Tuesday 30th August 2011

A Really Good Day
  Another reasonable night. I got up feeling tired and with a little discomfort in my hip. A hot shower worked wonders.

The business of the morning is a visit to my GP. First snafu of the day .. I have time of my appointment wrong. It is 9:50, not 9:15, so we have plenty of time. This proved to be an interesting discussion. Only my original diagnosis had actually made it through to my GP, so I explained the developments of the last few days. His reaction .. "It is not very often that one of my patients being diagnosed with lymphoma makes my day, but today it really brings a smile to my face."

As I warned yesterday, the highlight of my day is a visit to Starbucks while Sue does some shopping. Starbucks is very close to the shopping centre car park and all the major shops are close by. I have never been a great one for shopping, so this arrangement suits me fine.

My younger daughter, Jenny, and her family arrive home after their trip to New Zealand in a couple of hours. I expect a phone call .. it will be lovely to talk to her and hear what they got up to in the Antipodes.

It is very hard to get down to serious work. There are just too many people who want to speak to me, and who I want to speak to.

First of all a friend from the world of swimming Noreen Wise came round, primarily to speak to Sue. She works in a hospice, so has a lot on insight into people's experience of handling serious illness.

Then, I had a long free-ranging phone call with a very old friend Peter Warne. When we lived in Riverdene, around 30 years ago, Peter and Linda Warne were neighbours, with children close in age to ours. They were both committed Christians who were not frightened to show their Faith. Their prayers were instrumental in my becoming a Christian at that time. In recent years, we have not been close. However, at this time of need, Peter was immediately there to support and pray for me. Our discussions this afternoon ranged from God being there when we need him, to the implications of mortality. Christians no longer need to fear death.

In particular, Peter strongly encouraged me to keep up the blog and to avoid the temptation to sanitise it to avoid "offending" non Christians.

Our next challenge. 3 years ago, Sue had a hip replacement operation. Now she is starting to get some discomfort in her other hip. While my hip is giving me problems, I am dependent on Sue for lots of things. Sue herself had a doctor's appointment and has been referred for an X-Ray.

I received an E-mail from a friend in the world of swimming. Like many others in includes inspirational messages, but finished with another humbling story.

She has a granddaughter who is largely deaf-blind. Currently her digestive tract is paralysed and she has to spend 6 weeks in hospital being fed directly into her intestines via a feeding pump. She has had similar problems all through her life. Despite this, she is planning to go to college and take 4 A-Levels. Like the girl, I wrote about yesterday, this situation puts my own problems into context. Now that I know, I can now pray for her very specifically.