Wednesday, 27 May 2009

Good to Go!

Well, not completely but radiotherapy is starting anyway next Wednesday 3rd June! We were at hospital for a couple of hours this morning and although Anita needed the Doctor to drain some fluid, she had her radiotherapy planning along with some very small tattoos which are used as accurate markers to direct treatment. Starting next Wednesday means radiotherapy will finish on Monday 29th June after the twelve cycles are complete. This is great as it means she will be finished a few days before Bethany's graduation at Reading University on Friday 3rd July. We are taking the family out for a meal after Beth's graduation so there will be plenty to celebrate.

Waiting for Anita this morning was quite an education. In the waiting area in the Radiotherapy Clinic there were several ladies, each of whom who are travelling a similar journey to Anita. One of these has had a particularly difficult time and she could not complete her chemotherapy. This lady led a series of funny stories and another woman who was just waiting for her mother who was having treatment, commented on the humour that was floating around the room. It struck me as amazing that even in the most difficult times, humour and fun have such a key part to play in helping people deal with pain and suffering. I realised I was sitting in a world that up to 10 months ago, I didn't realise existed. You can't help but be moved as you sit among the suffering.

Last Sunday at Brookside, Bart was speaking and talked about the "mystery of suffering" and how we cannot mature 'in God' without some knowledge of suffering. You can hear his talk at

This time last year we were planning a trip to Ecuador and had no idea where we would find ourselves a year on. It's just as well we don't know what's around the corner but it doesn't half help to have a relationship with God that helps to keep you in a place of reasonable peace and security.

Today we are grateful for:
  • The start of the last leg of the journey - last August it felt like it would never end
  • The good health (!) Anita has experienced along the way when it could have been really difficult
  • I (Steve) have been amazed at how Anita has dealt with everything. She has been amazing and a very special wife.
  • For friends, forever friends who have literally been journeying with us and for our family who have rallied and demonstrated love and care.

Today we are praying for:

  • Kelly's daughter who has been poorly and having convulsions
  • Anita to cope well with radiotherapy and for it's success in finally hammering any issues invisible to the human eye or technology
  • Anita's friends Karena and Jo who are beating cancer with prayer and treatment
  • Katie's body to work well in enabling the baby to grow and develop in the womb

Monday, 18 May 2009

Radiotherapy delayed

We had our weekly visit to the hospital today. Anita was due to have her radiotherapy planning session. Unfortunately due to the fluid not completely going and the radiotherapy simulation machine being out of action, the planning could not take place and should now happen Tuesday 26th May or even the week after. After initial disappointment, we realise that four weeks after surgery is still very early to commence radiotherapy. Six weeks is nearer the norm. So hey ho!!

We went shopping instead!!

That's all to report at the mo, so we are going to watch a film and veg out for a couple of hours with a glass of wine.

We are grateful for:
  • Living so close to the Royal Berkshire Hospital
  • Scott's new job - he started today

We are praying for:

  • The fluid to go and no more seroma clinic's needles
  • Katie to continue to keep free of contractions and the baby's health
  • Sleep, and more sleep!

Tuesday, 12 May 2009

He's Keeping Hold

I love this picture. For me it captures who I am and who God is. A Father refusing to let go. At times it doesn't feel like this. But it is. We sing a song at church . . . "O no, you never let go, through the calm and through the storm, oh no, you never let go through every high & every low, oh no , you never let go, Lord you never let go of me."

The facts are that we each go through storms in our lives at some time or other. There are pressures, pain and problems. I was reminded of this once again yesterday when I drove Anita to Chandlers Ford to be measured for a prothesis. It made me feel sad . . . but grateful because treatment is going well and God had been holding on to us.

Next Monday Anita goes back to hospital to meet with her radiographer in the RBH Radiography Department and then she will start radiotherapy three times each week for twelve sessions in total. In the meantime it would really help if the fluids that keep collecting following the operation would stop and her body would be as whole as possible ready for radiotherapy.
Katie is recovering well from the events of two weeks ago and last week Anita went with her and Scott for a scan. All is well with baby!
Tonight is a massive evening for Reading FC. We play Burnley in the 2nd leg of the play-off semi-final and are currently trailing 1-0. The winners of the game will go to Wembley to play Sheffield United for the prize of once again playing in the Premier League. We are hoping for a great performance and an exciting evening - ending in celebration for the Royals and their supporters.
Next weekend our friends, Jane, David and Caroline are climbing Ben Nevis in aid of The Bethany Children's Trust. They have been working so hard at this, raising funds for this wonderful charity who support and care for children in many nations. Also this weekend, Anita's boss Simon, starts a long cycle ride from John-o-Groats to Lands End, this is also in aid of a Children's Charity. At 4.00pm this Saturday at the home of Reading Town FC in Scours Lane, our church football team, Brookside St Lawrence are playing in the Churches League Cup Final against another Reading team, Bethel.
In finishing this blog entry I'd like to refer you back to the picture at the top. Do remember that in whatever circumstances, pressures or pain you might be going through, God wants to be a Father who will never let go of you.
Today we are grateful for:
  • The amazing progress that Anita has made and is making
  • For the little baby being carried by Katie and whom we can now see a picture of
  • Friends who give so much of their lives in working to raise money and profile for others in need

Today we are praying for:

  • The fluids to stop building up in Anita's body ready for radiotherapy
  • Ongoing protection for Katie, Scott, Holly and baby
  • For our friends to keep in good health next weekend as they walk and ride

Tuesday, 5 May 2009

KT Update

Thanks to those who are praying for Katie. The contractions stopped early yesterday morning and baby's as lively as ever! Katie is exhausted now and is being sick because of the medication she has been on. The Doctors are keeping her in hospital for another night tonight and our prayers and hopes are that she will quickly gain strength. It's also been very tiring for Scott as he looks after Holly and is backwards and forwards into hospital.

We have reflected on Katie's pregnancy with Holly and in many ways this was tough, right from conception. We are continuing to pray for protection for the whole family and that the contractions don't happen again until full-term and the best time for baby to come.

Sunday, 3 May 2009

Please Pray for Katie

Our roller coaster life ride continues relentlessly. Having had great news about Anita during the week, and having had the timely visit of Bill Johnson to Reading last week bringing a message to believe for healings as part of the demonstration of God's kingdom - our daughter Katie went into hospital on Friday afternoon.

Katie is 20 weeks into her pregnancy and has started contractions and been having them since Friday. We'd REALLY appreciate your prayers for Katie, her husband Scott and our grand daughter Holly. At church today everybody prayed together for the contractions to stop and for the baby's life to be preserved and for him or her to be born at full term.

I spoke at church today from Psalm 27 and described how much these verses have, and continue to bring clarity as we journey through tough times. Sean Dooley from Thameside Church brought this Psalm as a devotion at the Reading Leaders prayer gathering at Greyfriars Church last Wednesday morning. Do have a read and give some consideration to them as they help us see the way in which we can find safety in the storms of life.

The Royals missed out on automatic promotion to the Premier League. There have been some "knife-edges" for us this weekend! Still, the boys are in the dreaded play-offs and we could have a trip to Wembley to look forward to.

Today we are grateful for:
  • Listening to the healthy heartbeat of the baby inside Katie and feeling all the kicking going on!
  • For our church family who are gathering around us and standing with us like these things are their very own battles
  • The launch of our new church website - well done Dave!

Today we are praying for:

  • The contractions to stop and for Katie to get quality rest
  • Protection for her unborn child
  • Strength to face another week and to deal with things confidently knowing our Father loves us and will care for us