Jeremy…husband of Catherine, father of Ben, Simeon, Tom, Joshua & Lydia. Up until the end of April 2015, he was pastor/vicar of a group of churches on the edge of Exeter in Devon, UK. In early October 2014, aged 48, he was diagnosed with advanced cancer, a stage four malignant melanoma presenting as a tumour on his lungs. The usual life expectancy is 8-12 months. Then, in late December 2014, 23 year old Ben suffered a seizure. After prolonged medical care for what was most likely to have been a viral infection affecting his brain, Ben died in April 2015. Jeremy has up until recently seemed to have responded well to pioneering immunotherapy treatments that can extend life, but from September 2016 is now facing the fresh development of brain tumours and potentially now just months to live. On January 27th 2017 Jeremy took his last breath and went to be his Lord and Saviour. The family share their thoughts, feelings and reflections as they taJeremy…husband of Catherine, father of Ben, Simeon, Tom, Joshua & Lydia. Up until the end of April 2015, he was pastor/vicar of a group of churches on the edge of Exeter in Devon, UK. In early October 2014, aged 48, he was diagnosed with advanced cancer, a stage four malignant melanoma presenting as a tumour on his lungs. The usual life expectancy is 8-12 months. Then, in late December 2014, 23 year old Ben suffered a seizure. After prolonged medical care for what was most likely to have been a viral infection affecting his brain, Ben died in April 2015. Jeremy has up until recently seemed to have responded well to pioneering immunotherapy treatments that can extend life, but from September 2016 is now facing the fresh development of brain tumours and potentially now just months to live. On January 27th 2017 Jeremy took his last breath and went to be with his Lord and Saviour. The family share their thoughts, feelings and reflections as they take this painful and unexpected journey.

No Man’s Land

Today, It’s Armistice Day. We remember with gratitude.

Maybe it’s the effect of battleground scenes, but I’m feeling very much like I’m in a kind of no-man’s land. It’s five days since my first treatment and I’ve now entered the time zone when I’m apparently becoming more ‘neutropenic’ – with depleted immunity, I’m more susceptible to infections, picking up bugs as well as my organs possibly reacting negatively to the drug. I’ve had to largely shut myself away from the outside world (apart from one or two visitors) and become something of a hermit to avoid risky situations. I’m actually feeling quite well but I’m also aware that with every ache and pain, I’m immediately assessing it and wondering whether it’s a reaction. It’s tiring and tiresome. It’s also been quite odd thinking that I’ve got this powerful drug in my system, but it’s seemingly silent…but silently doing what? It’s strange to consider that there are now two threats  – the melanoma and the thing that’s there to attack it.

But life all around me carries on (more or less) gloriously normally. It was great having Tom home from Cardiff over the weekend, and Simeon has moved back in for a short time while he’s between one house and the next. Josh and Lydia are both at school and Catherine at work. It was great to meet up with my good friend Martin at home yesterday over lunch and read part of Jonah together. The two of us thought about God’s amazing love even for a people as rotten as the Ninevites were, about how easily we can, in our own ways and like Jonah, run away from God through our diary commitments, our entertainments, sport, our devices (‘Jeremy, will you put your iPad down!’); in the person of Jonah himself, there’s such a disconnect between what he plainly believes about God (‘I knew that you are a gracious and compassionate God’) and what he actually does. I know what that feels like, and in so many ways this unexpected turn in my life has reminded me where true life comes from, and who I need to more organise my life around. Maybe it sounds perverse to some ears, but this illness has for me been a severe mercy. I’m observing that it’s doing something in each of us at home that causes us to look at life and priorities differently.

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Comments on: "No Man’s Land" (18)

  1. We love you all, Jeremy

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  2. Brenda Lockett said:

    When I had my brother’s bone marrow infused 31 years ago I felt much the same Jeremy in a complete No Man’s Land . The journey ahead of me was long and uncertain but God decided to let me remain with my family and since then I have not taken my life for granted even for one day. As you say it changes those closest to you in many ways and nothing is as it was. In a way I was grateful for the whole experience strange tho it may seem. I wish well with all my heart.

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  3. Keep well, we are with you all the way, god bless

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  4. Steven Kenyon said:

    Hi Jeremy, Severe mercy… interesting… I guess that there are loads of examples of that in the Bible… believers in difficult situations that cause them to return to God… I am conscious that I can become hearted towards God. Please God, soften our hearts… Thank you for sharing Jeremy…lots of love to you all x

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  5. Val Parkinson said:

    Oh Jeremy, with you all the way. Much Love to you all x

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  6. David and Margaret Judson said:

    Jeremy and Catherine – You have been much in our prayers since we heard the news from Jane. Just today I came across this lovely verse from Psalm 66 and felt it described your situation – ‘For you, O God, tested us; you refined us like silver…..but you brought us to a place of abundance’ (vv10-12). Our love to you both, Margaret and David

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    • Thanks so much both of you. That’s such an encouragement. It’s amazing to discover that with Christ, you can find abundance in tough times! Bless you both.

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  7. Gina Johnston said:

    Wonderful words Jeremy – you have such a gift. We are praying that these drugs will work in partnership with your body to eradicate this disease. We praise God that through this time He is shining bright in your life. Thank you for sharing your thoughts, faith and heart with us. We send our love to you and your family. He IS able to do all things… ❤️❤️

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  8. Mary Hunt and Peter said:

    Thank you for sharing this. We are with you all the way in our prayers and thoughts. May God bless you and your family.

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  9. Annette Cosgrave said:

    Hi Jeremy and Catherine we would like to send all our love to you and your family. You have an amazing family who have been guided by you and will continue to follow your words of wisdom. We are so glad that our paths crossed. Lots of Love and hugs from Annette, Richard, Jonathan (aka Jonny) Andrew & Michael. xxxx

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  10. YVONNE LIDDON said:

    thinking and praying for you the Liddons of Milltown

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  11. humbled and inspired by your words and those of your family. a friend in your church told us of the need for prayer so we pray every day. And when we were in Jerusalem recently we prayed for you and i Jo wrote your name ,with that of a young boy we know who needs a heart transplant and put the paper into a crack in the Wailing Wall. carrying on centuries of prayer.

    Liked by 1 person

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