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Seeing bad news in a new light


One of the most poignant, yet inspiring, articles I have read over the Christmas holidays was this one in the Church Times. Canon Simon Wilkinson's reaction - not immediately, but over the longer term - to the news that he had a life-limiting illness is an example of faith and fortitude that is deeply impressive. The piece begins:


'The consultant’s message to Simon Wilkinson was not good news. Or so he thought. . .


It was noon on Christmas Eve. “You can go in now,” the secretary said; so we — my wife, Becky, and I — knocked on the door, and went into the oncology consultant’s office. “Do you know why you’re here?” she asked, and I said I thought it was something to do with the blood tests that I had had a few days earlier. She said, “Yes, well, you’re right in a sense. I have bad news. The blood tests revealed that you have prostate cancer, and I’m afraid to tell you that it is terminal. There is nothing we can do for you because your PSA is so very high.”


We just sat there, expressionless; completely taken aback by what we had just been told. She continued: “Your PSA really should be no higher than five, and yours is 795; so you can see that it is beyond remedy. Is there anything you’d like to ask me?” and I think I managed to stutter: “Is there no more that can be done?” She said: “Well, there is one form of injection that might possibly have some delaying effect, but I’m not sure whether we have any left in the pharmacy, and it costs £12,000 per injection. I’ll write you a prescription, and you can go down to the hospital pharmacy and see if they have any in stock.”...'


 

So began a journey which changed Simon's perspective on life and has delivered a much better outcome than he might ever have anticipated, both health-wise and faith-wise. His approach might be an object lesson to us all.


You can read the full article in Church Times.



 

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