Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Bare knuckle life

Thankfully Ally seems to be pulling out of the shingles attack although Pads seems more sleepy than ever. On Sunday night, after missing Chapel, which will have annoyed him, he was happy to drop off at 8pm without seeing anyone else, even including the Pastor who is one of his best friends. This is after having spent most of the day dozing and a very quiet week last week, with no school, no hot tub, he watched a film with the tutor, dropped off to sleep after Pod Clare's visit. I wondered if the increased pain relief meant he was more sedated but he's been on 62microgrammes of fentanyl for a month. At least he did not ask for any breakthrough relief on Saturday or yesterday. So we've booked Bluebells again for a mini-break before half-term-imposed separation (Moli to Spain, smalls to Cromer).
It is worth observing that Pads took a dip in spirits about this time last year...
We don't have the services of the psychologist currently, which may have helped (although LATCH are funding one due to start soon).
On current form it is hard to see much that will get him up, even at Bluebells, apart from the pool.
For a while we had been able to leave Pads with his siblings, but that's out of the question now. Apart from physical care, some kind of event, even if it's 'just' emotional, is more likely to happen that is too hard for almost anyone.
We believe the Lord is good, He makes no mistakes, but the unfolding of His will in this can be excruciating at times. Pads was reflecting that he keeps thinking he's going to wake up and be normal - that was a long time ago. Such a long time.
We know another young cancer sufferer who's been ill since Pads relapsed. A similar age, at the same stage, even on the same drugs. Both families see 2012 as year we didn't think we'd have, but with a threatening prospect for 2013. But at least Pads has a sense of the glory to come. It seems so unfair, people think and sometimes say. But life is brief and uncertain. We say not, 'Why me?', but 'Why not me?' This life is so short, hardly deserves to be called reality, just over in a flash. Some people's 'flash' is faster than others.
There is a place of no pain, no tears, no dying and that is a massive comfort. Even more of a comfort is that we do not for one moment think we could deserve this, far otherwise. Our hope is built on the good works of another. Because of the perfection of the Lord Jesus Christ, we can have confidence facing death, or indeed life.
We all might hope for some kind of triumphant end, but that may not be our lot. We've spoken to the siblings about not retorting to Pads' occasional uninhibited quips, as much for their sakes as his.
Only thoughts of glory can counter these thoughts. Paul, who knew all about suffering, could say:
For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory; 2 Corinthians 4:17
God's will is best, but, as Christians we ought to be able to do better than some kind of stoic fatalism. Paul again: 'In everything give thanks' 1 Thessalonians 5:18. If we pass through times where we do not feel we can 'rejoice evermore' (1 Thess 5:16), yet we know we can wait on the Lord for it as His gift, and not possessing it, we remember the Giver and his goodness. 

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