A Desperate Plea for Help

thought-for-sundayFrom the desk of Fr. Ignatius Waters, cp

Sunday, 10th June 2018



 (I wrote about Colette Nolan in June of 2017. Here she writes with great honesty about her experience of cancer and all she’s learned from the experience)

“When diagnosed with cancer, you get to experience something that normally only happens once one has died, at their funeral. You get to see how much you are loved by those around you who will literally do anything to make you smile. And you will become an observer in how your diagnosis changes the lives of these loved ones. This has certainly been my experience. I can feel this love in the dark of the night when I’m scared. It floats around me in the air in a pink swirl and helps me breathe when the fluid on my lungs gets too bad. It cheered me on as I shouted at all the oncologists, doctors and nurses and banned them from my room so I could meditate. And it held my heart so very gently as I prayed it was healthy.

It came in the form of the steady stream of beautiful, intelligent friends who have given up weeks to come and care for me here in this foreign country. They cook for me, carry my bags, look deep into my eyes as my veins are prodded with endless infusions and they make me giggle in delight at silly things.

When I was diagnosed something changed forever. All the mundane bulls**t fell away. Living became my only goal. And my husband completely stepped up to support me in that. We searched our past to try to figure out why my body created such a desperate plea for help. We found that stress was the driving force behind my illness and the key to my healing was the opposite of that – peace. He is the most incredible man I’ve ever met. He has held me every single step of this journey while also readily facing his own demons, because we know that actually if I am going to fully heal, then he also has to change his life. We have painfully torn down the dysfunctional foundations that we unintentionally created over 12 years. And haven’t left any stone unturned.

It’s been a tiring and uncomfortable time for us as we have had to talk through so much that has stayed in darkness for a long time. But we both know that this is the only way I can heal and also that we have to do it so we can raise our son in the manner that he deserves. I am in awe of my husband’s brute strength to keep going through his exhaustion, to keep walking our dogs and to keep driving me to appointment after appointment. To also keep caring for our boy, calmly soothing him and cultivating a relationship that is so beautiful to witness. To help me with every single difficult decision I have had to make, and remind me that I always have a choice.

Somehow among it all, we have snatched moments to look into each others’ eyes, to breathe together, to cry together and remind each other that I am healing every day.”