3am, and all’s well…

Actually, no it’s not.  I can’t sleep because of the pain.


But then, someone did dig a hole through my skin and into one of my internal organs yesterday, so perhaps that’s not surprising.

Plus, it’s made me forget about the pain of the lump in my throat for a while.


I really must try to get some sleep.  I have to crack on with work again from tomorrow.  My editor for the new series has very kindly extended my deadline for the first draft of the first book by another week, which is a huge help.

Still, that means writing a couple of thousand words per day – every day – for the next ten days to meet that date.

It’s doable, but it will be tough.  I’m terrified they’ll decide to cancel the series and demand the advance back.  That’ll be me shafted if that happens.

I don’t like missing deadlines.  I always try to get my books in on time, or early if possible.  I just haven’t had the energy – or peace of mind – to sit at my desk for long periods of time lately.

I also have two reluctant readers shorts to write this weekend.  They will be books 93 and 94 in my catalogue.  Nearly at 100…

I’m allowed a day off when I hit 100 books. 😉


There’s just no way to sit with this thing that’s comfortable.  Although I did manage to flush it properly before bed.  And by ‘properly’, I mean without the horror movie special effects and the sound of me screaming like a four year old girl.

The specialist peg nurse (yes) said that the first 72 hours are crucial and that if anything goes wrong with the peg during that time I’m to call an ambulance or get to A&E immediately.

Maybe that’s another reason why I’m not sleeping.

I should have been visiting a primary school yesterday.  And, not just any primary school – the school where my cousin’s three daughters go.  I was really looking forward to it.

I had to cancel the visit, for obvious reasons.

I’ve had to cancel a lot of school visits.  Festival appearances, too.  Including my first invitation to appear at the Bath Children’s Literature Festival.  I’m hoping they’ll have me back.

Everyone has been incredibly understanding when I’ve explained that I’m having to cancel due to my health.  Well, almost everyone…

I received an email from a teacher saying that one of his pupils was devastated that I had cancelled my visit, and was now in constant tears.  He’d brought his entire collection of Scream Street books in for me to sign, and I hadn’t shown up.

In fact, when he’d told his class that I was wasn’t coming because I was unwell, they’d looked at him as if he’d “just shot a puppy”.

To be fair, he did offer his good wishes when I replied to explain just what kind of unwell I was.  And I emailed the boy a set of signed bookplates to say sorry.

I hate letting people down, but there’s nothing I can do.

I’d much rather not have cancer and be able to meet my readers.

I really can’t express just how wonderful everyone has been.  And helpful.  And caring.  And generous.  And loving.

And more.

Part of me thinks I really don’t deserve all that affection.  There are so many people with far more serious illnesses than me – you just don’t hear about them because they aren’t narcissistic enough to blog about every tiny detail.

But, I know that’s the depression again, lurking at the back of my mind.  I have to be careful not to let that bugger out of its cage.  It would have a field day with this peg situation.

Bloody peg.

I’ll be getting boxes of nutrient milkshakes delivered directly to my door every month.  In a range of flavours.

Yes, flavours.

Apparently you can drink them as well as stuff them down the tube.  Who knew?

Kirsty made a fantastic lasagne tonight.  It was really soft, so even I could eat it without too much throat pain.  Although when she served it up, Sam sat and scowled at it for a while before asking how I was going to get it through my peg.

I explained that not everything has to go down that way.  Well, not yet anyway.

We decided that if I did have to eat pasta that way, then it would have to be spaghetti, but the meatballs might prove to be a bit of a problem.

I’m really worried about Sam.  He’s still being very quiet, and not eating properly.  And he’s vomited once or twice over the past few days for no discernible reason.

He’s not coping very well with all this.

I didn’t know what his reaction would be when I showed him the peg.  So, we stopped at the hospital shop on the way out and picked him up a present – a teddy version of the baby hare from Sam McBratney’s amazing book, Guess How Much I Love You.

Guess How Much I Love You

He loved it.

Then I asked if he was ready to see the peg, claiming that this latest addition officially made me Dad 2.0

He looked at it for a second, then said, “Is that it?”

I don’t know what he was expecting.

But then, I know he’s very much like me.  He’ll build things up in his mind until they’re much bigger and far more terrifying than they could ever be in real life.

I hope he’ll be OK.

I mustn’t forget about Arran, either.  He may be big and tall and all teenagery now, but that doesn’t mean he isn’t also my son.  My little boy.  I still worry about him, too.

I just don’t think he’d appreciate a teddy bear.

He’s coping by not talking about my situation at all, and that’s fine by me.  So long as he knows that I’ll still be here if and when he changes his mind about that.

3.30am and all’s well.



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  1. Hi Tommy. My teenaged son said, “No offence, Mum, but when you’ve lost your hair, if you’re walking down to collect Lil from school and I see you coming on my way home from school, I’ll cross the road and pretend I don’t know you.” And my daughter said, “Don’t worry if your wig blows off in the wind Mum. People will think it’s just a little dog running down the road. And I’ll run and pick it up, so you won’t lose it.”

    Hang in there. We are all behind you. X


  2. Looking forward to seeing you at the Bath Kid’s Lit Festival in September 2017. I can’t believe you have never been invited before. Love the idea of spaghetti over meatballs. x


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