Beresford Update (30th December, 2014)

Dear Friends,

As this somewhat challenging and difficult year draws to a close Belinda, Bethany and I would like to thank you again for your ongoing love and prayers that have so sustained us. We are doing fine and remain relieved and happy that the treatment is over and that all the tests showed that I am cancer free. There will be a barrage of such tests every six months for the next year or two so the medics can keep an eye on me should there be any recurrence, but I am glad to say that the statistics are on my side in that regard.

I am now discovering just how right the medics were when they said that recovery from the chemotherapy will take several months. I am obviously going start getting back in the saddle in the New Year, but just the week the chemo finished at the end of November I was rather expecting to be leaping into it, Lone Ranger style, from a high outcropping of rocks by January. I am, however, realising that it isn’t going to work like that. I feel absolutely fine in myself, but the ongoing problem is precisely the one the medics said would be the biggest, fatigue! I still need two or three hours more sleep each day than I would normally, and am only up to about half a mile of brisk walking before needing to rest awhile and catch my breath. I have never been one for taking naps during the day but continue to have to do this two or three times a week.

This is all, of course, a matter of great mirth for Belinda and Bethany, and I am just relieved they didn’t decide to buy me a walking frame for Christmas. But I am getting there bit by bit – at one point I could have barely done a quarter of a mile even at a slow meander – so I am buoyed in that regard. So it is indeed one step at a time, with the other limitation being that my level of concentration remains affected to a significant degree. I am therefore keeping a clear diary as far as any travelling is concerned until we resume our US trips at the end of March, that being for the usual six weeks (so much catching up to do), and then hope to be getting very much back to normal by the time we return home from that.

So wow! What a year! Shock, alarm, trauma, a certain amount of fear, physical pain and the terrible, terrible process of six months of chemotherapy…but great blessing too! In my book on the life of Elijah I described how, although having known the Lord down the years on both mountain peaks and in deep, dark valleys, it is in the valleys that I have come to know Him the best and most deeply. And so it has been this year. Not that I am not looking forward to an awful lot of mountain peaks in 2015 in order to compensate a bit, but what is the point of a suffering free life if it issues in a merely superficial and shallow relationship with the Lord?

2014 is definitely going to be a year we look back on with gratitude, but also one we would never wish to repeat. So roll on 2015! Roll on normality (whatever that is), and roll on being able to do my three and a half miles every morning again!

Thank you again so much. Belinda, Bethany and I wish you all a very Happy and Blessed New Year.

in Him,