Thank you all for your prayers. It is truly humbling to know people across the world, many whom we have never met or know of, are praying for us. Thank you so much. Last week saw Linda have a blood transfusion, and as a result she is a bit perkier. The chemo has helped as well, and so we are trying to make the most of a rest in this before resuming again next week – the medical emphasis now seems to be emphasising quality of live more than anything else.

Cancer Research say that more than one in three of us will get some form of cancer at some point in our lives. The thing is, you never think it will be you.

When Linda was diagnosed in 2002 with a grade 3 aggressive breast cancer, that’s what we thought. Linda was expecting our 4th child at the time, and had been told in the August by our GP that as she was too young to have cancer it was probably just a cyst. Imagine our shock when she was finally seen by the hospital 4 months later, 10 days before Christmas and we were told something different. And so the emotional rollercoaster began. 

I’ve talked before about how God stepped in but what lessons have I learnt? Is it possible to cope? I think sometimes people are waiting for me to fall apart as if coping were not possible! Linda and I took a vital decision together right at the beginning that helps us cope; we agreed to take the decisions of faith and leave the medical decisions to the doctors. The release that this brought has been incredible, as we have discovered that although doctors want the best for you, treatment is more often cause and effect than a scientific certainty. Having released this, we do not have to chase after every medical wind that blows to find hope, especially when they admit that they cannot cure her cancer.

I believe that mankind was never meant to do life on its own, and placing our hope in God has brought a peace in the middle of the storm that is tangible. I never understood Psalm 23 before –

“Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil. Your rod and your staff they comfort me.”

When we read the Bible, do we actually believe what is written? Is it true, or just nice homilies that get trotted out by someone on a Sunday? Can it really transform your life? I’m just an ordinary bloke who said OK to God. I never knew that I’d face this. Yet as I’ve said before, “If God is who he says he is, then I can stand.” I don’t know how you cope with the storms that life throws up – we all have them, I’m not unique. But I appreciate in hindsight how valuable it has been getting my relationship with God right, putting my armour on, in a time of peace. I don’t have to pull the arrows out before I can lift up my shield of faith. That’s why I say to anyone who will listen, put your trust in God in a time of peace, so that you can face the tough times with someone alongside you who cares. It doesn’t mean you don’t feel pain, but you have someone with you who can give you real peace and security.