Once again, thank you all for your continued love, prayers and support for us as a family – it is a very precious thing to know the sense of being carried by your prayers.
I know many of you want to be kept up to date, and so here is my weekly update! Yesterday I took Linda into St Catherine’s Hospice for “symptom management.” Recently she has hardly been able to stay awake, she has been getting very sick and has been in constant pain despite the increases in both her morphine and anti-sickness drugs; physically she is now finding it hard to get up the stairs, or to just do the basic normal things. Participating in family life for her has become really difficult, and she has now got to the point where, after such a long time of coping, she “has had enough.” Personally I think of all people she is entitled to feel that way! So we agreed together that now was the best time for her to go into St Catherine’s as they are probably best placed to try to get her comfortable. At the moment we don’t know whether how she is feeling is predominantly drug or cancer induced, and so having their excellent care is good thing.
It’s a very strange feeling taking her into a hospice – we have seen so many people go in and not come out again that it leaves a very ominous feeling on your heart as a husband and father. Feelings are a strange thing – recently I have been reflecting upon the different reactions people have been having towards Linda’s illness. A few people come up to me, or e-mail me to say “God has told them that she is going to be healed.” Others seem to think that her healing is dependent upon me just “Believing/Having more faith”; others have e-mailed to say we should stop praying and let her go whilst the majority of people seem to just not know what to say, or panic. When Linda was first diagnosed, our consultant said two things – first that he has found people with faith cope better with cancer, and secondly that often the people going through it cope better than those around them! So if it helps, I have a very simple approach to all this; I know God can heal (he is still in the miracle business), but I also know he doesn’t always, so I hope/pray for the best but prepare for the worst.
A friend stopped me in the playground last week to ask me how I cope. I was able to share with her how, although things are tough and painful, I have learnt to trust God increasingly over the last 18-years and how, as Linda and I have been able to face her death together, I have discovered a real, tangible sense of peace coming from a real assurance. After all, if this “God stuff” is true, and the significant historical, scientific, and experiential evidence says it is, then it is possible to face this with strength, and for Linda this is just the beginning.