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Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Advent 2010... Still Waiting #39

It's November 30th 2010.....
Karen is busy with our Advent and Christmas preparations,making sure that all is done for the children and grand children - and also planning our Open House.
I am doing my best to get reconnected with the parish,and doing the best I can to help out.

To be honest, it's not easy. I am still struggling to eat,still living with pain when I do,and every now and then I go somewhere to be alone and ask God to help me get better...quicker..... before people lose patience with me. (being honest about human nature,we all know that's a fact of life!) These are difficult moments.
As well,lately some friends of mine have been diagnosed with cancer. Their prognosis as I understand it at the present, means they have a huge battle looming.I ask God to strengthen and prepare them for the days ahead.
You know, we often hear people say something like "When I see how bad others have it,I don't think about myself as much."
My response to that is "it's a poor comfort taken by other people's misery."
It is a good thing to acknowledge your own pain,and to honestly care for those who suffer.

So here I am....not wanting to repeat my self..... but the story remains the same!
I am still recovering...still waiting. It's exhausting, debilitating, depressing. After a while you forget what it feels like to not feel sick.... After a while you get sick and tired,of being sick and tired!

The Blessings that come from a CurseI am , and will always be thankful for the love and support I have received.
I am thankful for the gifts of new perspectives,new understandings, and new friendships that have emerged as a tremendous blessing because of my cancer.

Many friends have reaffirmed their love for me in wonderful ways,and others have stayed away. All around me my friends and loved ones are all going on with their lives: new jobs, new relationships, new plans. I think it is wonderful!...But in the dark hours of the night, God help me,sometimes it can all feel so lonely.

I am trying to re-engage the challenge of recovery. My care-givers were right when they told me that I would take a long time to get better. Accepting that has been difficult. My feelings of thankfulness of the patience and support of my parish ,Reverend Brian, and my immediate family are often mingled with guilt,because of the time it is taking to get better. However,when I remember how my body was placed in an electronic and chemical abyss and forced to the point where it couldn't take anymore,it helps put things in perspective once again.

During my reading and study this month I re- read the story of the "Stockdale Paradox".
It comes from the story of Admiral James Stockdale, (1923 - 2005) who became a winner of the American Medal of Honour. James Stockdale survived for 7 years in a Viet Cong prisoner of war camp. It was beyond rough. Because of Stockdale's rank,his captors wanted to make an example of him. He was in solitary confinement for four years, had to wear leg irons for two years straight. He was systematically tortured 15 times, starved, and denied health and dental care.
By hanging on to two contradictory beliefs he made it through. Here they are:
1. His life couldn't’t be worse at the moment,
2. and.. His life would someday be better than ever

I believe that receiving the fullness of God's blessings means we must be able to confront the hard and cold facts of our current situations, and at the same time maintain absolute faith that in partnership with our Lord,whatever the outcome...we will prevail in the end.

I often pray for Grace and strength to embrace both faith and facts "at the same time, all the time". I pray this not only for myself, and for all whom the Lord allows me to meet and share. That means you who are reading this.

Ephesians 1:17-19
I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better. I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you....

Cancer has helped me focus on something else about life.

Life,as sweet as it is, is hard and daunting work. It takes courage order to live life fully and we need it. We need the courage of people who push themselves to become doctors and nurses for the care and benefit of others. We need the courage of Clergy and committed pastoral workers who walk in love and truth for the sake of others, and ,we bless the courage of those keeping lonely vigils at the bedsides of loved ones.

May God grant the full power of Grace and faith to those who suffer,so that the courage of the ill fighting with everything they have,will not just cheat death,but allow them to live life to the fullest.

Cancer comes upon us as a thief in the night...but remember
John 10:10
The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.

Latest News - The appointments have been made!
I am still waiting for the results of my treatments.
On December 6 I will be having an MRI , and on December 7,an appointment with my Radiation Oncologist. Talk to you then!
Peace and Love Always


Sandra said...

Take comfort that all the chemo and radiation was available to do it's work and you will be better again! But remember this Rev's John ... Your body has been so sick for so long that when you do start to feel better (AND YOU WILL!) the mind and the spirit will reject that feeling! But this too will pass! Take time to prepare during this Season of Advent!
Love to you,Karen and the family,

Anonymous said...

May The Lord give you peace and comfort each day and night.....we think of you and pray for you daily......
may you continue to gain strength and may you know you are loved by many.....May God shower blessings from above......our love to you,

Anonymous said...

I say my Anglican & Catholic prayers for you daily so you are covered.It takes the body a long time to recover but you will get there.

Take care
Muriel & Herb

Grace Barnes said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Grace Barnes said...

Praying that your strength will be renewed & soon you will mount up with wings as the eagle!!
Blessings Always.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for sharing so honestly how you are doing. I know it will help a lot of us to get
honest with where we are at in our lives and use you as as an example of strength in your
weakest moments. The middle of the night is a
very lonely and desolate time when you are sick or have other issues in your life. Thank you again for all you do.

Anonymous said...

Keeping you and your family in our prayers daily .. God Bless . I just say thank you to God for making you the person you.. God Bless my friend ...Merry Christmas to you and you family....... Marilyn

Anonymous said...

Rev. John,
We keep you in our prayers daily. Thank you for your blogs. You are helping other people even through your own pain and suffering. Having family members who went through the pain of cancer, I have learned that staying positive is good medicine. But, I also know of the loneliness and the anger that comes with it. That's because we are all human beings and we hurt in different ways. I don't think that God expects anything different. You will feel better though, and because it takes awhile to feel better, you just might not notice it yet. My sister is 5 years cancer free in January. Praise the Lord! It was a battle won. Remember you well from Cursillo. Just know that we are inspired by your writings. We pray that God through his loving Son will remove all that old cancer and restore you to wellness again. Wishing you and yours a peaceful and blessed Christmas.