The Norfolk and Norwich Christian community website

Norwich bishop speaks of cancer battle

MichaelEvans2006: Norwich's Roman Catholic bishop has talked about his battle with prostate cancer after finishing his lifesaving radiotherapy sessions.

Bishop Michael Evans, 55, was diagnosed with the disease last year and endured the last of 20 radical radiotherapy sessions three weeks ago.

The bishop is now recuperating while he waits for follow-up tests in the coming months where he hopes to be given the all clear.

Bishop Michael became one of the youngest prostate cancer sufferers as the disease usually hits people over the age of 60.

He said he has been helped through the illness by the radiotherapy team at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital, support from the community and his faith in God.

“I am in the recovery period at the moment,” the bishop said. “I have finished the radiotherapy sessions but I have no idea what the long term affects are. I will not find that out until at least next month when I have more tests.

“I am much more tired than I was when I was having treatment and have had to rest a great deal. This is meant to be the worst time for side-effects and I am really feeling it.

“It has been a real battle but I have had a lot of support from everyone and at no time did I even consider giving up. It is one of those things that you have to just keep fighting.”

The bishop hopes his high-profile cancer battle has helped other people who are going through treatment or struggling to come to terms with the disease.

“I don't know if my having prostate cancer has made a difference to anyone else who has it,” the bishop said. “But I hope it has encouraged people to do the same as me and fight the disease and my prayers are also with those people.

“I want to say thank you for all the support, good wishes and prayers I have received. The N&N radiotherapy team are excellent and I am deeply grateful to them.”

Bishop Michael, who was appointed head of the Roman Catholic Church in the region in 2003, broke the news that he was seriously ill with advanced cancer to his congregation in November.

He began his priesthood as a parish priest at St Augustine's in Tunbridge Wells, Kent. Over the next 28 years he experienced a broad and varied priestly ministry as a theologian teacher and author.

He became the third bishop of the East Anglian diocese after succeeding the Most Rev Peter Smith.

More than 400 men in Norfolk are diagnosed with prostate cancer each year but it is only recently that enough funding was raised for specialist treatment.

This article is courtesy of www.eveningnews24.co.uk

Pictured above is Bishop Michael Evans.

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