Greetings, my darlings,
In January this year, my beloved H was diagnosed with bowel cancer.
Before I go any further I want to offer this PSA “Check your poop!” If you have any change in your poop habits, no matter how small, go to your doctor.
H’s cancer was found during routine health screening, which means it was caught early at T1/2 and was curable. And so began the roller-coaster ride to wellness. As luck would have it our consultant decided on a second opinion to see if H might be a good candidate for a new radiotherapy trial. And so we met Prof Hill at Manchester Royal Infirmary. After many tests and scans too numerous to mention, H was invited on the trail. It was random with a choice of three treatments, two radiotherapy and one surgical, and a computer chose the treatment. H was chosen for a radiotherapy treatment. It was gruelling, but he pretty much sailed through it.
The only blip was his refusal to ‘lie down’ to fatigue and take it easy. Words were exchanged between us and he received the message – suck it up and rest and let your body heal because no amount of forcing it or wearing grumpy cat face will work. The more you rest, the faster you heal. Next up, fourteen weeks later, was a look-see by Prof Hill to see if the tumour had shrunk. And yes, it had indeed. Six weeks later, microsurgery to remove a tiny piece of calcification. Microsurgery involved stretching certain muscles in the back passage that do not like to be stretched. (I’ll leave it to your imagination which muscle I’m referring to…. Ouch!). And of course, the muscle needs to heal. That’s taken a couple of months, but he’s almost back to his old self again (although more words have been exchanged about taking it easy and grumpy cat face).
Meanwhile, I’ve been working on my writing project that had taken a back seat during this time. When a loved one is ill, that loved one must be the number one focus for his/her family to support them through the emotional grenade cancer tosses into the middle of our lives.
It’s a test of endurance at times.
It’s also an opportunity to reconnect with love and intimacy and gratitude for the amazing life we’ve had together. We’d do it all over again in a heartbeat, and change nothing of the good and the bad and the tragic. All the words have been said as well.
And so we come to my writing news. I’m utterly thrilled to announce a new Ludlow Hall Romance, GREGORIO’S BRIDE, is about to be released on pre-order with a release date for Friday 4th October right across all global distributors. YAY!
It’s a big beast of a story that was challenging at times and one that simply would not let me go. My editorial team said, “Don’t you dare cut this, Christine.” All y’all will need wine and chocolate and Kleenex, but it has a happy ending of course! The Ferranti family play a major part, as does Miz Sophia (man, that girl will rule the world one day), and that’s all I’m saying.
When I post next time it will be with the cover reveal, blurb and pre-order links as well. I’m hoping a few days, but we never know when distributors will move fast or slow.
I’m also working on the last of the Ludlow Nights series, OUR RULES. First draft is finished and I’m hammering out the second. As ever the characters are challenging me and kicking my ass. But after twenty-seven books I’m used to it! She says!
Love and hugs,