Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Whole-hearted Thanksgiving!!!

I'M DONE - I'm done with surgery, with chemotherapy, and with radiation! I am finished 5 weeks of radiation and it really did go very well. I can't believe it! By the grace of God I have completed the first 6 months of this journey with breast cancer. What will I do with a whole, uninterrupted day tomorrow? No appointments at the cancer clinic or the hospital for the next 6 weeks - how glorious!!! Yes, I feel so good and now I'm going to live downstairs in my cool basement. My car said it was 40 degrees as we were coming home just now.
Oh, it's just so good to be finished all the "cancer clinic-hospital" stuff. Thank you to all of you for being on this journey with me and praying diligently and encouraging and supporting me. I will continue to blog and give you updates on how things are going. But for now, the hard stuff, I hope, is over! Thank you, Lord, thank you for Your loving care!

Grateful, truly grateful,

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Saline Soaks and Less Fog

Today was full with two appointments. First of all I went for a radiation appointment this morning and the technicians thought my skin was a little too red. So they recommended that I see a nurse for a saline soak. That's what I did after the radiation and it sure felt soothing and cool on my skin. I have to give myself saline soaks 3-4 times a day for the next two weeks to keep the skin clean and hydrated. Then this afternoon I went to see my cancer doctor and we talked about what's ahead. He's very pleased with how I am doing as far as the breast cancer is concerned and says things are looking good, except for the pain in my legs (neuropathy) as a result of one of the chemo drugs. He has no quick solution for that problem. He says it can take months for that to go away. Because I am already 2 months past chemo and am still struggling with the pain, he is concerned that it may be around for awhile yet. He suggested a new dosage of the pain medication so my head is less foggy, and hopefully I'll be able to drive around some.
As of today, I now begin 5 years of taking a pill every day to wipe out any residue of breast cancer left in my body. I hope I will not have any side effects from that drug. Tomorrow I have my last radiation treatment!!!!! That will definitely mean a celebration coming up!!!

Celebrating already,

Monday, July 27, 2009

Just checking in...

There's not a lot to report or say but I just want you to know that all is well. I am trying to endure the hot weather like the rest of you B.C.'ers and my house does stay pretty cool. This evening I'm going with my neighbour to another friend's house to watch a movie. We'll be in the basement, which is a pretty cool place to be these days.
Pray for a good doctor's visit tomorrow - it's a biggie. It's my follow-up visit after chemo and radiation and we talk about where we go from here. I'll let you know how it goes.

Content but sweating,

Friday, July 24, 2009


"In every moment, whether painful or joyous, God's light and life are upholding you, as near to you as your own breath. Therefore, never think at any moment that you are truly alone. For no matter what you feel, God's heart is feeling it with you." Thank you, Jan, for those words of encouragement and I hope you don't mind me sharing it with others.
Yesterday I went to my own GP for an appointment regarding the pain. Though he didn't have any quick fixes he said that I should stay on the course of medication that I am now on for at least 2 more weeks. Then if things are not improving we will have to find a new source of pain medication because he said we have to try to get rid of this nerve pain. And to that I whole-heartedly agree. That is the most difficult thing to live with right now and things don't seem to be getting a whole lot better.
On the radiation side of things - I only have 3 days left!!!!! Isn't that amazing? And though the skin is red, and the doctor prescribed special cream for it today, it is not bothering me a whole lot. I feel very tired and my list of things to do at the beginning of the day never get done. And that doesn't bother me, either. I am content to sit back and read and nap, and visit with any of you that drop by.
Thanks so much for your continued prayers, visits, cards, and for driving to various appointments.


Tuesday, July 21, 2009

He cares for you, and you,... and me!

Very tired today - just sat on the deck and read and napped. Of course, the heat can do that to you, too. So it could be the heat of the sun and the heat of radiation zapping the energy out of me, as well as some pain medication. My house stays pretty cool - at least on the main floor so that's good. I did have a list of things I was going to do today - but they are not going to get done, I know that for sure.
"Cast all your anxiety (I have a lot of that) on Him because He cares for you." I Peter 1:5. We were just talking about that at our last Bible study here in my complex. Oh, how comforting are those words.

In His care,

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Family Fun

Yesterday we had a barbecue with 18 of us at my sister's place. It was so wonderful to be all together and both my sister and I were feeling well. We did a lot of talking, laughing, eating, playing games, and celebrating life. What a perfect day to be outside - it was such nice weather! We missed you, Mel and Mary, but we thought about you and talked about you. The bocce balls got a good workout (especially with the added juggling you did, Eric!) and croquet was challenging on a yard containing some hills here and there. Surprising you with the DQ birthday cake was fun, Nathaniel and Ardie! You didn't know anything about it, did you? Yes, family is just great!
Today I had a quieter day with my sister and her husband and three of their children. Yesterday tuckered me out and I was in pain again today so I just took it easy. Now we're down to only 8 more radiation treatments! Please pray that my skin will continue to do well.

In God's love,

Friday, July 17, 2009

Have a great weekend!

Radiation continues to go so well and for that I am very grateful. The doctor said I didn't need any antibiotic cream for my skin - it's just looking too good for that. He said I'm taking care of it well and everything looks as good as it can for this stage of the radiation. So that's wonderful - no complications, just plain, smooth radiation. Yeah! I do need my little afternoon rest but that's OK - it's nice enough weather so I can sit outside on my lounge chair on the deck.
My hair is growing back in! It's about 1 mm. long and I think it's going to be black and curly this time around (just kidding - you can't tell right now). Anyways - it is very exciting!
Tomorrow we're having a family barbecue at my sister's place. It'll be fun to get together and enjoy the gorgeous weather!

Take care!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

A bit of change

Yesterday the skin was good and today the radiation technicians said I will probably get some antibiotic cream on Friday when I see the doctor. That's how quickly the skin has changed. It's just quite red today but not real sore yet. I'm very tired, too, so I thought I'd just make a quick update before I lie down awhile.
And, Nathaniel, I just wanted to say Happy Birthday!

Love, Sandra

Tuesday, July 14, 2009


Distractions are a good thing when you're struggling with pain - a little housecleaning, a radiation treatment, a visit, some baking, making a pot of soup, ... And thank you for the reminder of God's Word, Corinna! "I lift my eyes to the hills - where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth (Ps.121)."
Radiation treatments are going very well. The technicians commented today on how good my skin looks. I'll just keep lathering on the cream.
Well, I think I'll have a bowl of that soup I made and see how it tastes.

In God's daily help,

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Walkin' In The Rain

We were all together at mom and dad's this afternoon and sitting in the living room talking about events of the week. My nephew was walking along in the rain earlier this week and it's a long story but out of that walk he got a job and is now working. It was orchestrated so splendidly that it was certainly a God-thing. My niece got the trailer she wanted and my sister's 3rd treatment went so well that she was able to be visiting with us today, too, looking so good. It's amazing how God looks after us so richly and surprises us with His constant goodness. We had a good family time together and I was thankful for a pain-free day so I could enjoy our afternoon, too. I hope and pray that you will be able to see and experience God-things in your life this week. Blessings for a great week!

Love, Sandra

Friday, July 10, 2009

Praising Your name!

I had a wonderful day - I felt good, I had more energy, and I had very little pain. The radiation doctor was very pleased with how good things are looking. After my treatment this afternoon my sister and brother-in-law, Sharon and Brian, and three of their children (R, L, and P) all came over and we had a great time together. We ate a pizza supper outside on the deck and then we went for a walk in the neighbourhood. It was such a beautiful evening and Mount Baker stood out so majestically against the clear, blue sky. My niece and nephews kept noticing our B.C. slugs - they just don't have them like that in Alberta.
I was playing a song on the piano earlier and the chorus says:
Jesus, Jesus, we praise Your name,
Ever and ever and ever the same
Your majesty and glory we will gladly proclaim!
Jesus, Jesus, Jesus, we praise Your name.

Singing His praises,

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Over the Bridge

Today was a full day but still very relaxing for me. My sister and brother-in-law and three of their children arrived about noon from Alberta to say "hi" as they were driving through Abbotsford on their way to my mom and dad's. They're here for awhile so it'll be good to enjoy some family time together. Jeanette took me to radiation treatment today. I am beginning to feel the treatments a little now and you can see it on the skin but it's not too bad yet. After treatment we went to pick up berries and then took a drive through Fort Langley, stopping at a book store, and taking the Albion Ferry to Maple Ridge. From there we drove over the new Golden Ears bridge (I won't tell how many times we went back and forth over it) and then we drove back to Abbotsford and had some supper before returning home. It was a good drive and I was content to be a passenger just taking in the scenery. I was rather tired today but it was alright because I had no responsibilities. Thanks for the field trip, Jeanette!
Now I'll do a little reading before heading off to bed.

Love, Sandra

Monday, July 6, 2009

Sing, Play, and Rejoice!

My day started with a wonderful concert from three of my students at ACES. You did a great job, girls, and I really enjoyed your violin, piano, and recorder playing, and those songs that you sang. That was just plain fun and you made my day!
The radiation treatment went by so quickly this afternoon. I don't even have a chance to fall asleep - it's so quick!
I love the sound of the rain on the leaves outside. We're having a nice rain right now so all the plants are getting watered.
Pray for my sister, Audrey. It's treatment #3 for her tomorrow and the first night after her treatment is usually kind of rough. I hope it goes better for you, Audrey!
Take care and have a nice evening.

Love, Sandra

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Communion of the Saints

It's just been a full couple of days with visits and phonecalls, and surprise company (thanks D and P for coming over - it was soooo good to see you!) and sleeping and reading and dozing and relaxing outside and sneaking out in my car to the library, and radiation treatments, and a doctor's visit, and reading some more.... get the picture? I've loved all the activity and sometimes it has helped me through the painful times. I have good days and bad days, and just when I think the pain is gone and the medication is working, I have a pain-filled day again and I am back where I started. I am still increasing my pain medication so I have hope that it will take effect soon. I begin a full week of radiation tomorrow and that is going well up until this point, for which I am truly grateful.
I know it's late but I wanted to connect with you. Have a good week and God bless each and every one of you with His love and care.

Love, Sandra

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Enveloped in God's love!

Another beautiful, sunny day! Radiation treatment went so quickly this morning. I'm in and out of the treatment room in about 10 minutes, I think. Tomorrow my radiation treatment is followed up by a visit to my radiation oncologist. After I came home in the early afternoon, my mom and dad came by for a visit. It was so good to see them (and now I have strawberries and raspberries in my freezer - thanks, Mom!).
The pain in my legs seems to be a constant companion and I wonder sometimes if it will ever go away. I will keep trusting and hoping in God, praying for relief and healing. I read the following verses on a verse card on my fridge and made them personal by changing some of the pronouns. How rich is God's love!
I bow my knees before the Father...that He would grant me, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with power through His Spirit in the inner man, so that Christ may dwell in my heart through faith; and that I, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge, that I may be filled up to all the fullness of God. (Eph.3:14, 16-19)

Love in Christ,