Dear family and friends
Thank you so much for all your prayers concerning David. We’ve felt so supported by your love and concern for us from all around the world. It’s just been amazing to see the world wide church in action. A great testimony at this time! We know your prayers have been answered as we’ve continued to deal calmly (well most of the time!) with all that’s been happening and have continued to trust God (not without tears) through it all. The frustration of last week has been overcome within a week (as opposed to the initial four we were quoted) as we’ve seen God at work through His people.
We are very grateful to God for the provision of a Christian oncologist, and friend of a friend, becoming our friend when we needed one most. He’s been amazingly kind and generous with his time and has been communicating on our behalf with specialists down here. We are also grateful to God for our Canberra oncologist. He’s a very intelligent man and knows his stuff.
Unfortunately, the receptor test has come back negative. I knew I wasn’t married to a 40 year old, non-smoking Asian female (the category of people who mainly have this receptor!) but it was worth asking God for. This means that we don’t get to use specific designer drugs, but are left with a more general approach. David will start chemotherapy next Wednesday, after boosting his red blood cells with a week of Vitamin B and folic acid. We’ll be using drugs that appear, from research, to give the best outcome, with least side effects and best quality of life. Praise God, that he has given people such intelligence, that they can research and come up with such drugs with great criteria like that!
Whilst this last week has been very hard, and yesterday it was suddenly very much all in our faces again, we have been so grateful to God for His provisions for our family and His amazing timing. Yesterday, in all the stress, a friend randomly dropped around a gluten free orange cake just half and hour before David’s mum, a celiac, dropped in. Just wonderful!
The other great news from the extended McDonald clan, was that David’s dad’s cancer has been declared to be in total remission after his 6 cycles of chemotherapy were completed just before Christmas. It was great to see him looking stronger yesterday, than when he was down for the ‘not the farewell prayer meeting’. Thank God with us, because Norman having cancer, had weighed heavily on us leaving to go north.
Our kids have returned home. Grace having had a wonderful time at summer school, and Marcus had a great time on beach mission (thanks Old Bar team) and holiday with our friends the Elkingtons. We’re now heading down the coast for a few days of brief holiday with our family and extended family before the chemo begins. Our church have got into the habit of coming with us to Burrill Pines. We can’t not share the most fabulous God-given peaceful place around!
Pray we’ll have good times with all our kids both this next week and into the future. Pray that despite the stress, team McDonald will work together well, loving and caring for each other, able to talk, laugh, share, cry, question together, but always trusting in God and his amazing love and care of us, and witnessing to that in our lives. Please pray for our kids as they have to grow up fast, and for us as we remember they’re still kids.
Whilst the battle ahead is daunting, it’s a relief to be finally doing something to fight the cancer.
Thank God for his armour (Ephesians 6) and pray we’ll be “putting it on” (as Colin Buchanan and my supa club kids sing so enthusiastically) every day. Sing the Dambusters hymn with us: Psalm 46. Please pray that David will have the energy, strength and trust in God to face what’s ahead, and that the side effects will be kept to a minimum and can be dealt with. Pray that we will finally have some routine, structure, clarity, as to what each day might hold, whilst being glad and rejoicing for each new day, praising God for his new mercies each morning, and being flexible so as to cope with all the unexpected things that will come our way. Pray for conversations with old friends, current friends and new friends as we head into a new world and join a new community, that we’ll continue to share with joy of the One who loves us and holds us in the palm of His hand.
Thank you for all your cards, texts, fb messages, emails, phonecalls, presents, and presence. Please keep them coming, as they are such an encouragement to us. David is someone who is energised by catching up with people. It doesn’t matter if you’re worried that you don’t know what to say, no one does! I cant say to David, “I know what you’re going through” because I DON’T and most of you probably don’t either. If you’re worried that you’ll wear him out, or that he’ll have too many visitors, then just pop in briefly – though sometimes David is up for ‘a chat’! He hasn’t gone back on coffee yet, but will happily make you one. You can always give a call before you come to check it’s ok.
Once again, we can’t thank you and God enough for all your support and encouragement.
Love and prayers
Fiona (and David)