Monthly Archives: November 2008

God moves in mysterious ways

The Hurunui News article has produced some amazing responses. Of course we’ve only heard the positive ones. Several people who I would have imagined were ‘hardened’ to Christianity and faith have commented favourably and asked me how I became a Christian in the first place.

Others with different ailments, including heart problems have said that now they feel they can talk about their own situations. 

A visitor from USA phoned from a town where he’s staying with his wife to say they ‘felt prompted’ to visit a man they had met a few days earlier. When they got there he was resting and his wife told the couple her husband is suffering from bone cancer.The couple talked with the wife for a little while and then returned to where the resort where they were staying. In their mail was a copy of the Hurunui News and they read the article. Later that afternoon the USA christian couple were phoned by the Cancer Society nurse in the area who informed them that the sick man was looking forward to seeing them if they would visit him again. The couple asked the nurse if she’d seen the article. She replied that she had, and that she’d taken it to the sick man. The man with the bone cancer was wanting to talk with these USA christians who had ‘just popped in’ about how he could find the same peace and faith as the man in the article.


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Posted by on 27 November, 2008 in Devotional, Medical


Am I a workaholic or what?

I was gardening on Monday after having had the first dose of chemo from Friday to Sunday. The reactions did not appear to be too severe with only slight feelings of nausea and the annoying electric shocks in the fingers if I touch something cold. So I decided to spend a couple of hours weeding and digging in green material into the garden.

I became aware that I was thinking, “It’s OK for me to garden today because I’m sick!!” Once again I found I was justifying to myself why I wasn’t visiting someone or preparing messages or fulfilling other church responsibilities. That’s the reason I don’t enjoy golf – I keep thinking of all the other things I should be doing.

Fortunately I recognised the lie and consciously decided I was going to enjoy gardening, even on a Monday morning!

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Posted by on 24 November, 2008 in Humor


Chemo update

I got some positive news about the radioactive spheres trial yesterday. I go up to Auckland next Sunday afternoon for the angiograms on the Monday, then fly home on Tuesday. Back into Christchurch on the Thursday for blood tests and chemo on Friday/Sat and Sun, then if the Auckland tests are OK, fly back there the following Tuesday to have the spheres inserted.

Once the spheres are inserted there is a strong likelihood that they will make a significant difference. I have been promised a look at the scans to see the cancers for myself, but the research nurse has said that most of them in the liver are very small, with just the 4 larger ones. Hopefully the small ones will disappear and the others may reduce to the point where they can cut them out. Best news I’ve had on that front anyway. Just got to get through the angiogram test. According to the Auckland radiologist less than 10% of my liver is affected based on the scans I’ve had. The Auckland angiograms get sent to the International HQ of the trial and they do a 3D picture. According to the Auckland radiologist, this could reveal a lesser percentage.

I had 4 hours of chemo with 2 lots being pumped in. Immediately it was over I was as sick as a dog. Then they realised that someone had goofed and I had not been given the anti-nausea pill before the treatment (supposed to be administered 1 hour before). They immediately gave it to me intravenously and I came right within a few minutes. My colour changed rapidly from good to grey and yellow, before back to normal. I have another small bag, about the size of toilet cystern float strapped to me with a needle and tubes going into my portacath. That pumps more chemo in at 5ml per hour until Sunday afternoon when I have to return to the Hospital to have it taken out. The only side effect I’ve felt so far is tingly fingers. I cracked open an egg from the fridge and it was like lots of little electric shocks in my finger tips. Touch anything cold and the same thing happens. Not allowed to have cold drinks or eat anything from the fridge or below room temp and have to stay out of the cold. Its supposed to go away within 3-4 days after each treatment. Too early to tell yet what other side effects I may have.

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Posted by on 22 November, 2008 in Medical


What cancer cannot do

A friend, Ross Ferguson, sent me this poem that reminds us that Cancer is not omnipotent – it cannot destroy the really important things

Cancer is so limited…
It cannot cripple Love,
It cannot shatter Hope,
It cannot corrode Faith,
It cannot eat away Peace,
It cannot destroy Confidence,
It cannot kill Friendship,
It cannot shut out Memories,
It cannot silence Courage,
It cannot invade the Soul,
It cannot reduce eternal Life,
It cannot quench the Spirit,
It cannot lessen the Power
Of the Resurrection.

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Posted by on 19 November, 2008 in Devotional, Poetry


Becoming radioactive!!!

I have just learned that I have been ‘randomly selected’ for a cancer treatment trial based in Auckland. The trial is for colorectal cancer patients who also have secondaries in the liver. It places radioactive spheres in the liver in the hope that they will specifically target the metasteses there. When the Auckland radiologist returns from holiday I will be flown to Auckland for some angiograms of the liver to determine if the blood cells go right to the spots. They will also ensure that the spheres cannot move to the lung or else I might blow my head off when I sneeze. If the results of those scans are successful I will then return to have the spheres inserted through the groin. I will post more information about the procedure as I discover more myself.

In the meantime I go to Christchurch for my first chemo this Friday which will be a ‘full dose’! I will have one intravenous line for 3 hours Friday afternoon plus another line to a portable pump which I must carry around for the next 46 hours. It will be removed on Sunday afternoon after which I am free to return to Hanmer – but too late for church that day!

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Posted by on 19 November, 2008 in Medical


Newspaper article

It was my turn to submit a Pastoral reflection for the North Canterbury newspaper in November. I sent an abbreviated comment about where faith plays a part in bad news. The paper asked me to expand on it and resubmit it as a feature article. It appeared in last weekend’s Hurunui News. My poem Light In My Long Night (elsewhere on this blogsite) was also printed with the article together with a family photo of our 2007 family reunion. The article as it appeared in the newspaper is appended. Double-click the image to view full-screen image.

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Posted by on 19 November, 2008 in Uncategorized