Posts Tagged With: cancer

The Day A Charismatic Woman Gave Me A Message From Jesus

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It was 2014 and I had heard of this healing service taking place inside a local church one day. It was during the ordeal of my wife and her cancer although I think she had just been given the all clear at this stage.

From day one in the chemotherapy room she had met and became friends with a lady called Lucy. A very quiet and lovely woman, Lucy was a homosexual who lived with another lady I had known my whole life.

Lucy had ovarian cancer and although many efforts were made to rescue her from this, unfortunately she was given the news that the treatment will no longer save her.

I’ve no idea what went through her mind but she had resolved to remove herself from the treatment and just let the cancer take its course.

I recalled a year she was at the stations of the cross which is a theatrical performance that takes place in the streets. I played Jesus that year under invitation by some local Roman Catholics.

With this in mind I thought I’d invite her to the healing service. She was in St.James Hospital, and, encouraged by me, my wife who conversed with Lucy more frequently and so sent her the invite.

She was that close to deaths door that she didn’t think that permission would be given to come but the nurse took her down.

We arrived and I allowed God to do the rest. I watched Lucy from a distance in her wheelchair by now totally unrecognizable. A priest I have great admiration for, quite frankly the only one in the diocese with some salt in him, approached Lucy.

She was having her confession heard. Towards the end of the service, the Charismatic Lady I am not sure who she is but came all the way from Australia. Apparently she converses with Jesus, and the small number of people there all lined up along the altar was approached by her for her to pray over them with a personal message from Jesus.

I always wondered what it was she said to Lucy.

When my time came she said ”Jesus says ”You have come here today to honor Me, but I have come to honor you for your loyalty to Me”.

That was back in 2014 and I’ve never forgotten what was said. I won’t lie and say I believed it to be true and I’m the most disloyal personal I know so I came home confused. Why would the Lord praise me or extol me? It seems unlikely that if this message was from Jesus that he was say such a thing to me. Praise doesn’t normally come from the Lord.

The other part of me thought it made sense as every day I was struggling to remain in the Catholic Church myself. However that still didn’t mean Jesus was talking to me as many the times the devil often knows your situation too and will often say things that sound good. Not that I’m saying I know if it was Jesus or not, I always like to play the safe card and say I ultimately don’t know.

Whatever the case may be, following the service I met with Lucy in the wheelchair. She could not really speak so I nervously just shook her hand by now so weak and fragile. A few days later Lucy fell asleep in the Lord at home.

We attended the wake and the funeral Mass. Lucy never allowed anyone know what was going in her heart but her actions of coming to the stations of the Cross, having her confession heard and receiving the anointing of the sick in addition to organizing a Catholic funeral spoke louder than any speech she could have written.

It was clear that the Lord, although he did not heal her of the cancer that day, gave her something much greater than any of us here could imagine. Jesus gave Lucy forgiveness, himself and a place in his Kingdom.

That my friends is the ultimate prize, to know and love God both here and in the hereafter with the Blessed Theotokos and all the Saints and Lucy in her last moments was given that opportunity and she took it.

We stand there and think ”God didn’t heal her that day how sad” and yet how wrong we are, he certainly did.

Eternal memory to Lucy who was Loyal to her calling to come home.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Photography And Cancer

I do landscape photography here in Ireland. It is a hobby of mine that I picked up when my wife caught cancer. We were sepeerated at Christmas as she was in Hospital. It was my birthday Christmas day and so she bought me a camera.

In addition to prayer many of us aquire certain hobbies in life that help keep the demons at bay and photography happened to be one of them for myself.

I suppose in a sense you could say the photography was a prayer in my desire to seek out and show the world Gods country the hopes that it may help them overcome their demons. Sometimes a really good sermon can be found in the silence of just one photograph wouldn’t you agree?

Many of my photographs in the beginning reflected how I felt at a time when my wife was in hospital for weeks on end. She’d come home for visits every now and then. Whilst home I would take her for drives in the countryside and we happened upon this lonesome tree. It was she who spotted it.

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My Roots Go Deep By Stephen Mc Elligott

It was a reflection of both of us:

I was alone,

The storm prowled around me like a hungry Socialist whose belly was already full

The wind was the invisibile enemy whom I couldn’t see

Becoming louder and louder

My roots and the earth around me trembled but I could not see my opponent

The earth upon which my roots stretched beneath was as black as coal. ready to consume me at any moment

Leaves on my branches were gone

My trunk has grown wrinkled and tired

Somehow by an absolute miracle I am still standing.

In the face of all torture and trial

God has given me only that which my soul could handle

By his Grace I still stand as a testimony to the devil

That the gates of this quiet little house of God – That is my soul – shall not prevail.

You can huff and you can puff but you will not blow this tree from the ground

For it has seen the face of God

My roots go deep. . . My roots go deep.

I have fallen into pure soil

Separated by an inch from a world of hatred

Catch me if you can

For my roots go deep

My roots go deep.

Dear readers, in my next blog post I will explain my poem.

 

 

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My First Encounter With My Wife

When I came back to the catholic faith and realised I was too uneducated for religious life and was being turned away left right and centre I decided to think about married life and that perhaps God was calling me there. Don’t ask me why as then I didn’t have a job and no money so who in their right mind would consider me? 

Yet somehow, Gods love, calling and protection is always proven to be stronger than these things. There was no catholic girls in my vicinity and so I took to the Internet in search of someone either living that life or with a renewed desire to do so like myself. 

It was a bit weird at first and a bit of a disaster, especially with the American girls who were all after this big wedding. I always stayed clear of anyone who spoke more of the big dress and how much a wedding cost. It was not because I didn’t have the money but because I felt their heart was not in the right place. 

In my profile page on Catholic match I wasn’t quite like the others in my questionnaire. For example one of my questions for new comers was “we are at your parents for dinner. We meet for the first time with all your relatives at the table. In the duration of this I let out ( unintentional )an almighty fart. What do you do? 

Audrey unlike other girls thought this was funny and so just before I’d given up on Catholic Match I happened to come upon her profile. 

We talked for a week on the phone and we both wanted to get married. She told me her life story and especially the part where her 20s was ruined by visiting mental hospitals over her abortion and now she wanted to be Catholic again and meet a Catholic husband. 

I asked her if she’d ever been to confession before and she said no. I invited her to go and talked her through the process. She called me up the night before she was to go see the priest as she had made an appointment and told me the dream she had. The dream was that she was in the confessional box and there was a demon on the other side of the grid hissing at her and scratching its walls. 

She woke up in a sweat and called me. She said she felt too scared to go to confession now. I told her that the devil is just discouraging you from visiting confession and the only reason he is bothering you now is that you will no longer be his property but that of the Lord. The devil doesn’t bother much with people who are not working to get closer to Christ. He only pursues those of us trying to get close to Jesus. 

This is how frightened of confession the devil is. It is a serious form of exorcism and not many of us realise this. 

After this and disapproval from her secular parents to come to Ireland, she came anyway. We met opposition from the local priest who made fun of us and called us Muslims when he saw she wore a mantilla and we were quite interested in the Catholic faith. He wasn’t impressed we were getting married so soon. 

But we did get married and in November this year we will be 7 years married. We have two children aged 3 and 5 whose names are Joseph Francis ( born on feast of St.Joseph and day of Pope Francis inauguration ) and Christian Alexander . 

Unfortunately after a few years in Ireland Audrey caught hodgkins lymohoma cancer. By the time it was diagnosed it was in its last stage and had spread throughout her body. What was harder to realise was she happened to be six months pregnant. 

She went through the chemo whilst pregnant and the baby boy Joseph was delivered on time. We called him the miracle child as he had no trace of chemo inside him as was to be expected. Not one trace. 

We are here now and I begin my latest job next Monday. We love each other and believe we have been called by God. Our marriage is strengthened by God and it’s the little faith we have that keeps us going. A family that prays together stays together right? But we also need you to pray for us too. 

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Not Qualified? On What Authority Do You Speak?

It is very difficult to live in a world and argue something  when that person expects you to be qualified in order to discuss the subject. This subject could be abortion, cancer, Policing tactics, psychology. 

The person you’re arguing with normally makes an attempt to shut down any argument by asking you to put forth your diploma in the arts or sciences. Abortion isn’t safe? Huh? Are you a doctor, how would you know?

Yet another argument they present is that seeing as you didn’t have cancer, abortion or joined the police force and went through training that you’ve no authority to speak on it. 

The “On what authority do you speak” goes all the way back to the Pharisees who posed the same question to Jesus. Humans haven’t changed and we still ask this of people going around talking about God and his healing power. “And what theological school did you go to? Are you a theologian? No? Then keep your mouth shut then. 

Usually people resort to this when the discussion isn’t going their way or because they don’t possess the intellectual prowess required to discuss it to begin with and so this tactic is a lazy way out. 

How do we respond to it? Well I often meet them on their own ground and ask them the same question. “Hey wait a minute  you’ve been discussing the very same subject with me for the last five minutes  and medicine isn’t your profession. Therefore if I’m not qualified neither are you. Regardless of this I’ll answer that question and tell you that an oncologist studies cancer but he doesn’t need to have contracted cancer in order to discuss and study this subject, likewise neither of us need a doctorate in science to study it and see that killing an unborn innocent human is wrong. 

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A picture of my wife Audrey

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This is a photo of my wife Audrey last week after she had learned that the cancer was no longer active which meant the doctors could then go ahead with the stem cell transplant. We are just waiting now for them to call with a bed for admission. Please pray for for Audrey that it is a success. Here is a picture of there person you have all been praying for. Thank you and keep praying. God bless.

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When St.Padre Pio Came To Our House

Today we were given a lovely relic of St.Padre Pios flesh of his wound from his hand. It was really nice to be allowed to pray and venerate this relic for the healing of my wife’s cancer and to bless my boys with it too. We were given about 1 to 2 hours time with this wonderful relic and we did just that and are very thankful to the people who came with it for us.

It was a great wedding anniversary gift from The Holy Spirit, Our Lady and Padre Pio. We have to say we definitely had a great day.

God bless

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When it rains it pours

Audrey came home yesterday evening but unfortunately our son Christian was not here to greet her. He had to go to my parents house to live there because of his throat infection and fever and this is due to the fact that Audrey is on chemo and catching even a small cough could prove to be fatal for her and kill her. My parents are less than capable of looking after Christian as they are not well themselves but what else can we do? We are so stressed out about it all.

Audrey hasn’t eaten at all yesterday and has been suffering from nausea all day yesterday and today. Right now she is up in bed and I tried to feed her some soup which she managed to hold down for a little bit. She can’t seem to function at all and that’s understandable taking into account the very difficult regime of drugs she is currently on.

Audrey returns to hospital Monday for a pick line dressing and bloodwork and is to remain at home before she is admitted for the second time for another week. There is one more cycle of drugs after that and then by Christmas she will be admitted to St.James Hospital for a whole three weeks for a stem cell transplant without coming home. This will only happen if the cancer is eliminated by the first treatment she is having now.

We feel things are not looking good as she is only in her first five days of treatment and already another lump in her neck has appeared around the others already present. We pray its only getting worse before getting better and we keep on praying.

Thank you for all your prayers so far.

Stephen

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Prayers for my wife suffering with cancer

Just a quick blog update looking for prayer for my wife who is suffering with cancer since October of last year. She didn’t find out she had cancer until January as the doctor who first saw her misdiagnosed her as a benign cist but on later inspection by the doctor at the maternity ward and further biopsys and tests it turned out to be Hodgkin’s lymphoma and by that stage it was at a stage 4 which was the final stage and had spread around her body. It was odd that our local doctor who misdiagnosed her Didnt recognise this and send her for a biopsy considering his own wife had the very same cancer. She went through chemotherapy whilst pregnant and the baby came out just fine and by august my wife was considered to be healed of her cancer but it came back. Now she has to be an admitted patient in the hospital until the cancer is gone and to get a stem cell transplant also.

I spoke with her this morning and she was extremely weak too weak to hold any kind of conversation so we had to reluctantly end the phone call. It’s heartbreaking because i can’t visit as the hospital don’t allow children under 12 on the hospital grounds at all and I’ve nobody to baby sit the kids whilst Audrey is in hospital. I ask you to please pray as hard as you can for her this winter season as we need all the prayers we can get.

Thank you and God bless

Stephen

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A Room With A View

Today was a busy day for us. My wife’s first administration of the Chemotherapy began today. The cocktail of drugs given was ABVD. I won’t go into the science behind it all because whats important now is that the dirty cancer is getting cleaned up as we speak and that’s all that matters.

I know my wife very well. From the day we met, she always admired my ( according to my wife ) really odd sense of humor. I often lift her spirits when she is feeling down. This is probably the most crucial time in her life in which her sorrow seemed to be so deep and that is to be expected.

We came into the Oncology unit and got set up. First things first before we start the treatment it was important we got a baby scan to keep everything in check. It was then another long march back to the Oncology unit. Whilst waiting for everything to be set up I read her the Bible. She was feeling pretty down in herself and began to get panicky and extremely anxious.

It was at this point that I needed to break the ice a little. Not knowing what to do I rose from my chair and sighed a thought of not being any useful. I looked out the window and I knew then that this would get a good laugh from what may seem to many as an odd joke to make considering the circumstances but then again you don’t know my wife’s great sense of humor. It was a daring joke to make and I thought about it for sometime but eventually had to break that ice some how.

I looked out the window and shouted back ”Hey honey, at least they gave you a room with a view, take a look”. We looked outside and busted out laughing because right across the road was a Catholic graveyard/cemetery. It broke the ice and we were in hysterics and saying ”Oh my goodness, who puts an oncology unit right beside a GRAVEYARD? of ALL places?.

She became extremely relaxed and the day went well. She had no side effects apart from a slight tension headache and tingling in the tumors. I reminded her that the ABVD was killing those tumors and that is a good tingle.

Even though we joked around about the graveyard, it still was a serious question we had. It was a strange position to be in for any patient at the clinic. I decided to leave for half hour and give her some rest whilst I took a walk. I walked outside and I found a cancer patient perhaps in his late 60’s leaning over the barrier between us and the graveyard and peering at it intently. I had this urge to just give him a hug or something and tell him to remain positive, God has a plan. Of course, a stupid thing to act out and I’d probably have my head handed to me but I wonder what it was he was thinking. My eyes welled up with tears and compassion for him. I mean it is hard enough having to deal with cancer without having to step outside and see a graveyard every-time you visit your local chemo clinic.

Yet there was also something inside of me begging the question ”oh yes but isn’t looking at a graveyard very liberating”? This thought may be spiritually too much for some of you reading this to consume right now ( even for me ) so I’ll leave it here and bid you a blessed and good night and will leave you with a final thought: I Love My Wife and I have a sort of Holy Envy of her right now because of the faith in God she possesses. I wish I could be like her.

God bless you all

Domestic Monk

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My Wife Has Cancer.

The word that everyone dreads, the modern-age plague that everyone fears has suddenly come upon my Wife who is six months pregnant. On the 15th of December 2012, the feast of St.John of the Cross ( I have most of his books and he is a favorite saint of mine ) my wife and I are given the horrible news.

We became like two empty people whose bodies were functioning but mind was out of sync ever since then. We left the restaurant that day without paying. We were greeted by the waitress who came waving the bill at us and even then we didn’t even realize we had forgotten to pay the bill until she explained. It seemed to get worse from there on. Audrey ( my wife ) had to shout at me a couple of times to get my attention because I would be found staring into space and likewise with me, sometimes getting her attention was difficult. 

That night we had left the door of the cars open all night. Thank God it didn’t rain but the whole car was frozen on the inside. Anyone could have robbed it but to be honest I don’t think we would have cared.

My wife, my best friend next to Jesus Christ has cancer. The thought of losing ones soul-mate really does flood your heart and mind from then on in. You try not to have that way of thinking and follow peoples advice of keeping it together and staying postitive, but the more I try, all the more such negative thoughts consume me; spreading like a flame my lips are too weak to blow out.

Yesterday I went to Mass alone as Audrey was unwell and it was Rejoice Sunday ( third Sunday of Advent ). Priest said ”Rejoice, rejoice and again I say rejoice”. There I was standing with the most tired eyes from having 4 hours sleep, un-showered, stinking and depressed body & soul. I was trying to find a way to rejoice. How could I rejoice? I had just no reaction in me whatsoever. I left the Church that day and in my forgetfulness I had misplaced my hat and hat to return through the crowd to get it.

Going back to thinking about being told this news on the feast of St.John of the Cross I began to think and meditate on his name. ”St.John of the Cross” I thought, ”He could have picked the name ‘St.John of Joy’ or ‘St.John of flowers’ or ‘St.John of happy smiley faces’. But he didn’t. He chose the name ‘St.John of the Cross’. I thought that this cancer for Audrey is just too hard to bear but When I think now about my wifes suffering and I am wondering where Jesus is, I now think of him on the Cross. ”Yes” I said, ”Jesus is on the Cross looking at us suffering too.” 

Our Lord suffered greatest of us all. The king of kings died a gruesome death for us on the cross, totally united to suffering and also taken aback by it too. His human nature screamed out ”My God my God why have you forsaken me?” Just like we do when we are in terrible suffering. But he stuck it out until the end for Love of His Father and Love of us.

I could spend a lot of time on that one but I am afraid I do not have the time as my wife Audrey is going into hospital tomorrow. She is feeling unwell and I am also. We both are. She is my body, and I am hers. Therefore when my wife is feeling unwell I am too. When my wife is upset, I am also. When she is happy I am happy. But when she feels like having a beer I remind her she is pregnant and I go ahead and have a beer regardless. 😉

I guess what I am trying to say is that although Audreys Cross is a heavy one, I am there to help her carry it and not unwillingly like Symon of Cyrene in the Gospel. We are told to carry our crosses with joy in life and although those words may seem like salt in the wound to some, they are liberating when truly lived. However we are weak and we do fall under this cross and fail to live out such words so I would beg of you for your prayers at this time to help us both get through this, particularly Audrey. The operation is tomorrow at 8am Irish time. I do believe that would be 1pm EST and 3pm PST. I would ask for your prayers for healing and deliverance. I would invite you also to call upon the intercession of St.Gianna Beretta Molla, a Great Saint and Mother who sacrificed her life for her unborn child. She was also a doctor and I am sure she is close by us. She is always around and I am currently doing a Novena in her Honor.

I will leave you with some thoughts. Today I bought a Bonsai Tree. I have not the slightest clue how to look after them. It is just a little tree, I thought it would look nice in my window. I take it home and realize the long list of care and hard work that goes along with taking care of this little tree. I thought to myself ”I might as well have bought a dog”. I wondered how could just a little tree like that require so much care? I have to water it, make sure it stays out of direct sunlight and I also have to feed it within certain months of the year and blah blah blah I could go on forever with the list. Allow me to stop here for a moment because, when you think about it, we are all just little Bonsai trees in the eyes of the Lord Jesus Christ aren’t we? The Blessed Mother sees us this way too. Jesus needs to water us, prune us so that we bear more fruit, ( a painful process but nonetheless a needed one ).

I thought ”This bonsai tree I have bears fruit in summer and flowers, then in winter sheds all this and bears its green leaves and awaits its spring again.” Most often that is an image of us. Like us, Jesus watches how we bear fruit and flower and blossom with happiness and he is there. Then when that period of happiness has gone and the sudden gloom envelops us for sometime, he is there watching us and caring for us also. He does not discard of us because we cease to entertain, but simply listens to our cry for a new spring and then when the almighty is ready he will bend the laws of nature, reach down and give us that spring and we blossom.

I do believe my wife who is experiencing gloom at the moment, with enough prayer, will eventually blossom. Like a Bonsai Tree, we are only small and fragile, and I guess we are only ever safe when entrusted to the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the care of His Mother also. Our Mother is with us in this pain I just know it. If my son ever decides on the religious life and asks me what name he should choose, I think I’ll tell him to go for ”Bonsai” haha.

Thank you all for reading and thank you for your prayers of healing and deliverance.

Domestic Monk.

 

 

 

 

 

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