When I was diagnosed with breast cancer, I was confused and devastated. I remember visiting the library, pulling books about breast cancer off the shelf while thinking “I can’t believe I’m checking these books out…for me.” But those books were important – they helped me to know what was happening to me and what to expect regarding my treatment.
At the time, I was 53, an empty-nester, an author of children’s books and I had just completed my Masters Degree at UTSA. I had been planning to carefully consider the next steps on my career path, but the diagnosis brought that all to a halt. I only thought about getting rid of the cancer. I had two surgeries, radiation treatments and began a ten-year course of medication. Soon after, I began attending the Diva exercises classes at ThriveWell which offered a wonderful lifeline to good health and socialization when I needed it most.
An Interesting Twist of Events
Then an interesting coincidence happened. An editor at my publishing house (Albert Whitman & Co) told me they were seeking an author to write a book for children who were facing…cancer. I was surprised that they asked me – I had not told anyone at my publishing house that I had just beat cancer myself.
But I told my editor then, and told her I’d like to try to write the book. WHEN A KID LIKE ME FIGHTS CANCER was released by my publisher in partnership with the National Pediatric Cancer Foundation in 2019. The Lancet Children and Adolescent Health said the book “provides a way in which the entire family can speak about a cancer, together.”
A Resource for Children with Cancer
In 2019, I was invited to speak about the book at a cancer fundraiser – the San Antonio Express-News Book and Author Luncheon. Through the Tobin Endowment, a copy of the book was provided to every San Antonio library and every San Antonio school library.
I have since learned that some charitable organizations are sending the book to newly diagnosed children. I know that when I was diagnosed with cancer, I turned to books for information and encouragement. I am glad kids with cancer now have a book they can turn to, and I am proud to have been a part of its creation.
Diva Catherine Stier