Cancer author Grace Sheppard battles the disease

Grace Sheppard
Image caption Grace Sheppard is remaining positive about her battle against the disease

A woman who wrote a book about caring for her husband shortly before he died from cancer has been diagnosed with the disease for the third time.

Grace Sheppard, 75, author of 'Living with Dying', is currently receiving treatment and undergoing tests in hospital.

Her husband David, who was the Bishop of Liverpool and played cricket for England, died from cancer in 2005.

She said she was prepared for the "next lap in life's journey".

The talented writer, who has published three books, is perhaps most well-known for 'Living with Dying'.

Shortly after she wrote the book, she told the BBC: "I think what passed between David and me during his illness was very much a love story, a different kind of love story."

'Wonderful support'

The widow, who was lives in West Kirby, Wirral, was speaking in a debate about the taboos that surround talking about death which are the focus of a week-long NHS North West campaign called Dying Matters.

She had cancer earlier on in their marriage, then for a second time and now she is facing her third battle.

Despite this, she is being very positive: "If you can believe it I feel and look very well. I am at peace and am comfortable.

Image caption David Sheppard was Bishop of Liverpool from 1975 to 1997

"Perhaps writing my latest book was part of my preparation for this next lap in life's journey - having shared my experience, I am now living it myself again, and finding that I have been given the strength to fight it with the wonderful support of family and friends."

The Bishops of Liverpool and Birkenhead have asked local people to "uphold Grace in their prayers".

David Sheppard was Bishop of Liverpool from 1975 to 1993, during that time he formed a close alliance with Archbishop Derek Warlock fighting the case for Liverpool during a time when the city was struggling economically.

He was also an accomplished cricketer who played 22 tests for England between 1950 and 1963.

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