Deja Vu

(from Richard's status on Friday)

"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.


  1. Sending you love, Esther. So much love to you and Richard and your beautiful, strong, amazing family. Faced with so much to bear, your lucidity and faith are inspirational. Helen BM

  2. Oh Esther.xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

  3. Always in my prayers. You're such an inspiration, both in spirit and as a person x

  4. Darling girl! Sending you love and holding you all in prayer!

  5. I have been searching for the 'right' words whilst all the time realising there are no RIGHT words. I dont understand any of this - life is very, very unfair. Always here if you need me. Always. Much love to you and yours, Shabbs xxxxx

  6. Reading Heaven is for Real was a great comfort to me in my grief when my brother passed away leaving his wife and children. It helps to visualise where he was with Jesus and that I will one day be there too xx Sending love

  7. No sure what to say, except that have not stopped praying for you all and will continue to do so. Your blog has been such an inspiration to me over the years and I could connect with your feelings because we lost our son to cancer as well, but this, this is beyond words. Remember when you can't hold yourself up, that there are other people holding you up with their prayers. Much love to you all, Kirsten x

  8. You are an amazing woman Esther Scholes - huge thank you for your honesty today - you inspire and you remind us of what is truly precious in this life on earth. Bless you Esther and know we are praying - we don't know you guys but we are praying and asking for a miracle and asking others to pray also. xx

  9. Oh Esther, I'm can't begin to imagine the pain and anguish you and your family are going through. You are an amazing woman who has inspired me to find my faith once again. I hope and pray for a miracle. Michelle

  10. I don't know what to say Esther and I am chocking and crying as I read but you are very much in our prayers and mentioned at every prayer meeting at MCC - we are still praying for that Miracle, and I keep telling God we need Richard in Morecambe - bless you Esther and big massive hugs to you and each one of your lovely children. May you experiences God's peace and strength and loving touch in a supernatural way xx

  11. Dearest Esther, thinking and thinking of you all, how are your beautiful children coping? I wish with all my heart I could wave a magic wand over you all, take away your fears and pain. Keep strong lovely lady..... Anne Peace (Triplets)

  12. Dear Esther, so sorry to read this and feel your pain throughout. There are no words. Here at renewal in Solihull we are all praying for you Rich and the family. Rich is so brave and your courage is an inspiration. The hope within us is what we must cling to in these darkest of times. Much love and blessings to all of you. Ruby, church reception.

  13. Dear Esther,
    I have been following your blog for some time.
    I'm a minister in Preston at All Saints Church.
    I - and we as a church - are very, very sad about your latest news.
    I don't know what to say. But I want to know that we are reading and we care.
    We are praying for you all.
    You are trophies of grace, and an inspiration to me, even though I can't imagine what you are going through right now.
    We believe that our God is able to bring goodness even out of tragedy like this, and that he holds you and the kids in his hands.
    If there is anything that we at All Saints can do to help you - practically or otherwise - please get in touch.
    Jesus will never leave your side - not at any point today or in the days to come - and he suffered for us to bring us to God. In him there is always hope.
    Love in Him
    Martin Ayers

  14. Dear Esther. The Church family at Kings Church Frodsham continue to uphold Richard, yourself and the children in prayer to our sovereign, compassion Lord. We continue to pray for Richard's healing but also for the peace that passes all understanding for you all. With our love in the Lord.

  15. Ester, I really cannot put into words my sadness at this news. When Shabbs told us all, my heart went out to you. You are all in my thoughts and prayers. Gill G (Bubby64)


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