Monday, September 9, 2013

Cancer Bad. Books Good. Five Dollar Friday - Monday Edition

Catherine, friend and writer of Bumpyboobs, needs our help. I know. I usually do these on Fridays because Friday is pay day and people are more willing to give money when they just got paid. And now it's Monday. And you just got done with a big weekend, and maybe you went out to breakfast and got Chicken Fried Steak and Eggs, because Chicken Fried Steak and Eggs are delicious! And maybe because you spent those extra bucks this weekend, you might not be as able to chip in a couple bucks to help out a stranger. If that's the case, no worries. I still love you as much as I love Chicken Fried Steak and Eggs, maybe more. BUT on the off chance that you have an extra five bucks to spare, I think it would be super cool if we could help Catherine achieve her dream of self publishing a novel she has written.

Catherine and her husband really want children. Recently she found out that her breast cancer has returned and having a child is not an option for now. I can't even imagine how devastating that news would be, for her or for her husband. And yet, she is taking the lemons and making a book - out of lemons. OK, there are no lemons, just tumors. Shit. Cancer sucks. 

Catherine and her husband
Catherine and her husband

Here is her story in her own words: 

About three years ago in June of 2010 I was diagnosed with breast cancer. My husband and I had been married for a year, and I was about to turn 28. We were living away from home, and this was 100% unexpected. No one in my family has had cancer, except a great uncle on my mom's side. Anyhow, what followed was about 1 year of pushing very hard. There was a surgery to remove the breast, chemotherapy for five months, radiotherapy, hormone therapy and then eventual relocation back to Canada. (We'd been in the UK while my husband finished his studies.)
One good thing that came from that experience was the blogging. My blog, Bumpyboobs, gave me confidence to tell people I was a writer. And after returning to Canada, I began to write professionally as a copywriter/ghost blogger (along with my own blogging). And during this entire time I was working on a novel. (also, I have a MA in Creative Writing . . . just to say that I enjoy writing!) The novel began several months before the initial diagnosis. I had wanted to get pregnant, and writing the story of the Claires was going to get me ready for that. When the cancer came, baby dreams were put on hold. As the treatments ended, I returned to the book and saw it in a new way - it wasn't just about babies anymore, it was about finding strength within ourselves and going on incredible adventures. It was about connection, and passing on stories. 
Jump ahead to this summer, 2013. Again I wanted to get pregnant. My oncologist insisted on my having some in depth scans before I went off my Tamoxifen (hormone therapy to help suppress any lingering cancer cells). We went into the follow-up appointment of those scans thinking we'd get the all clear - instead my doctor told us (my husband and I) that there were spots on my lungs. Many more scans, tests and biopsies later and I've been diagnosed with stage 4 metastatic cancer. 
It's scary. It's life threatening. But many things are!
Anyhow. This is what I believe: if breast cancer made me a writer, than recurrence is going to make me a novelist. It's been a big dream for me for quite some time, and I never had to courage to self-publish. Getting this 'life-is-officially-short' news has made me stop waiting for agents and publishers to pick up my manuscript. I want my book to get into people's hands. I want people to meet the Claires. SO that's where the Kickstarter comes in. Basically, I'm making a very big dream happen. 

Beautiful. Awesome. I'm in and I hope you are too. Catherine is going to take this really shitty and partially uncontrollable situation she is in, use it to create something, and put it out into the world. Kids may not be in the cards for the moment, but she is still creating something beautiful. Let's help her. 

Click here or the picture below to donate, and don't forget to share this post. If you don't have the money, sharing helps just AS MUCH. 

Love, Dad (John)

1 comment:

  1. Thank you so much, John! It's incredible of you to share this story with everyone. The baby part is heavy stuff - but yeah, for the time being at least I can create this book :)

    Now, I need to go make some Chicken Fried Steak and Eggs, 'cause I just got hungry reading your intro!