All posts tagged: cancer

“Indescribable peace” in the midst of cancer battle

This article is part of the #flamfaces series. Here, Matt Kuipers of Launceston shares some of his story. Being a Christian, I always thought I was a pretty ‘good’ person, who contributes well to society. As far as I can remember I have always been assured of belonging to God’s family, which gives me comfort and assurance in a life after death. However my faith had never really been significantly challenged. In December 2016 I was diagnosed with rectal cancer at the age of 34. After many scans it became apparent that the cancer had spread to my liver upgrading it to stage four. Through chemoradiation and surgery the cancer was successfully removed from my rectum but the tumours in my liver continued to grow in both size and number. Throughout the whole crazy journey, including diagnosis, never have I questioned my faith. I do not put this down to having a really strong, well-developed faith. In fact, I think the opposite is true. To sit there in total peace while one of your doctors is telling you that …

Intermission: Between the Cancer Death of One Child and the Birth of a New Baby

If you were to ask me, “Who is the most inspiring person in your life?”, chances are I would name Rebecca Fogarty.  She is a dear friend, one who has navigated extreme hardship with Godly wisdom, dignity and courage.  I want to be like her!  She’s also extremely eloquent, so I won’t rabbit on. These are her words, another This Little Life story that demonstrates the inherent value of life. (Rebecca first shared this story at the 2014 Flourish women’s event in Launceston) “Intermission. The break in the middle of the show that allows you to get something to eat, go to the loo or talk to the person next to you. Intermission is also the name we have given the last nine weeks. It has been a time without children…between children. While excruciatingly painful it has also been a valuable chance to rest, to talk and to think. What I am about to share is sad but it turns out okay so please trust me and come with me on this. My son Leo was …

“The Doctors Were Wrong; Our Son Lives”. Child Euthanasia Would Have Robbed This Family of Nine Wonderful Months… and Counting.

Whatever you do, don’t move to Belgium.  Its chocolates may be unsurpassed, its boutique breweries may be consummate but its laws are downright barbaric.  I allude to this speck of a country’s recent decision to legalise euthanasia for terminally ill children of any age.  You heard right.  Child euthanasia.  Any age. Adult euthanasia became legal in Belgium in 2002 and neighbouring Holland has allowed child euthanasia, with a minimum age of 12 years, for some time now.  Sounds a lot like a gradient with a slick and shifty surface. But how would I know what it’s like?  How can I judge when I’ve never been in the agonising situation of mothering a terminally ill child? Fair call. Launceston parents Rebecca and Kyron Fogarty know that their son Leo would have been a prime candidate, were they living in Belgium.  From the age of 14 months, Leo has undergone radiation treatment and chemotherapy in an attempt to obliterate the cancerous tumour in his tummy.  Any semblance of normalcy was upended for this family, and stints in …

Memento Mori – Remember That You Will Die

“I can’t find your pulse,” the nurse said. This didn’t bode well for my employment prospects.  I was sitting there, breathing, blinking, alive as far as I could tell, enduring a medical check for a job I wanted so badly, and which hinged on this evaluation. The nurse continued prodding at my wrist to no avail.  I waited for her to lift her eyes and solemnly shake her head, to say, “I’m sorry Claire, the medical requirements for this position are strict: criteria number 5.4 specifies you must be alive!” She didn’t say that, of course.  Eventually she did find a vein with the requisite throb of blood flow to confirm my humanity to the new boss.  Cue Hallelujah Chorus. One day my pulse will stop.  We each, every one of us, have a death date.  We can frequent the gym, gargle green smoothies, cook with goji berries, chia seeds and maca powder, detox, pop vitamins and steer clear of sugar like it’s the devil incarnate, but even with the best, most holistic, health-conscious treatment …