I have just posted an article which might give you a helpful spiritual backdrop to the last few days. If you haven’t read it, just in case you miss it, click here.
Well, in the context of where we are in this stage of our journey, the last few days have been better for Annie. I think one of the added blows to the update we got from the doctor on Friday was that Annie’s Mom also realised that due to her own new course of chemotherapy (which also started on Friday) she would not be able to come on Monday (yesterday) as planned. In fact, it could be at least two weeks before she would be able to plan to come and be here with us. And for us, so very much could happen in the space of that two weeks.
Please pray for Mom Ruth. Annie’s illness does not only effect her husband, it greatly effects her Mom and brother, Tim (and wider family of course) too.
So since Thursday there’s just been the two of us here and that meant on Sunday I was unable to join our family at Manor Park for our morning worship as I needed to be here to care for Annie. While we miss joining together with the family, the Lord still provides! On Saturday evening a small group from our fellowship came to us and we enjoyed a time singing and praising together with Annie. Of course, Annie has very little breath to sing but she and I were both so very blessed and encouraged that night. The following morning we had our own little time of worship.
It’s been a long time since I cried so much as I have in the last few days. And it’s not always been tears of sadness. On Sunday morning as Annie and I opened our time of worship with singing, we weren’t anywhere near the duet we used to be! Annie had too little breath to sing and I had too much of a lump in my throat as I attempted to sing the last verse of ‘Because He Lives’:
And then one day I’ll cross the river,
I’ll fight life’s final war with pain.
And then as death gives way to victory,
I’ll see the lights of glory and I’ll know He lives.
We may not have been harmonious in voice, but I know our hearts had never sung it with such deep and sweet harmony as we did on Sunday morning.
On Monday morning we had a visit from the doctor before the day nurses came. The doctor now makes more frequent visits in order to make finer adjustments on the medication if needs be. To date Annie has three drugs travelling through the syringe driver. Two of those are for anti-sickness and one is the morphine. The morphine adjustment has been a bit of a Goldilocks process in that we’ve experienced the effects of it being ‘too hot’ and ‘too cold’ and now, at 15mg, it seems to be just right for the circumstances. We’re currently at the point where the pain and extreme breathlessness are under better control and the effects of delirium are no longer interrupting our nights by way of bizarre conversations! However, one of the two remaining anti-sickness (nausea) drugs was making Annie excessively sleepy.
Yesterday morning I asked the doctor if she could try Annie without the Haloperidol (the anti-nausea drug which induces sleepiness). She agreed to give it a trial and in the last 36 hours we’ve seen a marked improvement. Just yesterday afternoon Annie enjoyed a good few hours of functional consciousness which allowed her to enjoy some fellowship with a number of visitors. And as I
write type this, Annie is sat on the couch, writing with the fountain pen she recently requested. So, if you’ve emailed Annie recently, please don’t take offense if she hasn’t emailed you back yet! At the moment she is finding that the pen is mightier than the sword keyboard!
We are prayerfully hoping that this evening we might be able to go on our little walk with wheelchair, Milo and whoever else would like to join us. That is an honestly open invitation to anyone that might like to. If it looks likely that Annie is fit for it, we will update our Twitter 30 minutes before.
Our love in Jesus,