Posted: Dec 28 2016
So have I really told you how amazing God is?
How in amongst a storm - miracles can happen and are real.
That you can have the truth in your life and actually prove it.
It's kinda hard writing this blog entry, and there is so much I want to write, however this is a condensed version of the journey we went through last year when we were faced with Ewen (my husband) having testicular cancer that then spread through other parts of his body.
A simple warning, this is purely from a wife's point of view with many pictures. My little visual documentary into a time when I felt my heart break, my world crumble, questions answered, sprinkled with moments of joy, peace and God’s everlasting love.
Speaking of love, let's start with these two munchkins. These are my boys (Israel & Solomon pictured). One of my ultimate favourite God given miracles I've witnessed in my life. Ewen had many tests and we were told there was about a 1% chance of us having children together. IVF was not an option either... but after prayer and confounded doctors, here they are (naturally conceived, strong, healthy, full on little boys)... ok back to last year:)
On a day where we thought ‘daddy’ was just going in for another scan and check up, we were at the shops waiting for Ewen to call me to pick him up.
Here you can see my boys playing their own concoction of ‘sales reps” in the shop isles. A super cute moment I posted on my personal social media accounts. Minutes after posting, I received the call from Ewen and I rushed back to the hospital. More tests. More scans. That dreaded C word was now apart of my little family.
The Boys playing Sales Reps in Kmart. Ewen's battle with various Inflammatory Bowel diseases began in 2008 (here he is connected to a Camera Pill device so we could see how his condition was reacting over a period of 24 hours.)
Before we knew it, we were back to getting to know hospitals again. Ewen also has been suffering from a rare inflammatory bowel disease for over 11 years, so hospital visits were quiet frequent and not uncommon. I know we are privileged to be in such a position of amazing care with our hospital system and medical staff, regardless, I still can't say it offered any great comfort.
So we needed some. And quickly. I'd been here so many times before with Ewen. But I have to say, this time it was different. I needed to be REALLY strong. I was worried - as Ewen doesn’t react to medication well at all. Instantly I thought the chemo would kill him. Ewen can’t take a paracetamol without having some form of bad reaction. I’ve seen him take a swing at a doctor with morphine, attempt suicide only to be woken up by nurses and not know what was going on. Like I said - drugs and Ewen do not mix. The next few steps in our life weren’t looking crash hot. I needed help and not just from my incredible, always there for me family.. (to be honest.. I wished for them to have a break from our illness dramas). So I decided to call out and seek help instantly. That's where my amazing body of Christ stepped in. Saints from my church prayed. Many people we knew fasted. It wasn't just my amazing friends, but people I didn't even know, or know that well - globally. God enveloped us. The Holy Spirit comforted both of us.
One big sign of comfort I knew to be truth was the change I saw in Ewen quite instantly. He is our family research guru. He researches everything and anything. So when it came to understanding how the cancer had spread, I honestly thought I was going to face a man who questioned everything (nutty professor style) and our dining table would be filled with Bio tech research notes, papers and pages of questions. This had occurred before, however this time major anxiety didn’t take it’s full effect. He asked questions to the oncologist but that’s where it ended. That peace that passes all understanding is definitely a confronting and beautiful thing. Seriously - this was a miracle to all that know Ewen very well. Completely out of character.
Then more comfort arrived.
Support came from all over.
Babysitting for the boys was needed and came without struggle as we had months ahead in hospital. Home cooked dinners, and offering to have our own little Sunday communion service at our place. Text messages of encouragement, scriptures that seem to be sent when we needed them. How God shows His love is truly overwhelming.
Some of Ewen's closest and longest friends came for a surprise day visit from interstate and offerred great prayer and encouragement. Collage snap shot of the amazing babysitiing adventures our little boys experienced from beautiful family and friends.
I couldn't get over how I was handling this all - as my husband suffered. Strength was coming from within. As my boys struggled to see their father look happy, distractions came with the care and love from the people looking after them. I had began Bespoke2 as my way of reaching out to others and offering encouragement in daily situations and gift giving. Little did I realise it would also be an outlet that encouraged and edified me through this tumultuous trial. People like you, reading this now, with beautiful scriptures and inspired stories and words of strength and encouragement.
Receiving such encouragemnet and support was awesome. But it was hard. Gosh, trying to claim victories and speak life online to only look across the room and see your husband so sick. One minute I was scripting, reading or writing a positive social post, to instantly rushing over to the couch and praying fervently for relief and the pain to be removed from Ewen. The behind the scenes wasn’t pretty and honestly I didn’t feel very strong. But it was real.
Just a snippet of the BESPOKE2 posts I created during this time. A bitter sweet example of contrasting emotions of joy, fear and sadness. I still remember them all so clearly.
Two weeks before Ewen's chemo treatment was nearing to an end, I believe was the hardest I had felt like I had faced in quite some time. He was looking so pale and weak. Keeping in mind typical symptoms of his aggressive treatment like diarrhea and vomiting didn’t actually happen (again this was unbelievable considering his body and state) and only having one mouth ulcer for the first 'cycle'. Even taking only 12 panadols in total during the 3 months of chemo treatment was incredible - most took that within a couple of days.
However, Ewen did suffer. He'd lost nearly 30kg in 2.5 months. His descriptions of pain and anologies that felt like he had pure evil coursing through his veins was confronting. He went from wanting to live to just wanting it to all end to then having peace. What a cycle. It was constant and it was daily.
The struggle was real. Ewen marking off the weeks of treatment and illustrating the various stages of chemotherapy.
My little boys also began to show signs of struggle. Ewen, as an amazing and close stay at home dad for many years, was truly missed by the boys. We really wanted to limit his appearance to them as we could see visually it was very traumatic to our young boys. During this time also, I had a couple of business projects that fell through, which didn't help us financially at all. So when you hear the phrase ”when it rains it pours” just know… they are not kidding. I couldn't believe it. So much doubt creeps in. All that bravado and full of faith and spirit you think you have can become overshadowed instantly when you are in an emotional state of overwhelm.
I went into our garage where I knew no one could see or hear me and dropped to the floor and cried out to God. "I don't understand! What am I doing that's not enough? Is my faith not enough?"
I was a blubbering mess.
I felt like I had nothing left.
Then I just sat still and stared at the wall. Kneeling on the floor and wiping my tears with the sleeve of my jumper.
And that small voice came to me. “The End is near, it's nearly over. It is done."
I can't explain it. It's not like I'd heard a voice before.
It wasn't a booming voice. But I knew it was the Holy Spirit inside of me and I felt the presence of the Lord cradle me.
There was no more fear. His love had cast it all out.
And then I laughed (I know.. its what I do).
I just kept scripting for BESPOKE2 Instagram posts. Amazing sense of comfort while reading parables and stories from the Word of God.
It was clear. It was like a flash of light filled the room and I knew The deceiver was around, clutching at my doubt.
I got up and told him to get out of my house. Nice and loud and clear. He didn't belong here and this time I was serious. I had seen what he was doing.
No dramatics. No dwelling. Just pure authority.
And from then, I knew all would be well. In the scriptures of the Psalms it says to Wait, hope and expect the Lord. And expect I did.
So after 11 years of chronic and debilitating illnesses from Ewen, I knew the end was near.
He is now cancer free.
In all seriousness - God was working in Ewen before his treatment had commenced. In the first couple of weeks of finding that Ewen’s cancer had spread throuhought parts of his body, we asked for a second scan after we and many others globally prayed and fasted.
Unbeknowns to us at the time, we were told that the cancer had stopped spreading and had begun to reduced before treatment (during our fasting). As the cancer was still there - a decision was made to proceed with treatment regardless.
Our oncologist presenting to us the various stages of scans and when the cancer was no more! It was such a glorious day to see the scans indicate that Ewen was cancer free! Here is Ewen outside the hospital that same day, holding a print he loved expressing his joy with such news (it's like we knew it was over).
By the grace of God, Ewen does not suffer from his shocking inflammatory bowel disease now.
Previously, he also has been healed of ulcerative colitis. The internal bleeding stopped after a day session of prayer and fasting at our house - much to a few gastroenterologist amazement.
Ewen still suffers with some neuropathy issues from the chemo treatment and we understand healings aren't always in an instant, but I know Ewen couldn’t of survived it all without God by His side and the holy spirit within. What is good is of God and our strength comes from God’s glory in our blessed and amazing life.
Having access to the truth, with the eyes of understanding is what I always hope for and know you can have it to.
Believing that the Bible is the complete, inspired Word of God that gives light and wisdom in all of life’s trials and tribulations.
To be baptised (fully immersed) in water and receive the Holy Spirit by the physical evidence of speaking in tongues, that ignites and will envelope you with incredible peace and comfort.
To experience healings, to have your life renewed, and live a wonderful life as a Spirit-filled Christian is what I wish for all to have.
We count it all joy and acknowledge His work, provision and blessings in our life and all that we do and go through.
If you want to know more detail about Ewen’s testimony - send me a message.
I’d be more than happy to chat and you can even ask Ewen.
He’s up and about now… no excuses! ;)
Recent family photo. The Maxwell Spirit is still strong and full of wonder and happiness.
So I’ll leave you with my favourite scripture (see pic above) that released instant peace everytime I read it.
We are not immune to sickness in this life, but let not illness strip your spirit. Let go and let God ignite you with His incredible power, love and sound mind to deal with whatever you are going through.
Blessings upon blessings always,
(A very happy wife, mumma and sister in Christ).