I’ve just returned home from an appointment with my GP – Dr Ellison.  She’s fantastic.  So kind and caring – and she’s into many of the same things as me, including Doctor Who and The Beano!

A few years ago, I made her a character in my Doctor Who novel, Shroud of Sorrow (she’s Dr Ellison at Parkland Memorial Hospital in Dallas).  And, more recently, she made a cameo appearance in The Bash Street Kids… (click image to enlarge)

BSK Dr Ellison

Today, however, she led me through the results of my CT scan, answered my questions, swapped my pain relief from Tramadol to morphine, and prescribed some sleeping tablets.

And she gave me a big hug as I was leaving.

Told you – fantastic!

In fact, everyone I’ve seen over the course of this diagnosis has been amazing.  Thank whichever deity you believe in for the NHS (for non-UK readers, the National Health Service), and the amazing people who work there.

On the day of my biopsy, junior doctors were on strike here in the UK (if you don’t know why, you should look it up – they’re being shafted by rhyming-slang named health minister and a Tory government out to fill their own pockets).

I beeped the car horn as I drove past the picket line, and gave them all a thumbs up.  They work so hard to keep people like me in good health, and then treat us when things go wrong.

The way they are being dealt with is very unfair, as is this government’s slow and sly privatisation of the NHS.  But, that’s a blog post for another day…

I’m about to undergo some serious treatment and, thanks to that rarest of all creatures – a politician with a soul – I won’t be faced with a huge bill afterwards.

Which is just as well, as I’d be rubbish at making Crystal Meth!

That politician was the Labour Minister of Health from 1945 to 1951 – Nye Bevan.  The man who founded the NHS.

And we should all be thankful.

Ten years ago, my Mum spent a week in a coma in the Intensive Care Unit at Chorley Hospital before she died. One day, when we arrived to visit her, we discovered that one of the nurses had washed her hair and tied it back with a white ribbon.

She didn’t have to do that.  That’s not part of her job description.  My Mum didn’t even know about it.  But it made all the difference to a family who were about to lose one of their loved ones.

A few months later, the unit held a chapel service to remember everyone who had passed away over the last year.  We signed a book of thanks afterwards, and I’ll always remember what my Dad wrote in it…

‘I’m not religious, and I don’t believe in God but, a few months ago, I met angels.  They were disguised as doctors and nurses.’

So please, please remember that we have to support the NHS and its incredible staff at every opportunity.

I’ll climb down from my soapbox now!

I have a few pieces of writing to work on today: a new script for The Bash Street Kids, two short books in my new reluctant reader series for Badger Learning, and a chapter of the first book in my new children’s horror series for Oxford University Press.

Tomorrow, I’m hoping to pop in to the school I was due to visit on World Book Day, but had to cancel as I was just too unwell. I doubt I’ll be able to run any creative writing workshops or give my usual author talk, but it will be great to see all the pupils.  From what I hear, they’ve been making Scream Street masks to show me!

Life, it appears, goes on…

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  1. Just been shown this account by my school librarian. I was diagnosed in July 2014. After much treatment, trials, tribulations and other things beginning with ‘t’, I got through it. I want to wish you and your family the very best. I also wrote a blog which was incredibly helpful in dealing with the challenges all the family faced. Good luck!


  2. As ever, so very proud to know you. Hang in there. So glad to know you’ve got such excellent care.


  3. Hi good to hear you’re off the Tramadol horrible stuff…let’s hope the morphine helps. A day at a time..


  4. Wonderfully well written as always and so true. Everybody is thinking about you at school and so proud of both you and the NHS. Looking forward to seeing you soon. Chris


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