NEVER GOODBYE (An Albany Boys Novel)

 

NEVER GOODBYE

An Albany Boys Novel

 

By

 

Kerri Williams

 

 

 

 

 

An Albany Boys Novel- Never Goodbye

Copyright © Kerri Williams, 2012

First published 2013

Published by Kerri Williams, Johns River Rd, Johns River, NSW, 2443, Australia

Email: [email protected]

URL: http://kerriwilliams-author.com

All rights reserved. Without limiting the rights under copyright reserved above, no part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in or introduced into a database and retrieval system or transmitted in any form or any means (electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise) without the prior written permission of both the owner. This novel is subject Australian copyright Act 1968.

This is a work of fiction. All characters, names, some towns and events are products of the author’s imagination or have been used fictitiously. Any resemblance to the above is entirely coincidental. Songs, quotes, brands used within this novel are for entertainment.

Never Goodbye is edited (spelling) in English-American.

 

 

Cover art by

Once Upon a Time Covers

Edited by

Emily Dawson

SCTW Editing

 

Dedication

For Chase, Albany’s little warrior.

 

Acknowledgements

Wendy Neuman Wilken, thanks to you Albany is in my heart forever. Without you,

Never Goodbye wouldn’t be my most loved piece.

I love you, Wonder Woman.

 

Shelly Pratt,
Master
, thank you for your endless help, cursing and advice for which I would be

ass-up without.

Grasshopper is ready to graduate.

 

Emily Dawson, you are a genius!

 

A mammoth thank you to my awesome family who put up with me and my laptop, Toby, every day.

I love you more than my fictional family.

I promise!

 

A special thank you to Mick, for knowing we were meant to be from the first moment you saw me and being too stubborn to give me up.

I love you more! 

 

 

A personal note to the reader:

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.

Love,

Kez

 

Chase

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

***

 

1

Pass

 

Harper

‘All changes, even the most longed for, have their melancholy; for what we leave behind us is a part of ourselves; we must die to one life before we can enter another’.

Anatole France

 

Some people can handle change like second nature and some take it like a girl scout thrown into a UFC cage. Me, I’m one of those girl scouts and now I’m taking a beating to the face, the arms, legs, chest … ah hell why not admit it … I’m out for the count. Well, I’ve had enough of change. Enough.

I scoff at how idiotic those words are in my own mind because who am I really kidding? Change is all I have left in my life — my short, not-so-filled life.

***

I have exactly forty-three minutes before my cousin will barge in and squeal like a banshee over my lack of style. Don’t get me wrong, I have style, just not the same as hers. It’s a pool party for God’s sake, but I know she’ll still have a go at me. I know her better than most of my old friends—which is completely insane since I’ve only known April for a week. Nonetheless, I’ve come to realize there are some people in life you know from the moment of your first conversation and April is one of them.

That’s why as I look at myself as I stand in my new room which is void of all my personality, she’ll make me lose the skirt. I cling to the boho skirt and eye the blue bikini top with my hair falling in gold waves over my shoulders, knowing it’s better to just change now.

Just as I hook my thumbs in the waistband my door bursts open to reveal the model-like April in a very skimpy bikini. She stands in the doorway and eyeballs me like a cat-scan, starting with my hair, down to my pink toenails, and back again. She’s early.

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