping an eye open during your treatment :-) Look forward to your next post, AJx

    1. I will think of your granddad during the next chemo session !!xx

  3. Hear! Hear! I totally echo your sentiments. Keep believing, sweetie. xxx

  4. I love it, your best post yet. Aunt Mildred has inspired you to even greater heights, she is a very special angel. I believe Sxxxx

    1. Well you knew Aunty very well - so she will be looking after you too! XXXX

  5. Lovely post - and I love that photo. And love YOU! xxx big hugs xxxxxx

  6. Beautifully written. There are angels everywhere, and they are looking out for YOU xx

  7. Absolutely lovely post - I hope you'll write a book - I'll buy it, I love your writing style - held me all the way through and made me believe too...