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.

A slight hiccup

Maybe it was just bad timing, but less than twelve hours after my last posting late Tuesday night saying how well I was feeling, things changed. It started after a quick trip across to Exeter Airport on Wednesday morning to collect our old friends, AirportPhil and Sarah, flying in from Guernsey for the day to see us. They did for us what the body of Christ and others have been doing so wonderfully well in the last few weeks – tangibly demonstrating Father’s encouragement and love by their presence, words and prayer.
Within a short time of their arrival though, I wasn’t feeling at all well – no fault of theirs! Moments later, I was rushing for the basin. It brought some relief for the rest of the day to enjoy their visit, but by the evening and through the next day, I felt pretty lousy and by late afternoon, my temperature had risen to above the crucial 38°, so it was a phone call to the hospital. Expressing some cautious concern, the ward doctor asked me to come in early the next morning – Friday.

RD&EThe obs and examination – looking for rashes that would indicate my immune system was now in dangerous hyperdrive, attacking parts it shouldn’t – revealed nothing. All clear. Just a passing virus perhaps, but one which ironically would possibly have been worse were it not for ipilimumab at work.
However, one crucial piece of info came up in my conversation with the doctor. Apparently, we’d been misinformed about the drug placing me into a neutropenic state. We’d always thought it was odd to have been told that my immune system was going to be suppressed through the immunotherapy when the whole aim of the treatment was to heighten it to attack the melanoma. This was incorrect. That’s info reserved for those on chemo. So, bearing in mind some advice from the nurses to be careful, I find it’s not so necessary to maintain my hermitage isolation from crowds and over-cautious eating. The fact I’ve re-gained a persistent, sometimes hacking cough means I need to continue to be careful.
I’m looking forward to my parents, sisters and brother arriving from NZ & Oz on Wednesday, but was so disappointed to miss Ma & Pa’s 50th wedding anniversary celebration last night in Christchurch. But we track on with our God ahead and beside. If he was able to say to the Israelites through Joel 1600 years ago, “I will repay you for the years the locusts have stolen”, I’ve got to trust that he’s able to fill gaps that disappointment creates.

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Comments on: "A slight hiccup" (16)

  1. Brenda Lockett said:

    Enjoy your family’s visit and I hope you are feeling better now. Three steps forward and two steps back dealing with cancer is always a challenge but you have so much going for you and so many people praying for you take heart it is a battle you can win.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. julie munro said:

    We miss seeing you very much, our thoughts are with you xxxx

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Caroline Cook said:

    I was thinking it was odd as well that the Ipi would make you Neutropenic but didn’t say anything as felt woefully ignorant on the whole subject. I suppose the upside of you not being well and going to hosp to be checked out is that the staff were able to clarify the mis-information you’d recieved. A hearty AMEN! To the Lord restoring what the locusts have eaten. Amen again! I’m sure that you rellies visit will be all the more sweeter as Father will be there.

    Caroline x

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Gina Johnston said:

    Prayers and hugs to you both. Praise God that you are able to socialise once again!! The Lord goes before you and removes the boulders… He will do it xxx

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Jane Crocker said:

    Dear Jeremy I am following your blog and have been so encouraged by your wonderful faith you are truly and inspiration . Please keep strong hopefully this nausea was just a little blip , your amazing faith , our prayers and our dear lord will get you through all of this .? God Bless you ,Catherine and your children xxxxx

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Melissa Parsons said:

    Kia kaha, Jeremy. Much grace and peace as you continue to adjust to this strange ‘new normal’ which is the therapy journey. I know you will have a special time with the family when they arrive. We continue to hold you all in prayer back in NZ too. Warm good wishes, Melissa Parsons (nee Tavener)

    Liked by 1 person

  7. David Kett said:

    Don’t worry. Exeter Airport has exactly the same effect on me! Curiously, I’m just coming up to the section on the Habakkuk Pesher in a book on the Dead Sea Scrolls. I will now read both this and the Book of H. with special interest.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Gail Hayes said:

    Dear Jeremy and Catherine, Every day is surely emotional BUT this week is going to be even more so – May God grant you all strength to enjoy your family’s visit. Pleased the misinformation has been corrected and keep well. Love and prayers

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Hi Jeremy and Catherine,
    love and prayers to you all, praying that God would grant you strength this week- physically and emotionally, as you see your family. Glad to hear you’re not as suppressed as you thought….

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Harold Whitty said:

    Hello Jeremy and Catherine,
    I followed a link from Rachel and Mike’s blog and found out about your situation. I feel for you both and for the family, given the news you have received. Gwynneth (my wife) and I are praying for you and for your family. I was, between January 2002 and October 2004, involved in Rockbeare, etc, (though the grouping of parishes was slightly different then), and lived at Rockbeare vicarage. I will continue to follow your news through “tracing the rainbow…”
    Harold

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Ben Johnson said:

    Your blogs are amazing, encouraging and touching. Thank you.

    Still thinking and praying dearly for you all.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Susan Lawrence said:

    Dear Jeremy and Catherine,
    What a privilege to journey with you! As you share your faith and vulnerability we are all encouraged – so well written and so honest. Just reading 2 Timothy 4 9-22 this morning, written in a similar vein. It is very liberating. The medicinal side of things is totally baffling to me, but we thank God for huge advances and for all the wonderful people working in this area. We pray for a very special time with your family – lots of love, laughter and tears. Much love, Susan and Michael in Christchurch

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Patsy Christie said:

    Hi Jeremy,

    Was so sorry to hear of your recent hiccup and trust that is behind you now. Wonderful to hear your friends arrived at that opportune time and can well imagine the support and prayer you and Catherine received from them was so welcome.

    Really good the tests at the hospital were positive and that you don’t have to be so ultra careful with your immune system, although guess it is wise to be careful; and trust that cough is clearing up.

    So lovely to hear your family arrive tomorrow and can only imagine how grateful you will all be to have them with you and for them to be with you all too.

    As Margaret Wiggins would say – we pray on – knowing that our Heavenly Father is with you all in a very special way and He certainly will never leave you – His arms of Love surround you. I pray you will all have times of real joy and know the strength that will bring. Shalom to you particularly Jeremy, but to Catherine and your family too. Praying the treatment is doing all and more that it is designed to do with no further side effects.

    And now to Him who is able to do all and more than we can ask or imagine – I commit you into His care in absolute trust that you will bring glory and honour to our Lord and Saviour and thereby our Heavenly Father through the power of the Holy Spirit residing within you.

    With love and prayers for you all. Patsy

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Jeremy = hope you are not feeling too bad, Have your family arrived yet ? We are praying and thinking of you all the time.

      Thinking of you tomorrow as you have your third treatment.

      Thy way not mine O Lord.

      Love and prayers to you all Mart and Peter

      Like

  14. Hi Jeremy and Catherine, I hope the treatment goes well today, I will be in there at work thinking and sending prayers for you. Jayne

    Liked by 1 person

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