Another sleepless night.

I gave up trying to read about an hour ago and now, here I am, sitting at my desk again.

The lump has been really hurting today.  I had plans to crack on with my work-in-progress – the first book in a new series I’m writing for Oxford University Press – but I just couldn’t concentrate through the pain.

Kirsty had to get the morphine and help me into bed for a while.

That’s a bit of a worry.

The publishers have already extended my deadline to help me with my current situation, and I don’t want to miss the new date if I can avoid doing so.

should launch the file and get a few hundred words written now, seeing as I’m not busy with anything else, but I don’t want to really wake myself up and still be sitting here at dawn.

My body clock is suffering enough without me switching daytime for nighttime.

So, I’m browsing websites and reading blogs.  A less important, but easier to handle use of my time.

I sometimes wonder if I should watch a movie when I’m awake like this, you know – headphones plugged into the iPad.  But, the truth is, I don’t want to do anything.  I just want the time to pass, and for it to be morning again.

It’s Easter Sunday tomorrow.  Well, today.  Kirsty and the boys have a nice little pile of chocolate eggs to get through (knowing the boys, from the moment they wake up!)

In a way, I hope they do.  Sam (9) has hardly been eating since he found out about my cancer and treatment.  He leaves meals half-finished, or more.  He avoids snacks.  He barely touches his breakfast before school.

I’m worried about him, but don’t want to tell him off for leaving food because I know why he’s doing it.

Sam suffers from Asperger’s Syndrome, and all that comes along with that diagnosis.  He’s very high-functioning, knows everything about his chosen subject (penguins!), and he’s already decided that he wants to work with the birds when he’s older.

We were watching TV one day (a documentary about penguins, as you might suspect) when a guy came on screen.  The info on the bottom of the picture announced him as a ‘penguinologist‘, to which Sam cried – that’s what I want to be!


Several hours of online research later, he knew that he would need to do well in his GCSEs at school, take certain ‘A’ levels at college, and then study marine biology at university before specialising in penguins.

But, the pay off to this intelligence is a fear of change.  He likes and frequently needs things to stay the same in order for him to be able to process them – and my cancer is about as big a change as I can imagine.

He asked to see my stomach tube today, saying that he knew it was called a ‘peg’.  I explained that I don’t have it fitted until next week.  He was a little shaken, and said that he had dreamed I’d already had it put in place.

So, he’s dreaming about my treatment.  Just like me, when I can sleep, that is.  No wonder he’s lost his appetite.  I hope he can forget that for one day and just get stuck into his Easter Eggs.

The same for Kirsty and Arran.


No eggs for me though – which isn’t a form of self-denial or anything.  I just don’t like chocolate.  Or sweets.  Or crisps.  Or cakes.  Or ice cream.  Or desserts.

I have the opposite of a sweet tooth.  Always have.

I’m a weirdo.

The dental consultant said it was clear from my x-ray that I don’t have a sweet tooth – otherwise those on the screen would be in a worse state of disrepair.

So, that’s something.

Taste buds renew themselves every ten days.  Did you know that?  I found out as part of the research I did for an article I wrote in Amazing! magazine a few months back.

Mine are about to be nuked for six weeks straight.

The nurse said that, when they finally grow back, I may find that I have different tastes.  I may like and dislike different foods compared to know.

I might get a sweet tooth!

Damn, I hope not.

I’ve managed to get as overweight as I am now without the help of sugary treats, crisps, cakes and sticky desserts.

I don’t need any help in that direction.

Still, I’ll soon have my stomach tube to help me lose a few pounds.  The nurse warned me that some patients get addicted to losing weight via the peg and don’t go back to eating the natural way when th




It’s now – quarter past four.  Thirty five minutes later.

I just dozed off, at my desk, while writing a blog post.

Right in the middle of a sentence.

Then… WHAM!  Awake with a start, no idea where I am.

I really can’t go on like this.

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  1. Needless to say – sympathy as ever. It’s like the old joke… I would like to ask you some questions about your blackouts…and finally, question 10……thoughts are with you even though we have never met. Rich (storyboarder)


  2. Keep strong Tommy. This must be absolutely terrifying for you.


  3. I’m keeping up to date by reading your blog – you have many people out there thinking of you and willing you on!


  4. Tommy, I’m thinking of you and sending all good wishes to you and your family. Stay strong you lot x


  5. Keeping up to date with your blog too Tommy. What you’re going through sounds awful and terrifying and yet you write so bravely about it, in your inimitable way. We’re all indeed willing you on!


  6. Tommy, this must be terrifying for you. I had my friend come round for a curry last night. She’s just been told this week that she has no more cancer cells in her body. She is absolutely over the moon (so much so, that the red wine flowed a little too freely). she has been through the worst year of her life. You too will be celebrating like we did last night. Hang on in there buddy. We’re all rooting for you x x


  7. Tommy, Maybe best just go with the flow and sleep when sleep comes. Day and night will sort themselves out once you’re through your treatment and your strength starts to return. Just now all you can do is eat a different soup every day, fill your head with beautiful smells and find a happy place in your head to take refuge in when the pain is hard to bear. You’re a tough one Tommy, you can do this. x


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