I’ve done a couple of events this week to launch my book. The first was for the Ealing Eagles in the New Inn on Tuesday. Godfrey Rust, aka Bald Eagle, compered the evening; he was the reason why I joined the Eagles in the first place. I invited Louise Breckon-Richards to take part after seeing her play ‘Can you hear me running?’ about her experience of losing her voice and doing the London Marathon to help her cope, and it was brilliant to hear the section of the play where’s she running the marathon. Writer Jo Harper came along too. (Pictures below)
Then last night I did an event at the Maggie’s Centre at Charing Cross Hospital. I used to leave a bag of clothes there the day before chemo when I went to see the oncologist, and would then get changed there after running to the hospital. I ate lunch in the courtyard and breathed deeply before going in to have treatment, so it was lovely to go back there with the book. It was wonderful to see so many people at both these events, many of whom are part of the story, almost like seeing the book come to life!
Cancer didn’t just happen to me; it happened to my family and friends too. I asked Harry if he would write a poem about his perspective, and he wrote several which made us laugh and cry at both events. This is my favourite, which came from him noticing that at the heart of the word chemotherapy is the word mother:
There is a mother in the middle of chemotherapy.
Sitting at the end of reason is a son.
But there’s a treat at the beginning of each treatment,
Cutting through the brunt of everything – a run.