Hi, I’m Pippa Jay, author of scifi and the supernatural with a romantic soul. For last year’s Scream! For the Cure I talked about losing my mum to cancer when I was nineteen and she was just 43. I say ‘just’ because that was the year I turned 43 myself, with so much I still wanted to do and my children not yet teenagers. Not that I’m superstitious, but this is the first time I’ve been glad to be another year older. I’m 44. I’ve had a year longer than my mum got.
But sadly cancer has affected my family more than once. At the start of 2002, my husband and I were delighted to inform his parents that we were soon to make them grandparents for the first time.
It seemed the happiest day of our lives. But my father in law was already showing symptoms that said all was not well. It progressed from growing indigestion that became more persistent, to trouble swallowing, eating, and keeping food down. Never one wanting to be a bother, his few visits to the doctor resulted in various indigestion remedies that didn’t help until he reached the stage of barely being able to eat at all and a call for an ambulance in the middle of the night.
Only then was he taken seriously. But it was already too late. His stomach cancer – left undiagnosed over those few months by his GP – had reached an untreatable stage. All that could be done was to make him as comfortable as possible in a local hospice. A few days later he passed away, and it wasn’t peaceful or pleasant.
It’s the first time I’ve actually watched someone die. Their pain. Their last words. Seen the light go out in their eyes and their body go still. I wouldn’t even wish watching a loved one die on my worst enemy.
His last wish was to live to see his first grandchild. He didn’t make it. He died three months before my daughter’s arrival, early as she was. All because a doctor was too busy to take a minute to really listen to his patient and do a few tests. The lack of value placed upon a human life is just horrifying.
So this is why I’ve supported Scream! For the Cure, and why I will continue to do so. For those whom might lose that battle, I’d love to see them have some happiness during their darkest hours.
After spending twelve years working as an Analytical Chemist in a Metals and Minerals laboratory, Pippa Jay is now a stay-at-home mum who writes scifi and the supernatural. Somewhere along the way a touch of romance crept into her work and refused to leave. In between torturing her plethora of characters, she spends the odd free moment playing guitar very badly, punishing herself with freestyle street dance, and studying the Dark Side of the Force. Although happily settled in the historical town of Colchester in the UK with her husband of 22 years and three little monsters, she continues to roam the rest of the Universe in her head.
Pippa Jay is a dedicated member of the Science Fiction Romance Brigade, Broad Universe, and EPIC, blogging at Spacefreighters Lounge, Adventures in Scifi, and Romancing the Genres. Her works include YA and adult stories crossing a multitude of subgenres from scifi to the paranormal, often with romance, and she’s one of eight authors included in a science fiction romance anthology—Tales from the SFR Brigade. She’s also a double SFR Galaxy Award winner, been a finalist in the Heart of Denver RWA Aspen Gold Contest (3rd place), the 2015 EPIC eBook awards, the 2015 LERA Rebecca, and the GCC RWA Silken Sands Star Awards (2nd place).