stories of grace, hope and life beyond cancer



Last Friday was a big day for me! It has been a hotly anticipated date for many in the UK with the start of the Olympics but for me it was so much more. Last Friday I completed my chemotherapy!!! Hooray! I could hardly contain myself on Friday morning I was so excited. A friend texted me to say that she prayed my day would be filled with strange joy and it really was! I wasn’t worried about the side effects or going to the hospital or any of it because I knew that a milestone was being passed and a chapter was closing that I wouldn’t miss at all!

Since Friday I have watched far too much Olympics (we have 17 dedicated Olympics channels on our TV! A few too many I think as there is only so much fencing one can watch) and have been frustratedly waiting to feel better so that things can really get going again!

You might think that through this process I would have learnt patience and developed the grace to serenely accept what was happening in my body, but the truth is I haven’t. I still fight tooth and nail against being bedridden and regularly push myself too hard to get up and running quickly. Although I know pushing myself whilst poorly is counterproductive, I still do it as one of my greatest longings is for a normal life. Well, maybe that’s not strictly true, not really a normal life, but rather a life with normal things in it, like cooking dinner and doing the laundry! I long for a life where I can just be myself without anything holding me back and I get so frustrated when I feel like I am just spinning my wheels, wasting time trying to feel better.

This is a real challenge to me as despite feeling like this I don’t want to look back on this season and all that I can say about it is that I spent the whole time waiting for it to be over, to move onto the next thing, for a brighter day. I want to be fully present in each day, to be seeking God and remembering all the good things he has given me. As I seek to do this I am both challenged and encouraged by the truth of Lamentations 3:19-23 which reminds me of God’s presence with me and his mercies that are new every day.

I remember my affliction and my wandering,
the bitterness and the gall.
I well remember them,
and my soul is downcast within me.
Yet this I call to mind
and therefore I have hope:
Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed,
for his compassions never fail.
They are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness.

8 thoughts on “Olympics

  1. So glad you’re writing about your experience, and YAY for chemo being over. That is an AWESOME verse! So much love xxx

  2. Thanks for such an important reminder to appreciate the ‘normal’ and even the things we find ‘mundane’ . Think of you often….. x

  3. That is such a challenge to me, Cath. Thank you once again for your honesty &for laying out there another piece of God’s truth that sets us free! Rejoicing with you for end of chemo chapter! yessss!! Hope you can relax&enjoy your 17 channels now. I’d also watch all day if we had those. 😉 Sabc is darem trying its beste! Love you loads my friend. Se xxx

  4. So true Cath….you only realize how much you appreciate the normal things in life when you can’t manage to do them….
    But chemo is over now and each day you will feel a little stronger. You have managed SO well and continue to be an inspiration to us…
    Love you lots my precious

  5. So happy chemo is over!! This post really resonated with me being now in my own form of recovery after my operation and being equally frustrated at the slow healing process. It is such a frustrating experience to “wait around” for your body to get better so that you can do the normal things again and hard to be patient with yourself when your energy levels are not quiet back to normal. I suppose for me the comfort is that it is a temporary state (for both of us) and we will both eventually get better and back to normality. I cannot imagine going through this experience and knowing that it is not temporary and you will never get back to normal (like it is for my mom) but worse. It makes me so grateful that I can at least “heal” myself and my body will recover from this as your body will too!
    Love you lots!!

  6. So pleased for you this chapter’s closing. Don’t we all need to learn about the normal things actually being the sacred things!

  7. You will win gold! We all send loads of love, Gordon.

  8. Dear Cath, Thank you for this incredible post- your fully human and fully spiritual journey through this has clearly invited many more people into Gods heart and love than just you and your immediate family. I have been praying for you as I know there will be so many ups and downs…and THANK YOU for being so honest, so vulnerable, so courageous and so full of openness and trust such as to share your reflections, hopes and fears with all of us! May healing continue strongly, and this blog continue to be a place of comfort and joy to you and many. Much love, Caroline Powell, CT, SA

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