In all the accounts I have read of climbing Everest, the danger of avalanches is never far from the climbers’ minds. They can happen at any minute and threaten to overwhelm the climber within seconds. They are dangerous
As I mentioned in my last post, I had been recovering from the operation, managing pain and resting as much as I could. I had just started to manage short walks from my house, when suddenly 2 weeks after the operation, an ‘avalanche’ hit! During that day the pain levels had continued to increase despite the pain meds I was taking. And that evening I started to feel very unwell. I checked my temperature and found it was high. I phoned the emergency number given to all cancer patients and they said I had to go into hospital for them to check me over.
From then on it was all go, go ,go!! At the emergency room, I was rushed into majors and quickly linked up to IV fluids. My blood results showed an infection in my body and the CT scan confirmed that an abscess had formed in my abdomen. I was very poorly.
One blessing in all this was that our younger son was with us in the emergency room having been given some time off work and our eldest son was flying in from the USA the next day. This was a planned visit to come and be with me for my next scheduled chemotherapy, but the timing could not have been more perfect. I was so pleased that one or other of the boys were with my husband through this scary time. One thing we are learning through this journey is that, ideally, it is not to be done alone. The comfort and encouragement of those around us is essential. Just like accounts of climbing Everest, having climbing companions who live and breathe it with you in itself gives you strength to continue.
For God has said, “I will never leave you; I will never abandon you.”
Throughout the next two weeks in hospital, I always felt the closeness of God’s presence. Even at my darkest moments, when all I could do was weep in pain, he was weeping with me.
The care I received from the doctors and nurses around me was exemplary. From doctors helping me understand what was happening and what they were doing to treat me, to the kindness of nurses as they sat with me through sickness, held my hand through painful procedures and comforted me when all I could do was cry. I will be forever grateful for the dedication that these medical professionals show day in, day out.
Through this time I’ve been thinking about faith in brokenness. These verses clearly state that God both heals and comforts.
He heals the broken-hearted
and bandages their wounds.
Isaiah 61: 1
He has sent me to comfort
Comfort came in so many different ways; family coming every day, daily visits from the chaplaincy team and the many words of encouragement sent from friends – all were so vital! Hearing of people praying for me across the world was both humbling and comforting. To those of you reading this, a huge thank you!
My body slowly responded to the antibiotics and began to fight the sepis infection. I knew God was healing me. After two weeks in hospital, I was ready to go home. That was wonderful news! Since then I’ve been resting and regaining energy. Blood tests taken today show no infection in my body and that I’m ready for my next dose of chemo tomorrow!
A friend sent me an encouraging picture that I would climb out of the hole after being buried by an avalanche and carry on climbing to the summit. I feel I am out of the hole now and am continuing to climb. The summit is in sight!