The Season of Thanksgiving

Some good news to start with – the CT scan revealed that the chemo regime is working.

There are no new masses and each mass is smaller. Good news indeed!

I do believe that this progress is due to the rich combination of chemotherapy, prayer in a myriad of forms, friendship, spiritual healing, energy work, lymphatic work, familial love, psychological healing, a strong body, a powerful determination to live and most especially the grace and mercy of The Creator.

People often ask how many more chemo sessions are left and the answer to that is unknown. The plan is to continue with chemo until we are done. My cancer is an aggressive form and requires constant vigilance. This is an ironman triathlon, not a sprint and requires that level of commitment and concentration. Every day is game day for me.

My understanding of what faith is has expanded a great deal since diagnosis. I remember talking with Clayton deVries about his constancy in caring for Christ Church, Kettleby. I was new to the parish and I noticed that he and his beloved wife Theresa were there all the time – managing the grounds, fixing the buildings, visiting elders of the parish and generally making sure the church was functioning well and serving its mission. Sometimes it was clear what needed to be done and other times not so but always it was a practice of faith. Mopping the floors was an act of faith, same as taking a risk and trusting that God would provide enough people, enough money and rich enough worship to keep the people grounded in the love of God. We practice faith when we have everything going for us so that when we are challenged we have the spiritual muscle memory to carry us through the dark times. I have had so many teachers who have showed me how to practice faith in God, in our Maker, in Life, in Goodness and I am deeply grateful.

There are some things you can only learn by acting courageously. It would be going too far to say I am grateful for cancer, but I have learned and grown in ways that I would never have otherwise. For more life, for deeper compassion, for a broader understanding of the spiritual life, for more time with my siblings, for time to reflect and pray; for these things that have come because of my diagnosis, I am grateful. The gratitude helps me deal with the frustrations of being very limited physically, with being threatened every day, with the fear and anger at missing out on life. I love life and living it to the fullest.  My favourite verse in the Scriptures is in the Gospel of John where Jesus says that “I have come to give you life and life in the fullest.” (You get a prize if you can quote the chapter and verse without looking it up) Getting the most out of a day makes me so happy and laying on the couch “behaving” is very difficult. Perhaps I am blind to how that is full life. I ask for the grace to see it differently and to accept my limitations.

Thank you for your care, your prayers and your acts of love and kindness.

Happy Thanksgiving,

Peace and light be with you.

Love Sheilagh


7 Replies to “The Season of Thanksgiving”

  1. Beautiful Sheilagh! So good to hear the chemo regime is working and wonderful to think that all things are working together as in Romans 8:28 ‘And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who know him, who have been called according to his purpose’ Siblings, familial support, your own strong body and strong will, the prayers and God’s grace and knowing that he came to give you life to the fullest! Love you and pray without ceasing!

  2. Beautiful Sheilagh! So good to hear the chemo regime is working and so beautiful to hear that as Paul said in Romans 8:28 (another of Simon’s favourite verses) ‘all things work together for the good of those who love God’ Your family, your faith, your people all praying and loving you through! Hope you enjoyed the video of us all singing Happy Birthday to you!

  3. Great news Sheilagh.! We think about you all the time and our whole family prays for you regularly. So glad to get this update and to hear there is a good response to chemo. Your strength in dealing with this is so inspirational. We look forward to hearing more good news.
    The Zantingh family

  4. I’m so glad to hear that the chemo is working. We’ve come a long way with the treatment of cancer. My mother battled breast cancer (at 80) the same time that my sister was being treated for colon cancer (fun times) and both are happy and healthy today. It’s a tough go for sure, and as a family member supporting the loved one with cancer, your take on life changes dramatically, realizing how fast things can all change. Cancer made our already close family even closer. I’m certain you will come out of this a better person. (If that’s even possible) Love to you Sheilagh.

  5. It will make you happy to hear how much fun the Fall Bazaar was! A lovely bunch of people chatting over tea, a laden bake-table and overflowing baskets of veggies plus 2 0r 3 tables laden with gifts just waiting to be chosen. Bishop George opened with prayer, and Linda had baked shortbread for the bake table. Wendy came too and enjoyed it greatly, all such good friends of yours. (Wendy is coming to tea tomorrow.) Lots of ‘your people’ from both churches and villagers came too. Lots of love dear Sheilagh!

  6. Sheilagh, I won’t stop m praying and carrying you with me on my walks. I celebrate the scans and your continued compassion for all those who love you and wish you were nearby. Love from all areas surround you xo

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