James' novel idea to help other patients

Tuesday, 7 July 2015

A local author is using his own experience of cancer to help other patients and to raise funds for Friends of the Cancer Centre.


James Napier has written a novel called Trouble at the Waterworks, which he hopes will offer men in a similar position a source of honest information on what they might expect from their own cancer journey.  James, a former school Vice-Principal who now writes science textbooks for teachers and students, was diagnosed with prostate cancer in December 2013 and started undergoing treatment at the Cancer Centre at Belfast City Hospital.   Shortly after completing his radiotherapy treatment in 2014, James decided to put his writing skills to good use by penning a novel to help other men.  The book follows the story of ‘Jack’ as he is diagnosed with prostate cancer and follows his journey from diagnosis to treatment at the Cancer Centre. 


Commenting on what inspired him to write the book, James said:


“When I was diagnosed with prostate cancer I realised that while there was lots of information available on what prostate cancer is, what treatment is available and what side-effects you can expect, there wasn’t really anything that gave an honest insight into the journey as a whole from someone who has experienced it.  While the book is fiction, it offers a more personal account of how it feels to be diagnosed with cancer and more detailed information on what it’s like to undergo treatment, including some aspects that are not often talked about.  It also touches upon how a cancer diagnosis affects those closest to you and the difficulties that come with being a constant source of support and encouragement, despite what they may feel on the inside.


"The book also highlights the great work being carried out at the Cancer Centre at Belfast City Hospital and the wonderful staff who play a huge role in every patient’s journey.  We’re very lucky to have some of the best doctors, radiotherapists and nurses in Belfast and without them my own personal story would have been very different.  While I didn’t look forward to coming for treatment, they made the whole experience as easy as possible and that made a big difference to my overall experience as a patient.  That’s one of the reasons why I’ve chosen to donate the proceeds from the book to Friends of the Cancer Centre, as the charity works hard to support patients and staff in the hospital.”


In a fitting tribute, the proceeds from James’ book are generously being donated to Friends of the Cancer Centre. 


Colleen Shaw, chief executive of Friends of the Cancer Centre, said:


“We’re delighted that James has chosen to support Friends of the Cancer Centre through his book and having read it myself, I know it will be a great source of information for men who find themselves coming through the doors of the Cancer Centre not quite knowing what to expect.  It’s also fantastic to see someone use their own experiences and their own personal skills to help others.”


Trouble at the Waterworks cost £10 and available to buy here.

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