Jo Kearns has breast cancer.
While juggling her job, her boyfriend and the cancer, she discovers that her home has been invaded by Tracey, her tumour in insidious human form.
Jo’s diary tells the story of her battle to evict the malignant Tracey from her house and the disease from her body.
Based on Estelle Maher’s own cancer journey, this book is at times hilarious, at times poignant, but always unflinchingly honest and inspiring.
He didn’t mean to pry. He very rarely went through her drawers. He was simply looking for a
pair of scissors. He wanted to cut the label off the new shirt he had bought for tomorrow. When
he thought of the following day, his nerves gripped him, sometimes rooting him to the spot. He
had to do it, though. He wanted to do it. He had to be there for her, for his Jo.
He didn’t find the scissors in the drawer—in her drawer. He found her sleeping tablets, her
lavender pillow spray and a peach-coloured notebook with a gold J adorning the cover. He didn’t
deliberate much. Maybe it was the glint of the initial, but like a magpie, he reached for the small
yet surprisingly weighty book.
As he sat on her side of the bed, a faint waft of her Jo Malone perfume laced with her pillow
spray caressed his nostrils and brought him comfort. It was some time before he questioned
whether he should be reading her diary. On every page were her hidden thoughts, her deepest
feelings, the rockface of positivity that she clung to every day and above all else, her constant
and familiar humour.
She had never told him she kept a diary. She had never told him lots of the things each page
revealed to him. He questioned why she never said more—why she felt she had to be strong all
the time. Whether he did enough for her.
It was hours later when he finished. It was hours later when he realised just how much she had
been through. It was hours later when he cried for her. He thought about what she would say if
she could see him crying. She’d tell him off, swear at him, then call him a name to make him
laugh. Because that’s how she coped—by making herself laugh and wanting others to join in.
Cancer invaded so much, but she never allowed it to possess her humour
Thank you, Estelle Maher and Love Books Group
About the author
Estelle Maher was born in the heart of Liverpool, England. After spending her teens in rural Dorset, she returned to the North of England and now resides in Wirral with her husband, 2 children and 3 dogs.
Her career has been varied. But in her spare time, she’s quite at home with a paintbrush upcycling furniture. She also writes a blog in her spare time, The Secret Diary of a Middle-Aged Woman, a humorous snapshot of random thoughts.
Estelle has been writing on and off for a number of years and writing the blog was her first step in writing for an audience that was wider than her and her husband.
Her debut novel, Grace & The Ghost, won a Best Spiritual Fiction Award 2018 and her spin-off Angel’s Rebellion also became an Amazon bestseller. Her third novel, The Killing of Tracey Titmass, is based on her own cancer journey. Told in diary form, it offers an alternative way of accepting cancer.
Estelle is now in recovery and still smiles every day.