Archdeacon Ian writes:
I am now two months into my chemotherapy and I thought that some of you might like an update on how things are going.
Thank you for all your messages, cards and gifts that have come our way when the news broke; but thank you primarily for your prayers. Many of you are praying regularly and I can testify that it makes a difference, and I feel buoyed up by the prayers of so many.
As a family, we feel loved, cared for, and supported. I am sorry I haven’t been able to reply to the many messages and I hope this update helps a little.
So, we are now at the end of two months of the six months palliative chemotherapy. I go to the Norfolk and Norwich Hospital every Friday for treatment where I cannot speak more highly of the nursing staff and care. Those of you who have been through this or something similar will know of the roller coaster ride of how you feel and that has been the case for me.
In April I have a CT scan and then a meeting in May with my oncologist; this is decision time, finding how effective this treatment has been or whether to switch to something else. My key prayer request for Monday 9 May will be for good news, when we may know that chemotherapy and the Holy Spirit has been driving the cancer away.
Personally, I am doing fine, of course I miss colleagues and the going out and about amongst the parishes which is the bit of the job I love the most. But it was because of the meeting with people and being too immune-compromised I couldn’t continue working.
Caroline is well and after the initial shock has adapted to a new life being a carer! Having said that she has been my major support through our years of marriage and in particular years of ministry. I have been heartened by the number of people who have stopped and asked how she is, those who take her out for coffee and lunch and realise that it is probably harder for loved ones than those who get a terminal diagnosis. I just have to deal with what comes day by day and do what the doctors tell me. For those close, there is so much else to consider as we look to the future. So please pray that Caroline will keep strong and know the closeness of Jesus Christ through these days.
Please also pray for Hannah our daughter, her husband Sam, and Violet (4years) and Matilda (8weeks). Pray for Tim our son, Emma his wife and Freddie (1½years). They live in Leeds and feel the distance at this time. You can imagine this is heart-breaking news for our young family.
We have an awesome family, who give, so much love and support, as do the wider family and our magnificent friends. We are very blessed. Although the prognosis was 6 months – 2 years back in January, we know God is a great God and we are praying with many others for healing. Healing is a great mystery and I have preached many sermons on it without giving any answers! But, we believe in a God of Miracles.
Finally thank you to Bishop Graham and the Senior Staff and to colleagues for filling the gap – doing the stuff I should be doing! Do pray for Bishop Jane, the Revd Canon Sally Theakston, and the Revd Canon Christopher Davies, along with our magnificent Rural Deans in the Lynn Archdeaconry, and Ann Whittet my PA.