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Purple Andrew Interviews Mandy Brown, author of Nipples to Kneecaps - to die or not to die with canc

Nipples to Kneecaps. To die or not to die with cancer. A welcome to Mandy Brown who joins me today to talk about her new book.

Today on my purpleandrew blog I am delighted to be interviewing Mandy Brown about her new book, “Nipples to Kneecaps, to die or not to die with cancer.” This truly inspirational books tells the story of her husband Steve’s diagnosis with terminal cancer 30 years ago and how together, they beat the odds.

Question 1. Tell me a bit about you.

I love the sea, painting, singing, the colour purple and having family and friends visiting from UK and abroad! Steve and I have three grown up children. One who will do anything for a Beano annual (he is deafblind and autistic): one who organises and loves LARP and one who is an amazing dog trainer! After being qualified as a teacher (1984), I worked as a teacher of the deaf, an intervenor (for deafblind), a special needs teacher and became a fully qualified BSL sign language interpreter (1995). To further my understanding of the body and mind I studied psychology, nutrition, iridology, herbalism, Swedish massage and epigenetics.

Question 2. What made you first go to the doctor when Steve became ill?

Steve collapsed in great pain several times. Each time he was rushed to hospital or doctors. The doctors simply did not even consider cancer being the cause until it was too late.

Question 3. During that time of Steve’s limited life expectancy, those 3 months, what was the one thing that made you not give up?

Belief he would not die and Steve and I were in this 100% together.

Question 4. Did you ever see the consultant again after Steve was healed and if so, what did he say or account for Steve’s new-found health?

Yes, still said it was a miracle and, “Whatever you are doing, just keep doing it.”

Question 5. How did you manage your family life during those three months, or however long it was before Steve became well?

Just got on with it. Tried to do ‘usual things’ and routine like playing squash, playing piano, having friends visit and attempted to make cancer related things like hospital visits, repacking wounds, vomiting the new norm and often joked about them. The only thing I could not do is go to work. We involved Alex and my parents in routine of sick bowls, physio, meditations, healing sessions etc.

Question 6. Your beliefs or faith is strong. Would you say that was a factor in helping Steve’s recovery?

You have to remember as a family we did not have a strong ’belief’ or ‘faith’ as such in the beginning. Yes, I had my inner unfaltering belief (which took root the night before it was confirmed he had terminal cancer) that Steve could beat this and yes it was a major factor in helping Steve’s recovery.

Question 7. It is a wonderful story, what made you want to share it now?

Over the years, we have (as a family) shared Steve’s story and, I believe, given hope and inspiration to all those who have heard it. However, I waited thirty years to publish Nipples to Kneecaps for the following three reasons. 1. Steve had three seemingly impossible goals to fulfil, which all involved a time factor – he has now achieved them. 2. Some people with cancer go into remission only to have it reappear five, seven, or even twelve years later. I wanted to make sure that Steve wasn’t in ‘remission’ but cured. I think a thirty-year run is long enough, don’t you? 3. Last year, Steve finally chose to watch a film about cancer. Up until then he would always turn off any programmes related to hospitals, cancer wards or cancer patients.

Question 8. What would you say to others who may be in a similar situation at the moment.

It is your individual journey to embrace. However, please read Steve’s story and take from it what you think will help you on that journey. Don’t accept a doctor’s opinion that you have x months to live. if you feel that you can fight, want to fight and something inside you knows it’s not your time…then fight, ask for a second opinion, a third opinion even and start taking back control over your own body. You should decide what happens to it. You decide what and when things happen on your journey. Don’t be afraid to question, refuse and lay out what you feel is best for you. Remember Steve’s story and use that to give you strength.

Question 9. Why “Nipples to Kneecaps?” It seems an odd choice for an inspirational story?

You will have to read the book to find that out.

Question 10. Tell me about your writing, what else have you/are you writing?

I have written two short stories for competitions: ‘Skate For Love’ (Romance) and ‘Apple Cake From The Grave’ (Paranormal), both were selected for publication. This gave me the confidence that someone out there liked my writing style. I have written lots of short children’s stories over the years for my students and my own children. I am now publishing some of them such as ‘Bonegirl’, a supernatural shamanic mystery for children suitable for 9- 10 age range. ‘Bonegirl’ is on pre order in Amazon. The next ones in line are ‘Chicken Spots’, ‘Spotty Nose Eleven’, ‘Magic Herbs’ (fantasy series). I also want to polish up and get my other books out there: ‘He’ll Never Talk’ (a true, inspirational story about our deaf blind son) and ‘The Devil’s Daughter’ (adult paranormal romance) and many more… Yet to be written: Book 2 of the Bonegirl series. Ever since I wrote and put on my first play in Junior School – a puppet version of Beauty & the Beast, I have continued in my passion for writing. However, only now am I finally putting my stories into print! I do have a list of books ready to polish and write.

Question 11. How can people get the book and where can they find you/contact you?

Buy Direct Amazon

My website and blog: Nipples to Kneecaps (Can subscribe for new releases info)

Facebook Page: Nipples to Kneecaps – to die or not to die with cancer Twitter:

Thank you Mandy for a wonderful insight into your story. A truly inspirational account of a family pulling together through the toughest of circumstances.

Andrew Marsh

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