Wednesday 14 August 2013

Give Me...... Author Kerri Williams

Some might say I shouldn’t be alive today … I like to think that I’m exactly where I should be!

I’m a cancer survivor. A very lucky and thankful survivor.

I had to fight hard and go through more than most teenagers and I hope I reflected some of the emotion into Harper’s story. But firstly, let me tell you a little about my fight against Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma.

I was a typical teenager, 11 years old and just started high school and liking boys.

I loved running and, one day during a track run, my groin began to hurt. Nothing outrageously out of the norm for a runner who didn’t stretch well enough, and I put it down to a strain. I had a lingering cold, just like normal kids in the mountains, but what wasn’t normal was the lump in my groin. At eleven I didn’t know it shouldn’t be there. I thought it was just a gland, no biggy. I was very wrong.

I went on for weeks with this cold and antibiotics; I and my children have been through them just this winter. The only difference was, this wasn’t just a cold.

My last visit to the doctor, he was placing me on stronger drugs and asked if there was anything else bugging me and that’s when I said those three dreadful words…’My lump hurts.’

You can imagine the look between my mother and the doctor. From there it all happened quickly and was quite scary. I was rushed after hours for an Ultrasound and then straight to the Hospital. I didn’t even get to go home and grab Pajamas, a book or anything. The very next day I was shipped to Campbelltown Children’s Hospital for more tests. Four scans and loads of needles later lying in a cold, hard hospital bed I remember my dad coming into the room, his eyes bloodshot and he was crying. That’s when I learned I had two weeks to live.

You couldn’t get much crappier odds then that.

I cry now thinking of my dad. For my parents who had their own pain. As a mother now, it’s more heartbreaking then going through it myself.

I have no idea why, but they started me on aggressive Chemo anyway. Denial maybe, I don’t know. It doesn’t matter now either, because it saved my life.

I went through endless days of being sick, I would get sick as soon as I entered the hospital which was all in my head, but tell an 11 year old that. The smell for many years still made me sick. Scans, needles, drips, doctors and nurses. Day in, day out. That was my life and my monster. But you know what hurt me the most? Losing my hair.
Pfft. Sounds ridiculous, right? But imagine a teenage girl with long brown hair who attracted boys turning into a girl with no hair and was dying. Yeah, I had beat the clock, but essentially, that’s what I was … a dying girl fighting for a little bit of normal.
Needless to say, I beat that clock, beat it to pulp. I have had a couple of scares since, but I’m still kicking it strong and even showed all the specialist wrong by having two wonderful and gorgeous girls of my own after they swore I would not be able to have children. Although, hubby thinks he is Superman and, I let him.
He is another story all together, he is my Vaun. I met Michael when I was sixteen at a party and let’s just say; from then on we have been living out a dream. He didn’t care about odds, illness or my lack of child bearing capabilities, he wanted me. He loved me. And so, here I am, surrounded by love, disease free and using it all in a book for you to read. My fight against the monster and my survival with love is all there for you to read, mixed in with a great dash of fiction.
Since writing this I have found a beautiful boy who is fighting his own monster and his family need our help. So I’m donating 10% of the profits to Chase and his family for as long as it works. I have added his story after mine. Show him the love too.
I hope you enjoy my story and I look forward to hearing your feedback and reviews.

If you had one chance to be with your soul mate, would you fight for it?

Sometimes the hardest fight isn't finding love, sometimes its fighting against the ticking clock of your life.

Stalked by the shadow of a foreboding disease, seventeen year old, Harper Kennedy finds herself starting a new life in Albany Missourie. With a ticking time bomb, a wall of quotes, a shell of a father and a brother who has no one else, Harper tries to get life in order for those she may be leaving behind.

But fate is cruel when it delivers temptation in the form of Vaun Campbell into her life; Vaun who is kind and sweet and completely out of her league on so many levels. How can Harper find love only to have it ripped away so soon? How can she put Vaun, who has faced more than his own fair share of loss and grief in the past, through all that again?

…How can she not?

Vaun Campbell has been to hell and back again after losing his mother. He has seen the way disease destroys the ones he loves…has seen them fade before his eyes. He never thought he’d find someone to bring the sunshine back to his life until he laid eyes on Harper; the graceful girl he watched float across the dance floor, who stole a little piece of his heart forever.
So Harper must fight for more than just her life, she must fight for her little brother, her father and for Vaun; who promises her a future.
I want him to. I want it so bad I almost scream it. What I do is pop on my tip toes and shatter any remnants of a line I had drawn with a kiss to end all kisses.

My fingers drive into his hair and his into mine. His tongue sweeps across my lips and I let him in and, holy shit, I’m on fire. I have kissed before and never had this feeling. Vaun is constantly breaking my nevers and, at the rate we are going, I won’t have any left before I die.
And that one thought is the cold bucket of water I need and hate because I want to keep kissing this boy until he’s had enough of me. But I’m dying. While I’m kissing him, I’m dying. While I’m thinking about dying, I’m dying and that just isn’t fair on a boy who has already faced that kind of loss. I pull my mouth from his and sit on the edge of my bed with my hand over my mouth.

“Blue, don’t.” He squats on his knees in front of me, his hands on my hips and he’s looking at me with sad, brown eyes. I shake my head. I don’t want to see him. “Don’t deny us this. Whatever it is that you’re not ready to tell me, we’ll work through it with time. Just let us get through tonight and take each day at a time.”

But we don’t have the luxury of time. We have the ticking of a clock and an undeniable need for each other that’s so unfathomable and so unfair. I close my eyes, unable to look at him anymore. It hurts too much and I feel the waver.

“Harper, I have been carrying such a heavy load of life, I need this. I promise you that if there comes a time where you feel we can’t do this, then I will give it to you. No fight, no pleading. I will give you up if you want, but right now, give us tonight and we can take it one night at a time, one day, one hour, one minute … every second.”


Chase Michael Stooksbury was born 6/10/07.  He weighed 5 pounds 10 oz.  He was 7 weeks premature and was transferred to Children's Mercy Hospital where he was on a ventilator for his first 5 days of his life.   His mom was finally able to hold him on day 5.   He was able to come home on day 10.

He was a happy, healthy, active little boy despite being a bit small for his age.  At age 2, Chase and his older brothers both caught H1N1 flu.  Jeffery and Trey were better in 2 weeks.  Chase was still battling high fevers.  One Saturday in November, Chase woke up unable to walk well and still had a high fever.  After a little fluids, TLC and some rest he was doing ok.  The next day, he was unable to at all.   He was taken to the local (small town) hospital and treated for pneumonia.  After 3 days, Chase had gotten worse.   His physician, Dr. Angelia Martin, ran more tests.   So Chase's mom, Tera and her friend Miranda Floyd waited.  The tests had a couple of possible diagnoses:   rheumatoid arthritis or leukemia.  He was admitted to the small hospital while Dr. Martin consulted colleagues at Children's Mercy hospital.   He was soon transferred to Children's Mercy for more tests.

The tests found a mass on his adrenal gland, spinal column,  and billions of micro tumors engulfed his tiny little body.   The diagnosis was neuroblastoma.   Neuroblastoma is a rare disease in which a solid tumor (a lump or mass caused by uncontrolled or abnormal cell growth) is formed by special nerve cells called neuroblasts. Normally, these immature cells grow and mature into functioning nerve cells. But in neuroblastoma, they become cancer cells instead.

In comes Dr. Allen Gamis and his nurse Joy Bartholomew.   They would see him through his chemotherapy regimen.

In the next few months Chase underwent stem cell harvest and transplant, chemotherapy, GCSF injections, radiation, surgery.   These prompted many trips to Kansas City from Albany, MO via ambulance.

On Mother's Day 2010, Tera got the best mother's day present:   He was FREE of disease.  In February 2011, Chase was considered in remission.

He led a healthy and active life until May 15, 2013 when he began having problems walking again.  (This literally happened over night!)  He was diagnosed with stage 4 relapse Neuroblastoma with a mass on his spine and in his bone marrow.   He was started on chemotherapy immediately.   He was on one particular regimen for 2 months.  When further tests were done it was determined that his cancer was not responding to the chemotherapy.  He has started a new chemo regimen and will have tests again in 2 months to determine the response.
It’s not hard to see why I have fallen for this little boy and need to shares some earnings from this novel for his cause.
Please tell your friends and hug your children. Some families aren’t as lucky as mine or hopefully Chase’s





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