"Hi all. After my last very optimistic post I'm afraid things have not gone well. A couple of days ago we found that despite the good response to chemo several tumours have reappeared along with some new ones. Also my blood count has not recovered since the last lot of chemo. The result is that the docs are saying that there are no further treatment options that they can offer other than trying to keep me comfortable. Obviously this was a real shock to the system but we are getting our heads around it and we still hold on for a miracle. We'd really appreciate your prayers both for me but also for Esther and the kids. We know that God is always good, that he always does the right thing according to His sovereign will and so we continue to trust Him whatever the outcome.
I'm being transferred to the local hospice tomorrow where it will a lot better for visiting for the kids and there is outside space etc.
Thanks for all you love and support.
The feeling of deja vu is so strong at the moment that I have to keep reminding myself that I am not just remembering past events, or rereading a book or watching a movie that I’ve already seen. I’m not sure if going through all of this for a second time makes it feel more or less real. It’s just so weird.
Richard’s decline - the loss of his legs, his shaky hand movements, the various medications he’s on, and the daily care plan that involves hoists, wheelchairs and blood transfusions - is so like Scooby’s, that it is eerie. Thankfully, he has chosen the same positive outlook, patience with his circumstances, quiet determination to try and recover use of his body, and vocal appreciation to all the staff for their hard work. Those two are more alike than I realised.
There are other elements that are the same too, and as true now as when I wrote them two years ago, so I’m linking the posts rather than repeating myself. First, there’s the season of pre-grief, where we’ve been told, after so much effort on the part of all the medical departments involved, that there is no more hope and the fast-acting disease will now just run its course while they make him as comfortable as possible. What I learnt from our experience with Scooby was that while it’s important to allow that to become a reality to you, there is no actual preparation for losing somebody you love. No matter how much time you have to get used to it, it only becomes a proper reality in your subconscious about a month after they’ve actually gone. So although I am permanently feeling sick at the moment, and have times where I can’t talk because I’m crying too much, I am also embracing the times when I feel normal, and making the most of them. We have discussed the future and made sure of important practical details, but I am reminding myself over and over that right now, he is here. I can’t allow myself to keep thinking about a time when he won’t be (how can you imagine someone you’ve known all your adult life, who you’ve had your greatest adventures with, and who has been part of every grown-up decision you’ve ever made, not being with you anyway?) because then I won’t be able to function, and while he’s here, I am embracing that and enjoying being with him.
Then there is the element that tells me that while he’s still here, there is still the possibility of a miracle. Where there is still life, there is still hope, and no matter what has happened before, we still believe in the power of God to turn any situation around. So we keep fiercely praying and asking, knowing that it’s totally up to God for Him to decide, and that this thing ain’t over till it’s over.
And finally, my favourite: victory. Whatever happens, there will be cause for rejoicing. We want more years on this earth for Richard, but we know that the thing we fear the most is actually the best adventure of all - to be with God face to face, like we were created to be. In the middle of the heartache, I just keep smiling, knowing that no matter what happens to our family, it still can’t separate us from God. There’s actually nothing in the enemy’s arsenal that can do that. We've seen what God can accomplish in the worst of circumstances, and so I keep standing firm, ready to weather the next challenge and waiting to see what He'll do this time.