It's interesting just how many people look at me and say "You look Great".
At first it seemed to me that was a good a way to start a conversation with a Cancer patient as any, but after a time I began to wonder if that wasn't just a way people could mention my illness and then comfortably move on to another topic.
In discussion with other cancer patients,I see that is very true.
I understand and accept that. And I don't mind ...I love people.
In my ministry I try to readily accept people where they are,engage them where they need me,and walk alongside on their pathway. [even into the Valley of Shadows].
That is the hallmark of a good pastor or counsellor.
God knows I'm not perfect......I know it too!
Not perfect - but I try!
The last two weeks have been "strange".
I didn't think I would be too stressed about waiting a little longer to find out where I am in this battle...yeah. Right.
We came home two weeks ago and started planning our open house.
I was able to have a movie night with some of our families,and even get to Church on Sunday.
All of these things went well,and
I have been able to push the "What if,What if,
What if... mentality to the edges of my daily thinking. Karen has been doing the same.
Until this morning.
I woke up with a slight temperature, headache,fatigue,and unsettled stomach. You name it I am feeling it. What is this ? 99/44/100% stress? Maybe. Oh yes... it hurts when I pee. Again. I am going to set a new record for repetitive bladder infections !
I came up from downstairs and plopped my self on the couch. Karen opened the windows to help me cool off,then headed out to pick up another prescription.
Completely miserable,I waited to see how I would make out.
But this morning stank big time.
Today is the day I head back to see the doctor and continue the process of finding out what to expect.
The stink and sadness of this morning began to fade when I began to count my blessings.
Some amazing Grace in the Valley.....
Karen's concern and gentleness when she realised I was having a bad morning.
Bishop David and Brian dropped in,not knowing that I was having a rough start today.
I so value their friendship. They left...I became emotional.
Ralph called...I cried a little again.
Joanie dropped by for a coffee. Thank You Lord. Not only the best nurse and caregiver I have ever had,but a dear friend,confidant and security blanket.
I am thankful for those who draw near,smile-or cry honestly with me.
It is a beautiful thing when people realize all they need do is give me that gentle hug,a caring message and be present with simple, encouraging, words.
Honestly, there are a few things bothering me these days, and because I promised to be honest and open about this journey I`ll open the book for you again.
Here goes: If the long term goes bad....I am concerned about a (possible)
1. Loss of ministry
2. Loss of my voice . After Sunday when I preached,everyone was very encouraging and positive. But I was struggling to speak and stand.By the time I got back to the rectory I was very sad,because the full impact of the struggle just ahead struck me with full force.
I love the Church and my Ministry in it. It is my pearl of great Price.
3. Looming possibility of surgery
4. Wondering how to make ends meet if my ministry is cut short.
5. Wondering how Long I am going to live.
There you go. These are the practical and daily questions that haunt people when they are not well. They have been mine.
I am trusting that God's spirit will uphold me and my family in all of this. It's all we have!