Sunday, May 24, 2009

Vicars have worries too!

I have endeavoured to make this blog if not a place of full disclosure, then at least somewhere I've been honest about things which have gone on, without mentioning names or places usually as I don't want to be either pastorally insensitive or seen to be critical of people.

It's difficult sometimes to know just how much to say about oneself on a blog, particularly being in a very public, very well known position. A position which carries with it some responsibility for the well being for the people and places in my care.

So when I found a lump on my neck, where my lymph gland is, I was not only anxious that it might be something sinister, but apprehensive as to how much I should share with people. Hence my recent silence. It is natural, for most of us, to think the worst when something like this appears, and I didn't want to worry my parishes without reason. Whatever my own personal strengths and weaknesses, the people in our Church congregations invest a certain amount of trust in their ministers, and we have the perhaps unenviable role of holding together these congregations whether or not we feel worthy of such a responsibility.

So, I thought it better to say nothing as, unlike in my last parishes where I didn't publicise this blog too widely, lots of people in the Churches around here have told me that they check out what I am saying every now and then - I also get feedback, good and bad, on the things I write; for which I am very grateful.

I do have a lumpy lymph node in my neck. It doesn't look as though there is anything sinister there, but the doctor is keeping an eye on things and I am under the care of a consultant in the regional hospital at Exeter. X-Rays and blood tests haven't (as far as I know) flagged up any issues in particular, and after an Endoscopy which looked at my throat, via my nose, there was nothing visible which caused the consultant concern. I told a few people about these tests and about the Doctor's concerns and was extremely grateful for the messages of support and the prayers I received since it was discovered. I am convinced that it is the prayer which has kept me going over the past few weeks, and I have had some moments where a deep sense of calm has overwhelmed me and have wondered who was praying for me at that particular time.

There's a kind of 'watching brief' on my lumpy neck at the moment, there are no signs of a tumour in my lymph node, but the consultant wants to see me in a week or so from now just to check me out. It's meant that I haven't wanted to say anything, rather than worrying people and has been enough of a distraction to keep me from blogging. Alongside this I had something of a cold and feeling of being generally run down, so though I have kept all my set appointments and been to meetings etc, it didn't seem appropriate to go and visit folk to whom I might spread my bugs!

For the time being, then, I hope that it will be business as usual, and i will catch up on this blog over the coming days and weeks when I have a moment. I do have a couple of sermons to put on the New Kid Deep Stuff blog, and lots of random thoughts noodling around my brain which have been put off whilst I thought about how to share this news. As I said in my last post, you might not be able to shut me up!

5 comments:

Jem said...

Glad that you're taking a measured approach to a disturbingly unclear situation. Doesn't surprise me that you are, of course, but glad all the same.

Nick said...

Wowsers man sorry to hear about that... but as Jem said... glad you aren't hitting the panic button.

Not being in your particular church (parish not CofE or universal), if you ever want prayer.. or just an electronic ear... never feel impeded to drop me a line.

N

quilly said...

What Nick said -- my email works. Someone praying for you while you worried and waited might have helped your peace as well!

Worry, stress and too much caffeine have caused such lumps to come and go on my neck since I was a kid. Now I rarely worry -- which sometimes makes me worry that something serious will come along and I won't have it checked! LOL!

I think the low key, "let the doctors look at it" method was a wise choice.

Melli said...

Good thing some of us just pray for you as a matter of habit! I do understand not wanting to upset people in your parishes though... and the rumor mill loves a bit of sketchy news. I think you did the wise thing!

Thank you for stopping by MY little blog today! I do LOVE seeing your smiling face over there!

I wish for you today a FULL measure of JOY! And health and peace! Take care Alastair!

The Old Fart said...

My Mum always used to tell me not to worry until I had too. I know this is hard to do and I sometimes worry too much and then find out I've worried for nothing.

I have said a prayer for you Alastair and have just asked God to send one of his Angels to watch over you and keep you and your family safe and well.

Blessing my friend.

Bill