Journey with cancer 22 Dec 2011

Dear family & friends

It’s not quite official, but barring any further complications David should be out of hospital and home with us for Christmas. Not quite God with us, but another beautiful gift from Him.

Thank you so much for all your prayers from around Canberra, Sydney, Australia, the world. Our God is indeed the God of all the nations. The imagery in Revelation of all God’s people gathered around His throne in praise and prayer is very true. Whilst God does not enjoy our circumstances I think He must be overjoyed with the barrage – battering – of prayer he has received on our behalf!

Thank you too for all the bible verses, kind messages, thoughtful acts: food related, emotional and practical that have inundated us. We have felt very loved and very blessed. Our kids have been well cared for with breaks away from the stress. Thank you.

The repeat procedure, done late Thurs night has been successful, and not complicated by infection, re-accumulation of fluid or collapse of his lung. Xray today will help confirm that the pleurodesis (sticking his lung to the chest wall) has been mostly successful, and hopefully the build up of fluid again shouldn’t be an issue.

His pain has been more under control, though David now has a new benchmark of 10/10 for pain. The second drain came out yesterday evening. We still await the results of the receptor tests, but at least have met the oncologist and have a follow up appointment with him sometime mid Jan.

CT scans have so far shown there is no spread beyond the pleura. We had a bone scan and are awaiting results. We’re also waiting to have a PET scan.

Thank God for all the positive news so far after the initial shock, and continue to pray it will be receptor positive so that more specific targeted chemotherapy can be used.

(It’s easy to type all this, but it’s still just so unbelievable and ridiculous!)

The plan will be to get him home, get him some decent rest, some good food, fresh air, and a rehab of exercise to rebuild his strength (physical, emotional) and muscle tone.

Pray for these things, but also for patience, love and gentleness with each other and with our children in the day to day. Pray we can enjoy the moments, laugh over the ridiculous and have fun together.

Underneath the drama of the last 3 weeks is the realisation, that this was only the preliminary round, and there is still the real fight to come. We feel punch drunk from this round, so please pray we can build up strength and resilience for what is to come. There have been constant irritating reminders that we live in a fallen world affected by sin and sinful people.

However the armour of God (Ephesians 6:10-20) has stood firm. The cardboard versions I made with my kids in Supa club just this last term, wouldn’t have! But I can attest that the shield of faith is a wonderful thing to hide behind and has remained dent free, despite the battering. I know that God doesn’t allow us more than we can bear, though sometimes I wasn’t sure I could cope with another turn of the screw! We’ve needed the full armour of God and we thank you for your prayers in this. We thank God that we’ve seen his word proclaimed in ours and other people’s lives. God’s word will not come back empty handed.

We’ve also seen the amazing love people are capable of, inspired by God, but also just random acts from total strangers. It is so amazing to see God at work in the people He has made and to feel so loved and cared for.

Whilst I’ve been very conscious of Hebrews 12 (the author was not wrong in verse 11), I am glad to be loved by God and experiencing and hoping to continue the harvest of righteousness and peace. Philippians 4:7 continues to prove true, especially if I don’t get anxious, panicky or cranky, but pray and rejoice!

However for David, Romans 5:1-11 has been important, along with many other great passages. We can thank God for teaching us perseverance and building character in us, but mostly we are so grateful for the hope of the gospel, the certain hope of forgiveness through Jesus’ death, and the certain hope of eternal life with God.

At this time of year when Immanuel, God with us, is proclaimed, please take hold of the message of hope and reconciliation, not only with God, but also with each other. As one friend wrote to me: “You don’t know what a wonderful person you have near until you are on the brink of losing them.”

David’s ministry can be summed up by 2 Corinthians 5:13-15. What Focal Point hasn’t included a talk from this passage?! Be reconciled to God (2 Corinthians 5:20-6:2) and to each other.

Once again, thank you soooooooooo much for all your wonderful prayers and support. Enjoy your families and friends this Christmas. Continue to practice random acts of kindness, as you don’t know whose life you’re going to bless!

Please pray 1 Peter 4:19 for us.

Love, gratitude and prayers

Fiona (and David)

P.S.  We heard at 3pm yesterday that there was a  70% chance our container might have been coming back to today, but then a couple of hours later we heard that due to floods in Darwin, it’s wont be back until next Thursday. Gotta laugh. Also puts earthly treasures in perspective. Praise God that he has worked a miracle with defence housing and friends of ours have been allowed to move into the place we’d be living in Darwin!

God is good, all the time. All the time, God is good.

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