Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – Human in Every Sense of the Word – A Sense of Pain by Robbie Cheadle

Welcome to the Sunday Interview- Human in every sense of the word.

As humans there are five main senses that we rely on to navigate through this world.  And there is one that we all possess but do not necessarily use all the time…

Sight, Hearing, Touch, Taste, Smell….Sixth Sense.

You can choose to write about one sense or all of them, including that elusive sixth sense we have clung on to from the early days of man. 

If you would like to participate then here are the details along with my take on senses:

This week my guest is Robbie Cheadle who with her son Michael has created a wonderful series of stories and cookbooks for children. In addition Robbie shows her versatility as a writer by publishing poetry, memoir based fiction and an upcoming YA paranormal novel in September.

Today Robbie shares every mother’s nightmare, when your child is diagnosed with a life-threatening disease and you have to put your trust and their lives in the hands of someone else.

A Sense of Pain by Robbie Cheadle

She pulled herself up, using the side of the large, shell-shaped bath as a lever. Water ran down her face from her soaked hair and her clammy and wet clothes clung to her body. Her little boy stared at her with round, scared eyes. She could imagine his thoughts: What are you doing, Mummy?

“I’m just going to quickly change my clothes, love.” Backing out of the bathroom, she dashed into her bedroom and stripped of her soggy jeans and sweatshirt. Her hands trembled as she pulled on dry pants and a long-sleeved top. It was summer so she shouldn’t be cold, but she was.

Heading back into the bathroom, she pulled his thick and fluffy towel from the rail and, lifting him out of the bath, wrapped him in its warm depths. She cuddled the child to her heart, fighting back the tears that threatened to spill from her eyes. If she started crying, she didn’t think she would be able to stop. She would descend into a hurting and traumatised animal.

Carrying him out of the bathroom, she stood him on the carpet in front of his cupboard and slipped his pyjamas onto his small, four-year old body. He looked so perfect with his mop of blonde curls, deep, blue eyes and sweet smile. Can there really be a tumour growing inside his stomach? Maybe it will be benign. We can’t know until they do the operation tomorrow. Tomorrow … such a long time to wait.

Holding out her hand towards him, she started moving towards the passage that led to the kitchen. He took it and followed her. Her mother, father and sister were gathered around the large, wooden table; all trying to give her support during this terrible time.

Plastering a smile onto her face, she stepped into the kitchen. The strong aroma of chicken curry reached her nostrils making her stomach clench into a tight and churning ball. There was no way she would be able to eat anything, the thought made her feel like vomiting. Her mother was worried about her. “You have to eat and keep your strength up. It won’t help him if you collapse.” She knew this was true but the knot of horror in her stomach was relentless and would not let more than a few mouthfuls of food into her body.

Dark purple smudges beneath her tired eyes told them that she wasn’t sleeping. Who could sleep at a time like this?

The paediatrician had phoned and asked her and her husband to come into her office. They had sat there together while she told them that Michael had a tumour in his stomach. It was the reason for the chronic stomach pain he was experiencing. She told them that she had arranged for their son to be admitted into hospital on Monday and for a special paediatric surgeon to remove the tumour and send it for biopsy. The paediatrician had delivered Michael. She had treated him through his many asthma induced illnesses. She offered them her blood if a transfusion was needed.

The weekend crawled passed. At 7.30 A.M. on Monday morning she unstrapped Michael from his car seat and led him into the hospital. Relief that the operation was imminent, mixed with anxiety and fear at the possible outcome. What will today bring?

The outcome: Michael was diagnosed with a non-malignant tumour which had wrapped itself around the main artery in his stomach. The paediatric surgeon was only able to remove half of the tumour as the risks of further removal were too high. Dr Loveland came out of theatre after the operation and told us that he thought the tumour was non-malignant. The biopsy result that came on Friday that week, confirmed his initial view.

©Robbie Cheadle 2019

A selection of books by Robbie Cheadle

One of the recent reviews for While the Bombs Fell

An interesting compilation of memories of a young girl during wartime in Britain. The author relays her mother, Elsie’s memoirs of what transpired in her day-to-day life growing up during WWll.

We see life through the eyes of Elsie who didn’t know what was going on around her with the war because of her young age. All she knew was she was cold and hungry and loved to have some sweets at Christmas time. She remembers the fun she had with her siblings and curling up in bed together on cold nights to keep warm. She remembers helping her mother make Christmas pudding and receiving a beautiful doll as a Christmas present.

Elsie lived on a farm with cows and chickens and other animals around. She was fortunate to have eggs and milk daily. Others were not as fortunate. She didn’t realize the hardships caused by war but she and her family adjusted and were resilient. Her father was a farmer who delivered milk daily while her mother kept the home clean and children fed and cared for even if they had very little to eat at times.

This story displays the tenacity, strength, courage and resourcefulness of this generation of people, known as the greatest generation of all times. We, today, could not do what these amazing people did to survive. We are too spoiled and cosseted in our ways and life styles. We can’t imagine a time where war came to our doorstep. Thank God for that.

A lovely story for young adults to read in order to learn about life during the toughest of times. The collection of recipes at the end of the book is a nice touch to further display what these truly courageous and resilient people had to use daily to survive.

Read all the reviews and buy the books:

And on Amazon UK:

Read more reviews and follow Robbie on Goodreads:

About Robbie Cheadle

Robbie, short for Roberta, is an author with five published children’s picture books in the Sir Chocolate books series for children aged 2 to 9 years old (co-authored with her son, Michael Cheadle), one published middle grade book in the Silly Willy series and one published preteen/young adult fictionalised biography about her mother’s life as a young girl growing up in an English town in Suffolk during World War II called While the Bombs Fell (co-authored with her mother, Elsie Hancy Eaton). All of Robbie’s children’s book are written under Robbie Cheadle and are published by TSL Publications. Robbie has recently branched into adult horror and supernatural writing and, in order to clearly differential her children’s books from her adult writing, these will be published under Roberta Eaton Cheadle. Robbie has two short stories in the horror/supernatural genre included in Dark Visions, a collection of 34 short stories by 27 different authors and edited by award winning author, Dan Alatorre. These short stories are published under Robbie Cheadle.

I have been drawn to the horror and supernatural genres of books all my life. At the age of ten years old I embarked on reading Stephen King’s books including The Shining and Salem’s Lot. These books scared me so much I had to put them aside by 6P.M. in the evening in order to get a good night’s sleep but they also fascinated me. I subsequently worked my way through all of Stephen King’s earlier books as well as those of Dean R. Koontz.

I have read a large number of classics, in particular, I enjoy Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales, Charles Dickens and the works of the Bronte sisters.

I am hugely interested in the history of the United Kingdom as well as the mythology and tales of the paranormal that are abundant on this intriguing European island.

Connect to Robbie Cheadle

Website/Blog Roberta Writes:

My thanks to Robbie for sharing what must have been a challenging and heartrending time for the family, thankfully with a positive outcome.

If you would like to participate then here are the details along with my take on senses: