Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Pain Management 101

Yeah! The pain is under control and I am doing better! I called the Cancer Clinic Nurse Support Line this morning and a nurse walked me through the steps I had to take to get rid of the pain. I am now keeping up on the pain medications and though I am a little drowsier, I am managing the pain. The heartburn is also under control with proper amounts of medication. How thankful I am for such a great new Abbotsford Cancer Clinic!
Hey, you know what I saw outside my window this afternoon? Three young deer! My brother and sister-in-law were just coming over and spotted them walking right past my doorway down to the tasty shrubs and grass below. They really didn't care that we were watching them and taking pictures, and talking. They just sauntered merrily on by! One of them trampled on a lovely crocus, but I'll excuse him for this time. Creation certainly does call out God's wonderful Name!

Breathing a sigh of relief...

Monday, March 30, 2009

More pain...

It's a little hard to be positive today because the pain has gotten the best of me and the heartburn has been awful! Probably from the pain medication. But a dear friend came to clean my house today, and the hot bath soothed my aching muscles, and crying was cleansing, and the book I'm reading is a good one, and I have lovely music to listen to, and I know this will subside again. Pain just gets to be discouraging and frustrating at times. Oh well, time for a cup of tea and some deep breathing. Just keep praying for relief from the pain so I can sleep through the night again.


Sunday, March 29, 2009

Good to see the sunshine!

It's been a bit of a harder day today because I've had pain in my legs and I'm so very tired. However, I'm just taking it easy and laying down most of the time. Eating is difficult because not too much is appetizing or appealing to me. I've been on pain medication which makes me more groggy but it does settle me down. All part of the process, I suppose. I did step outside awhile this afternoon just to breathe in the sunshine. Dad, did you plant some little crocuses by my front step? They are blooming and look so pretty! I love them! Spring is definitely in the air today!

Love, Sandra

Friday, March 27, 2009

Just amazed!

Chemo #1 is over. Thanks for the update, Ardie, and thank you all for your prayers. It was amazing that the chemo went so smoothly and God did give me a lot of calm to be able to walk into the chemo room. It's been a very quiet day today. I had a good, long sleep last night but I'm very tired and unable to do too much. I have to keep on taking medication to keep the nausea at bay and I'm eating crackers and drinking gingerale to settle my stomach, but it's working and I am able to eat a little. My cancer doctor called this afternoon to check in, and let me know that a port-a-cath won't happen because it's too hard to get operating room time for that. The chemo nurses had recommended that procedure yesterday but now we'll just keep praying that my veins last for the next 3 rounds of treatment. God can do all things and He certainly has performed miracles the last 2 days. I'm grateful just to be up and around, and on my own.
Thanks again for keeping me in your thoughts and prayers. Remember my sister, Audrey, too, who is preparing for her second surgery next week Thursday, April 2.

Resting comfortably,

Thursday, March 26, 2009

1 Down 3 to Go

Hi Everyone! This is Ardie writing while Sandra takes a nap.

We just wanted to give an update of how the 1st chemo treatment went this morning. There must have been loads of people praying because it went amazingly well. So many victories! I'm proud of how strong Sandra was today! Just walking in to the chemo room at 8 this morning and out again just after noon today was a victory!

The nurse got a good vein on the first try. Sandra had hardly any pain with the needle and with the chemo--also amazing. The only nausea was a bit of heartburn from one of the medications she has to take to combat the side effects of the chemo. Don't you just love how there's a side effect to everything! That was fixed with some Maalox, crackers and ginger ale.

The chemo drip went right on schedule. Sandra then walked out on her own two feet and rode upright in the car all the way home!!!! She was conscious the whole time today, unlike 24 years ago.

She had some tea and toast to eat once we got home. She's just really tired. We're not sure if that's the chemo that's making her tired or just relief to be done with the first one (it's probably both), but it doesn't matter!

Please remember now that she has started chemo that if you are feeling any sickness at all to not come visit Sandra. If you do visit, please remove all footwear and wash hands in the powder room when you come. Please as always, phone before coming. She may have a lot of tiredness in the days to come.

Continue to pray that the nausea and vomiting stay away! Thanks for all of your love and support!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Chemo day tomorrow!

It is getting late and I shall go to bed soon but I just wanted to touch base with all of you out there. I had a good time in ALberta and a good flight back home on Tuesday night. Today I organized myself again and got ready for my univ. course this evening. I had to start taking pills already today in preparation for the chemo tomorrow - 4 of them. They made me a little jittery and my legs are aching a lot right now but hopefully that's just because I'm tired and ready to sleep. I know that with all your prayers I will be able to walk into the chemo room tomorrow. I got an Ipod from my family and Erin downloaded music onto it for me so I'm excited to use that tomorrow and block out all hospital sounds. Thank you for that awesome gift! I know it will be put to good use. Please pray for good veins, no nausea, and lots of calmness. I can get rather uptight about this all. Ardie will be driving and staying with me in the hospital and at home. We'll keep you posted...

Praying fervently, (and thanks so much for your prayers)

Monday, March 23, 2009

Whiter than snow...

With a new blanket of snow and the sun shining brightly, it's been another good day here in Lacombe. My sister, Sharon, and I went out for a walk this afternoon. The sun was so bright on the snow I really could have used my sunglasses. We just finished supper and Thumper has been fed. Thumper is the cutest little black pet rabbit with the softest, shiniest fur. So cute!
My sister, Audrey, received word that her second surgery will be on Thursday, April 2. We're thinking of you and praying for you and your family, Audrey. Yesterday morning at church here in Lacombe, the pastor painted a picture of Jesus kneeling down beside us, embracing us in His arms. It was such a comforting image and even though I don't understand any of this, I know God is with us every step of the way. "To God be the glory, great things He has done."

In His arms,

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Sharon and I had a wonderful visit yesterday afternoon in Rocky. Thanks for the gezelligheid, Uncle Jake and Aunty Grace. It's always so good to spend some time with you.
It's cold here today and they are forecasting light snow this evening and overnight. Jeanette and I have a wedding to attend this afternoon here in Lacombe. I'm thrilled to be able to witness Adam and Alyssa's wedding!
I am feeling good and enjoying the time away. I am sleeping in such a comfortable bed (Thanks, Joanna) and I get to sleep in, too.
Have a good Saturday!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Greetings from Lacombe!

I'm in Alberta at my sister Sharon's house in Lacombe. Jeanette and I flew out of Abbotsford and had a very smooth flight to Edmonton. That sure is a quick plane ride! It's great to be here and see my sister and her family and catch up on news and talk and talk and talk! I came on the right day because tonight was spaghetti night and I love spaghetti. Thursday night is always spaghetti night at my sister's house. Tomorrow morning my sister will teach (she teaches half days) and then we'll go to Rocky Mountain House to visit our uncle and aunt.

Relaxingly (is that a word?),

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

How much more?

This afternoon my sister, Audrey, went to the surgeon to get the pathology report of her lumpectomy surgery. It was discouraging news. The cancer had spread to a lymph node and now they want to do a mastectomy. So Audrey has to go in for surgery again and wait again before treatment can begin. Nathaniel, Ardie, and I went over there to talk, and cry, and just be there with them. What a painful journey to be on! This is tough stuff and never-ending it seems.
"Keep us ever trusting, resting, Fill us with Your grace."

Monday, March 16, 2009


Today was a good day! I went out for a hair cut this morning (one last time before it falls out). I was going to look for some "new hair" but the wig store was closed so I'll do that tomorrow instead. I ran some other errands before lunch and then came home for a bite to eat. This afternoon Jeanette and I went out and did a little shopping. It just felt like a "normal" day and I enjoyed the freedom to get around. The next few days will go by quickly before I leave on Thursday for Alberta. I am looking forward to seeing my sister and family and visiting friends in Lacombe.
It felt like the first day of Spring Break even if I haven't been teaching for awhile!

Enjoying the good days,

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Feeling bettter again!

It's been a relaxing day here at home today and I'm trying to get my energy back. Yesterday morning at 5 a.m. I woke up with a migraine headache, probably from all the stress of the two days before that. I was pretty sick yesterday not keeping any food down and unable to get rid of the headache. It finally subsided yesterday evening and now my head is good again. However, I am very tired and lethargic today. Sorry to those of you who came by for a visit - I was just too sick to visit. Nathaniel stayed with me into the evening and Nathaniel and Ardie came by again this morning. I have to calm down and take it easy - easier said than done. This cancer stuff is harder on the mind than on the body sometimes.
Blessings to all of you out there!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Of chemo and pizza

Good evening everyone,
My goodness - so much has happened in the last two days I haven't even updated the blog yet! This morning Ardie and I returned to the hospital to take in a chemo teaching clinic. We learned so much about the BC Cancer Agency and all the wonderful programs available to patients and their families. We took a little walk around the cancer clinic but I could not look in the chemo room. The memories were just too strong for me and I still don't know how I'm going to walk into that room on Thursday, Mar.26, when I have my first chemo treatment. I will be receiving 2 drugs and the good news is that I will only need 4 rounds - a treatment every 3 weeks for 12 weeks. I went to the lab after that for blood work and that was very difficult. My veins are very poor and the nurse had to restart three times to get what she needed. I'm hoping to have a portacath inserted for treatments and bloodwork. The chemo nurse will decide that on March 26 but my doctor already said that is a real possibility.
After the hospital I went to school and had a fantastic pizza lunch with the staff. After lunch I visited every classroom and said "hi" to the students. It was wonderful to be at school and so good to see everyone, even if only for an afternoon. Thank you students and staff for your continued daily prayers, your gifts of food, the amazing cards, your gentle hugs, and your love.
I'm grateful for two weeks yet before chemo. I can't imagine how I will go through it but for now I'll just think about the new wig and the cool summer hats! and hang on to God's promises!
Remember the word to Your servant,
Upon which You have caused me to hope.
This is my comfort in my affliction,
For Your word has given me life.
Psalm 119:49-50

Hanging on,

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

1st Cancer Clinic Visit

Sandra and I just finished a 3 hour marathon at the cancer clinic. It was the first appointment in the next part of this journey. Since Sandra is currently on her way to TWU to teach tonight, I am updating the blog on her behalf as she will be home late tonight. We appreciate all of you who were praying and thinking about Sandra today. It was a lot to soak in.

Chemo starts already March 26. Already tomorrow morning Sandra goes back to the cancer clinic for chemo training, blood work and getting prescriptions filled in preparation for March 26. The doctor wanted to start this coming Monday, but Sandra asked to have it delayed until after her trip to Alberta next weekend. Once it starts, there will be no travelling allowed.

Both of our heads were spinning after this visit. I'll let Sandra give you more details of the visit and what else is to come including radiation after the chemo.

So it was a good news/bad news kind of day. Still processing....

Written by Ardie

Monday, March 9, 2009

An ordinary day

It's been an ordinary day - nothing new or exciting to report. I just called my sister and she is doing well, too. She even went for a refreshing walk outside! Way to go, Audrey! She has no pain and is resting at home, feeling a little better each day.
I am feeling well, although my arm is still sore and sensitive. I am doing my exercises and trying to use it as much as I can. I don't look forward to anyone poking and prodding on Wednesday at the Cancer clinic, however. I will ask them to give me a bit more time to heal before they start any treatments.
I know some of you are reading this blog and wanting to leave a comment but it doesn't always work for you. You can email me at my home address instead if you like - selgersm@uniserve.com. I check my email every day, too.

Take care and have a nice evening.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Another Friday afternoon musing...

I called Audrey this afternoon and she is doing well after her surgery. She is at home and taking it easy as she recovers from her surgery. She hardly had any pain so she was grateful for that. It was good to talk to her and she was glad that surgery was over. Step one of our treatment is done for both of us.
It's been a quiet day here at home and I had more energy than yesterday. I read the book of Joshua this morning from The Message and was struck by the words STRENGTH! COURAGE! I'm praying that God will give Audrey and I and our families strenghth and courage as we go onward from here. I know He is with us every step of the way and thank you, all of you out there, for your continued prayers and love. "I'm so glad I'm a part of the family of God."

In His strength,

Thursday, March 5, 2009

A tired day

Today was a very laid back day with lots of praying. I was in prayer throughout the day that my sister's surgery would go well. It did go well and that's all I know right now. I was very tired today and had not much energy. Teaching last night took more out of me than I thought. But that's alright. I visited with my cousin today and I also had concert day with 5 students who came over this afternoon and serenaded me with their beautiful music. It was wonderful! They played violin, piano, and recorder and sang the new song of the month. I certainly miss seeing the students but this was such a nice treat!
Time to heat up some supper. Thank you for meals because on a day like today I have no energy to cook!

Tired but that's OK,

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

All is well!

Thank you for praying! It's the little blessings I so appreciate! My surgeon looked at the wound this morning and though there is some fluid build-up causing the swelling, he said that is normal and it should go away in the next couple of weeks. If not, I should see him again, but for now nothing needs to be done. Yeah! I now have peace of mind and I know that right now the wound looks good. I was so worried the doctor would be upset with me for bothering him with trivial things but instead he was apologetic to me for keeping me waiting. My surgeon and all nurses at the office and the hospital have been so kind and for that I am extremely grateful!
It's Audrey's birthday (my younger sister who was also diagnosed with breast cancer). She goes in for her surgery tomorrow morning. Please pray for her and her family as they walk this road, too. She'll be in the Langley Hospital overnight.
Now I better go and get ready for my Trinity Western lecture tonight. I'm going to teach my course at TWU this evening again for the first time since my surgery. Jeanette will drive me there and take me home again so I won't have to do the 30 minute drive myself. I hope it goes well. I'm excited to be in the classroom for a few hours and I'm thrilled to feel like I have the energy to do it. Thanks be to God for His blessings over and over! They are certainly new every morning!

Love, Sandra

Monday, March 2, 2009

A little speedbump

It's been a good day and I've been working on report cards. My arm is still very sore and quite swollen so I did finally call the surgeon this afternoon to see if that's normal for recovery. Well - not exactly so I have to go to the hospital on Wednesday morning to meet the surgeon there and he'll see what he can do about it. Ugh! I don't want any more pain and I certainly can do without the complications. But I don't want any infection either so I better just go and hopefully it can be remedied quickly and painlessly.
My parents and sister and brother-in-law had a nice time in Oregon with the family. Baby Abigail is apparently such a good baby and very cute! Great for you, Neil and Sarah!
OK - time to get the mail and then do a few more report cards over a cup of tea.

Love, Sandra

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Sunday evening

It's Sunday evening at 9:00 p.m. It's been a quiet day and I am very tired. I went to see Erin, my niece, in her high school play last night. The play was called The Foreigner and it was so enjoyable and funny. I did a lot of laughing. This morning I went to church again, the first time since my surgery. It was good to sing praises, meet with God's people, and partake of Communion. Now I'm ready to have a good night's sleep. My mom and dad, and sister and brother-in-law drove to Oregon to attend the baptism of my parent's fifth great grandchild and my newest little great-niece, Abigail. My brother and sister-in-law from Wisconsin flew out there, too, so it'll be good to hear the news of their quick weekend reunion.
Have a good week!
Love, Sandra