In their kindness, people ask how I am. And it’s difficult to know quite what to say. I’m thinking about it a bit – I’ve stopped saying ‘I’m fine’ because Men are from Mars says that ‘I’m fine’ is what men say when they mean, ‘Don’t ask’. So policy on that is under constant review.
Meanwhile I’m thinking about the fact that there is something wrong inside me – but I can’t see it. And I’m about to have radiotherapy treatment which I can’t see either.
Fortunately the sacramental mindset says that we can do things which we can touch, taste and feel in order to express and respond to things which we can’t. So next week – just before the treatment begins – I’m going to be anointed and have the laying on of hands. I had that in the early stages after being diagnosed and it was immensely helpful in calming the fears.
But to say that ‘It works’ isn’t quite enough. I think it’s partly that it doesn’t seem quite right just to hope that ‘the doctors will fix this for me’. Surely there must be some ways in which I can make a contribution to my own healing – so we are testing out diet options and I am cycling every day.
But beyond that I have always had a very holistic attitude to healing. I can’t say that I understand the ’cause and effect’ of how anointing and laying on of hands helps. But I think it is about engendering deep spiritual and emotional changes in me – such that my body can accept the treatment and that deep inner healing will take place.
That’s why all of this will change me as a person