UPDATE: The last few days have been horrid! But Tommy has turned a tiny corner over night – you can read about it here. In the meantime, every spare good thought you have, please send it his way, and see below for other links to help out, now, where was I…
So today is my turn on the TommyvCancer blog tour! And I’m going to talk about ME!. Well, kind of…When I was nine, my Mum was diagnosed with breast cancer. Those that know me, know that my Mum is actually my Stepmum – I’d already lost one Mum and I didn’t want to lose another one. Happily for me, my Incredi-Mum survived – but it was a horrendous time. The realization that cancer could strike at the heart of my family was a shocking one.
Fast forward 30 years and I found a lump in my breast. I didn’t go to the doctor straight away but I knew the consequences of not getting it checked out and, eventually, I steeled myself to get it looked at, hoping they’d send just me home again. They didn’t send me home. I was referred to the hospital for a cycle of tests that had me in and out for what seemed like weeks – repeated needle aspirations never seemed conclusive. In the end, they cut the lump out and I waited to hear what they’d found.
I thought I was fine. Totally calm. I even went to the hospital on my own to hear the results.They told me the lump was benign. I walked out, got in my car and cried for 20 minutes. I’d been holding all those nerves at bay for weeks and they just came tumbling out.
Because cancer is scary.
What would I have done, how would I have coped with the children? I’ll tell you how. I’d have relied on my friends and family and they’d have been there for me. And that’s why so many of us have banded together to support our friend Tommy Donvaband.
If you don’t know Tommy, here’s a little round up:
Tommy is the author of the popular 13-book Scream Street series for 7 to 10 year olds, published by Walker Books in the UK and Candlewick Press in the US. His other books include Zombie!, Wolf and Uniform (winner of the Hackney Short Novel Award) for Barrington Stoke, Boredom Busters and Quick Fixes For Kids’ Parties (How To Books), and Making A Drama Out Of A Crisis (Network Continuum).
In theatre, Tommy’s plays have been performed to thousands of children on national tours to venues such as The Hackney Empire, Leeds City Varieties, and Nottingham Playhouse. These productions include Hey Diddle Diddle, Rumplestiltskin, Jack & Jill In The Forgotten Nursery, and Humpty Dumpty And The Incredibly Daring Rescue Of The Alien Princess From Deep Space. He is also responsible for five episodes of the CBBC TV series, Planet Cook (Platinum Films).
Tommy lives in Lancashire with his wife and two sons. He is a HUGE fan of all things Doctor Who, plays blues harmonica, and makes a mean balloon poodle. He sees sleep as a waste of good writing time.
Tommy has throat cancer – this means that he can’t talk and he can’t do school visits at the moment and these are a large part of his income stream. Until he’s well again, Tommy needs a bit of extra help and a super easy way to give it is to buy his books!
I read these two recently:
They’re two neat little tales for reluctant readers or older children who are late to reading – both have a scary twist at the end but they’re also lightly comic. I highly recommend them.
Wolf is published by Stoke Books and The Sand Witch by Fiction Express.
Or you can take part in some of our great giveaways, find them via the hashtag on twitter #tommyvcancer
There’ll also be a twitter chat on 30th June 2016, 8 – 9pm
All of us will be touched by this disease at some point in our lives, but you know what?
I really wish it would Eff Off.
Good Luck Tommy, glad to be able to stand by you xxx
Keep an eye out for other posts on the tour!