Echo

Another day, another radiotherapy session down.  R9/21.

I met a woman at the centre today who was there for her final RT session after fifteen solid weeks of treatment.  Fifteen weeks! The chemo sessions made her so ill, they had to scrap them and just blast her cancer with x-rays.

Yikes!

Something I’ve come to learn over the past six weeks since I was first diagnosed (yep, this madness only stated six weeks ago!) is that everyone’s story is unique.  There isn’t really once such thing as ‘cancer’, and there certainly isn’t one person’s journey through treatment.

I received a lovely email from the chairman of a Head and Neck Cancer Support Group in Devon today.  I really hadn’t realised such things existed, but I can see how helpful they might be.  Plymouth may be a bit of a stretch for visits however, so I’ll ask for details of local groups at my session tomorrow.

I got my parking permit, too!

Also, we made the Liverpool Echo (yes, we – you’re just as much to blame for this blog as I am!)  Here’s what they had to say…

Liverpool creator of CBBC’s Scream Street gets worldwide support after starting cancer blog

The Liverpool creator of hit CBBC animated series Scream Street has had support from around the world after starting a blog detailing his battle against cancer.

Tommy Donbavand from Orrell Park is an award-winning author and writer of The Bash Street Kids for The Beano comic.

But most recently he’s been penning Tommy V Cancer, giving an honest personal account of the ups and downs of his diagnosis and treatment.

The 48-year-old dad of two was diagnosed with inoperable throat cancer in March this year and is currently in the middle of six weeks of intensive radiotherapy and chemotherapy which, he’s been warned, may leave him unable to talk or eat and suffering extreme pain for months.

He explains: “In order to allow me to understand my illness better, and to help people who may find themselves in a similar situation, I started a blog to chart my battle against this horrific disease.

“A few people suggested it so friends and relatives could keep up with how I’m progressing.”

Initially he thought the Tommy V Cancer blog would go no further than them, as well as answering questions his sons, 16-year-old Arran and Sam, 9, might be worried about asking directly.

But Tommy, who has written several official Doctor Who comics and novels, been amazed to receive support from thousands of people around the world, including fans and fellow best-selling writers.

They have been following his updates, posting comments, and sending him emails urging him to keep fighting back.

“The response has been incredible,” says Tommy’s friend, Barry Hutchison, who helped set up the site. “Everyone knows someone who has been affected by cancer, and Tommy has been able to put into words what many sufferers may not be able to express themselves.”

Not only have they offered words of encouragement, they rallied to his help financially too when he revealed that the illness and aggressive treatment plan have left his family facing financial difficulties.

So far more than 60 people – many complete strangers – have become patrons of Tommy via Patreon.com, sponsoring him on a monthly basis in return for exclusive written content.

Other top authors are also getting behind him, with many offering to donate fees from their speaking events to help ease his money worries during months of gruelling treatment and recovery.

“I thought the blog might be therapeutic for me, and something I could hopefully look back at a year or two down the line to remind me of what I’ve come through,” says Tommy. “So for it to have resonated with so many people, who’ve taken the time to contact me and send me well-wishes, is incredibly touching.”

To follow the ups and downs of Tommy’s battle with cancer visit www.tommyvcancer.com

You can read the original piece in situ here: Liverpool Echo

Now, I’m off to order a bottle of artificial saliva.  What do you reckon?  Lemon, or Mint?

Artificial saliva

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Like many children's authors, the large portion of Tommy's income comes from holding speaking events and writing workshops in schools - two things he is currently unable to do. It's not all doom and gloom, though. Tommy is still delivering great writing advice - and lots of other stuff, too - via Patreon. From just $1 (about 70p) per month, you can get access to this completely exclusive content AND help Tommy through this difficult time. Sign up now!  Just click on the button below for more details. Your inbox will thank you for it!

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3 Comments


    1. OK. The stuff feels like you’re spraying lemon scented snot into your mouth, and feels vile. But, I could speak more clearly after using it. Blog post on its way…

      Reply

  1. Will always be proud to be supporting you man! Also eeeeeeugh, still can’t believe there’s such a thing as artificial saliva. I’d probably go for mint, pretend it’s mouthwash!

    Reply

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