Dear friends and family,
As many of you were aware, we visited the oncologist today. Unfortunately the receptor test, that we were waiting the results for today, was inconclusive, so further samples have been sent off to try and obtain a definitive result. Again, it will be a 2-3 week wait. Please pray for patience as we wait (again). There is good cause to wait, as targeted chemo with specific designer drugs will give better outcomes, and works better if not used after general chemotherapy. In the meantime we live in limbo land, with our brains in suspended animation.
Well no, not really. It was very special to have David go to church on Christmas Day, although it exhausted him. We had a wonderful family lunch provided by friends in our beautiful backyard. It was special to be together and to remember that Jesus is truly with us. If you missed out on a good Christmas service then can I recommend the carols from St Andrew’s Cathedral. The message was awesome, as was the music. Hearing an old friend sing ‘Immanuel, Our God is with us’ had me in tears (& still does).
Our container of goods arrived back on Tuesday 3rd. Many wonderful friends helped unpack and reset up in a day. What took us 6 weeks to carefully pack, only took our friends 6 hours to get back in place! It was a bit bizarre to see the truck being unloaded by the same men who had loaded it 5 weeks before. I think our goods enjoyed the break! The dog was certainly confused but happy. The house is the same yet different, as we’ve taken the opportunity to repaint, and rearrange kids rooms and the studies. They say change is as good as a holiday.
Actually, after David’s PET scan, (where, no, they didn’t find any unwanted pets) we did escape for a holiday down at Moruya Heads to a flat belonging to good friends. David’s rehab program continued with good food, good rest, but now also the benefit of sun, sand, walks and fishing! Many small fish were kissed and thrown back. His swimming was excluded on basis of healing wounds, infection risk, and the wind-chill factor. It was a great relaxing, refreshing time alone together: 3rd honeymoon, as we felt too young to be empty-nesters just yet. The bizarreness of our life was contrasted with the bizarreness of Sam Tyler’s life as we enjoyed watching the BBC series ‘Life on Mars’.
We enjoyed the beauty of God’s creation, the great tastes of his creation and reading his word together: specifically 2 Corinthians, where we’re reminded of the temporary nature of this life compared to the wonders of eternity. David said he was beginning to grasp this contrast more strongly. 2 Corinthians 1:3-11 has always been a favourite with me.
We are also very grateful to friends for the lovely holidays our kids have enjoyed. Matt and Marcus had a great time at Old Bar beach mission, where both had great opportunities to share the gospel and encourage and be encouraged in their Christian faith. Grace is enjoying Summer school, and Luke and Sharon had a wonderful camping trip at Gerringong, before plunging back into summer swim schools this week.
There’s plenty to do in the meantime, with studies and books to be arranged, cards and letters to be answered, more rehab to increase David’s strength for the fight to come and perhaps even our annual holiday with our church family down at Burrill Pines. Who knows, there might even be a school of salmon passing through to inspire the recovery!
It has been bitter sweet to farewell and hear from those who’ve gone to Darwin without us. Please continue to pray for Northern Australia, and for beautiful feet to take the gospel to those who haven’t heard or responded yet and to encourage those who labour so hard in such isolated and hard areas.
If you’re inspired by the fact that it’s 100 yrs since people first walked to the South Pole, then please google ‘Humpty Dumpty South Pole Expedition’ to check out our friend Rob’s trek to the Pole, raising money for the Humpty Dumpty children’s foundation. It sounds even more scary than waiting for chemotherapy.
Thank you for your continued prayers in this waiting period. In part it feels like we’re just rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic, as we wait for the medical system to lumber forward. However, we know we have God who is able to do the impossible, with the improbable, and so we continue to trust in Him, because there’s nowhere and no one else to turn to.
Fiona (& Dave)