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Speaker: Riverside Church

At Riverside we are on a journey to help people get to know Jesus and grow as his followers across Birmingham and beyond. Whoever you are, whatever you believe, you're so welcome in this community.
April 18, 2023
A Riverside Story | Steve & Pier

Video

Transcript

[00:00] – Pier

I’m Pier Price and this is my husband, Steven. We’ve been married for 37 years, but we’ve been coming to Riverside for 24 years. This story starts way back in 2008 when after certain tests, I was referred to the Hematology Department at Queen Elizabeth Hospital (QE) in Birmingham. Hematology is to do with blood disorders, blood diseases. When I saw the doctor, the Hematology Doctor, he said I had something called multiple myeloma. It’s incurable, but we can treat it with chemotherapy and various things. While he was saying this, I wasn’t paying much attention to what he was saying because at the same time God was saying, “You’re in no danger”. I attended the clinic for eight years, never had a single bit of treatment. Lots of blood tests, but no treatment. Fast forward to August last year, went to the GP with problems with my hands, and I ended up once more in the Hematology Department. I never thought I’d see the inside of that place again. In fact, I never wanted to. I saw the young professor, one of the professors with Hematology, and he told me again that I had a very serious disease.

 

[01:21] – Pier

Multiple myelone is very serious. It’s incurable but treatable and it could extend my life with chemotherapy. So I said, Well, I’ve heard that all before, 13 years before, but four days after I saw this doctor getting out of the shower with a bath, I collapsed, could not move, absolutely could not move. I thought. Dear Lord. What. Is happening?

 

[01:44] – Steve

I rushed up to the stairs and I find her just wedged with her back against the bathtub, like she cannot move because the pain is… If she moves anywhere, there’s just pain, pain, pain, or pain. So what can we do? I can’t do anything and you can’t stay there all day. So I call the ambulance. We ended up at the QE to have consultations with the professor. He’s like the top man of Hematology. So that’s his specialism, his blood disorders. And his prognosis was this is the myeloma. It’s been smoldering for all these years. They call it smoldering. Now he says it’s starting to bite. You really do need to go on the chemotherapy now. And she really was ill. She was at the point where the most she could do was to stand off the hospital bed and get the bedpan under and sit again. That was her motion. That was how, energy wise and just illness wise, she was at that point. So we went right through some difficult waters. And that’s what through those times we’re praying and trusting in God, as you do. At night times with just tears, God, if you don’t do something here, she’s gone.

 

[03:14] – Pier

But through all that time, I had peace. I never thought I was dying at all because I thought, My God hasn’t told me wants me and glory yet.

 

[03:22] – Steve

They said, the only other thing we can offer you is a blood transfusion. And they had never offered us a blood transfusion until that point. So I was thinking, well, how you’ve explained it to me, the disease is attacking her marrow, which is where your body makes red blood cells. So her body effectively can’t make its own new red blood cells. Blood transfusion sounds like a brilliant idea. So I said, yes, that sounds brilliant. Now at this point, I met a nice Christian man from over the road. He says, we’ve been praying for Pierre, how’s she doing? And I said, well, she’s not in a good way, but they’ve offered her a blood transfusion, which I think would be a good thing. But we can’t get to hospital. I don’t know how to get there. She can’t get in a car. Her spine is curved. She can’t get that low. I said, and I haven’t even got a wheelchair. And the man said to me, I know a lady who has wheelchairs. And by the very next night, there was a knock on the door and it was her, I heard you needed this wheelchair. That’s downstairs now.

 

[04:34] – Steve

So there’s like, well, is this a door opening? This looked like a door opening to me. The very next day was the day when we needed to get into the clinic. Let’s do that, let’s do that. Let’s call the taxi. And I’ve got a wheelchair. It’s manual, yes. They arrived and slid the door open, pulled this ramp out of the seal. I didn’t know this existed. “No, no, sir.” he says, “I’ve got this”. And he pushes her up into the cab. And he’s got some special straps that they strap around the wheelchair, close the door and off we go to the QE. I remember us sitting opposite each other, we’re like, “we’re doing it! God’s made this possible!”. And so we get into the Hematology Clinic, they did the blood match and then said “come back in two days, we’ll have your two bags of blood ready”. And when Pier went in, they said, “your blood count, your red blood count was 43, which is less than half what it should be. We don’t know why you’re still standing”. So they were shocked at that.

 

[05:40] – Steve

So Piere had two bags of blood. And then from then, the blood count shot up to something like… 77, which was great. And then I said, well, how many of these can we have? And they said, “as many as you need, however you must remember that every time you have a transfusion, it has less effect, and also it will do nothing to stop the progress of the disease.”

 

[06:12] – Pier

The fact is that although the doctors are saying that between blood transfusions and the blood count would go down, never did it stay at the same level or slightly raised.

 

[06:22] – Steve

It’s gone up and up. So what happened last month, the community nurse was able to come out at this time. So she takes the blood sample and rings us up in the afternoon with the results. And the results were there’s no transfusion this month. And we’re like, what? Have we run out? You said we wouldn’t run out. They said “No, it’s nothing to worry about, basically, your blood’s too good, you don’t need a transfusion this month”. We thoght well, how’s this happening? If Pier’s body is unable to make red blood cells, it doesn’t make sense? Pier’s brother said the same, and he’s a retired medical consultant. He said with his hands in the air, “I don’t understand this. It doesn’t make sense, but I’m happy to have it because I’m happy to have my sister still”. So his brain is saying, this does not compute. You should have gone down. You should have been gone. They said in February, we’ll give you two months. Now we’re now May, June, July, August. She’s still rolling. Better than that. She’s getting better and better.

 

[07:23] – Pier

That’s right. I was expecting when I first heard, Ah, I had multiple myeloma, it was really getting bad, that God would do an amazing miracle just straight like that. But God’s taught me patience because in the book of James in the Bible it says, consider it pure joy when you face trials of many kinds because the testing of your faith produces perseverance (James, Chapter 1, verses 2-4). So I’ve learned to be patient, think, God’s got me. God’s got us. A few months ago, I could hardly get myself off the settee. I’m going upstairs now. I can walk around, totter around with my walking stick at home, or if I have to go to the front door, the Zimmer Frame. Every day I can see a little bit more progress. Recently, I was just prompted to read Psalm 34. I read Psalm 34 so many times in my life, but it was as if the Holy Spirit was saying, Read Psalm 34. I read it and this verse just jumped out at me. The Lord protects the bones of the righteous. Not one of them is broken. I think I must have been laughing and said, Steve, come and hear this, because he was in the kitchen making breakfast.

 

[08:39] – Pier

I think God’s got such a wonderful sense of humour because multiple myeloma destroys bone marrow, weakens the bones so much that I’ve got this compression fracture. But God is saying he protects my bones. Not one of them is broken. I am just trusting God to do the finished work, which is fix my spine so I’m walking up right once more and I can just walk and even praise God. Basically, that’s what I want to do because God is so good.

 

[09:12] – Steve

What’s really important is God is with us, but also the Church is the body of Christ. We are the Church and the Church throughout that has been praying for us. They’ve been providing meals for us. They’ve been coming around with flowers. There’s so much goodness that’s being poured into our lives by just outpouring of love, just the body of Christ, loving each other and helping that along. We don’t know what the future is, but we know who holds the future and we know what the promises of God are. That’s what we’re looking to. We walk by faith, not by sight. So we’re looking to God’s word. That is our hope.

 

[09:59] – Pier

Eventually, we are destined for our home in heaven. I think there’s a scripture it says, we are God’s workmanship created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which he prepared in advance for us to do. So we’re to do the good works here, tell people the gospel, share our testimony. When we go home to glory, we want to hear God say, Well done, good and faithful servants.

 

[10:24] – Steve

I think it was talking to Gary and explaining that we’ve discovered Jesus doesn’t do death. He does life, abundant life, resurrection life. That’s God. So after this life, resurrection life, there is no end. We don’t lose! That’s why we’re more than conquerors in Christ Jesus! The end.

Resources

If after reading this blog post you would like to contact someone on our pastoral team or woudl like someone to pray with you, please do contact us. We would love to hear from you. 

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