Sunday, December 12, 2010

Joy to the World

I can't believe it's only one more week of school before Christmas holidays. My body is tired and I'm looking forward to the break, but I'm also very thankful and delighted to have been able to teach this whole term, with only a few days off here and there, and only one cold.
Today we lit the candle of joy in the Advent wreath. "The Lord your God is with you, He is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, He will quiet you with His love, He will rejoice over you with singing. " (Zeph.3:17). Rejoice! Joy to the world, the Lord is come!

Singing Christmas praises,

Thursday, December 2, 2010

A Real Relief

Just had to share some good news with you all. Yesterday I received word from the Cancer Hereditary program that I do not have the BRCA gene. I had the risk factors for the gene so doctors thought I may have it, but thankfully, I do not. It's great news for my family because that means it's not a genetic form of cancer that I had, as far as they know right now. Of course, research is ongoing but at this time, it's a real relief.
It took over a year to get the results of this testing, so it's been a long wait, but that's over. Another stepping stone on the journey to being well again. Praise God!

Love, Sandra

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Cold, cold, cold!

It has turned to winter this past weekend with very cold temperatures. Brrrr! I can't believe we're into the second last week of November. The school year is just flying by. I can tell that I've been teaching for awhile now. I do need my weekends to catch up and rest. I'm praying for strength in this time of the school year. This week we have parent-teacher conferences and report cards are just around the corner. Busy, busy. I think my shoulder is a little better, though. Occasionally I am reaching back to put my arm into my coat sleeve, and I haven't been able to do that since about February.
Have a wonderful week, enjoying the cool, winter weather.

Love, Sandra

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Sing Praises

Last week was a very good one. Teaching went well and I had a good amount of energy each day. I sure enjoyed some of the beautiful sunny days we had. I hear the rain pouring down on my skylight right now. This week will have a break in it because on Thursday there is no school due to Remembrance Day.
"Sing praise to God who reigns above, the God of all creation,
The God of power, the God of love, the God of our salvation."

Singing His praises,

Sunday, October 31, 2010

A too-long delay!

Sorry about the long delay in blog entries. I was going to stop, and then I thought I should continue on, and then I was sick, and the excuses could go on... but anyways, I'm doing alright. Teaching continues to be a great joy and, of course, that keeps me busy each day. I am at school from 9-3 each day, and I can tell I have been teaching for two months. I caught my first cold but I am feeling better again. I struggle with the lymphedema causing pain in my left arm, and my shoulder continues to be sore. That's probably the most frustrating for me right now. I am still going for massage therapy and that has helped me the most lately.
Thank you for your continued prayers and ongoing support. Let me see if I can get back on track at keeping this blog a little more current. I do enjoy connecting with you. Time for some new pictures, too, don't you think?

Have a great week!
Love, Sandra

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Thanksgiving weekend

It's Thanksgiving weekend! Tomorrow our family is coming together to celebrate Thanksgiving with a traditional turkey meal. Just being together is thanksgiving enough for me - the meal is an added bonus!
Last evening I went to a Gilbert and Sullivan symphony concert. It was a lot of fun with singing, and a little acting, and some on-stage antics. Pretty entertaining!
Give thanks with a grateful heart... for God's love is enduring!

With gratitude to Him,

Sunday, October 3, 2010

God's timetable

This morning when I came home from church I read our church "magazine." In it there was a quote that really said it all: "The promise of the kingdom is not that we shall escape the hard things but that we shall be given grace to face them, to enter into them, and to come through them. The promise is not that we shall not be afraid. It is that we need not fear fear." What a comfort; what a promise! How true! As I've faced various family hardships, as I've worked at being back at school, as I've adjusted to my "new" normal, I know that I'll be given grace to come through it all. God's timetable is so different than our own, but He knows us and He loves us and He'll hold us in the palm of His hand.
This week is a short teaching week because we have teacher's convention on Thursday and Friday. I can't believe it's already October. The first month of school is already over! Have a good week.

Resting in Him,

Saturday, September 25, 2010

A Productive Day

What a beautiful summer (even though it is technically fall) day today! I swept off my deck, and baked cookies, and cleaned up some of my outside plants. It was a productive day!
I found a new massage therapist here in town this past week. She's going to work on both the lymphedema and the frozen shoulder. I really hope it works because I would love to have those problems cleared up. Teaching and moving with the children does help to keep my left shoulder in motion and that's a good thing.
Well, I shall go and sit in my recliner and relax for a bit. Be refreshed and renewed in God's grace tomorrow!

In Him,

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Life is Fragile

It was a full week of school and I taught every day! I was tired yesterday afternoon but it was a healthy tired. We've now completed two weeks of school and it's just so good to be back into the routine.
Life is fragile and I've just been reminded of that again as I received news that a dear aunt was taken to heaven to be with Jesus yesterday afternoon. It's sad for us left behind but I know she was a child of God and now she's in a much better place.
Blessings as you worship with God's people tomorrow.

In His love,

Sunday, September 12, 2010


What a wonderful day of worship and praise in God's house with God's people! I played piano for both services and that made the day a little busier, too. On Saturday evening I visited with good friends who I hadn't seen in a while. It's always so refreshing to connect with friends. God puts people in our path to walk along beside us and that's such a blessing and encouragement to me. Thank you for your continued prayers as I adjust to a working schedule and also "work through" the pain in my legs and in my left shoulder.


Thursday, September 9, 2010


Three days of teaching are over and it is going well! I love the routine of the days and going back to work just gives me a sense of "normalcy" again. This afternoon I had another physio appointment and things are not as well in that department. My left shoulder has lost significant mobility in one certain movement and a small amount of mobility in another. That was discouraging and just all the pain from moving it is not fun either. What a looooooooong process! I'll just have to keep on exercising through the pain and moving that arm as much as I possibly can.
Take care and have a good evening!

Love, Sandra

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Teaching Again!

What a great day!! It was absolutely fabulous to be at school. I received such a warm welcome back and it was just plain good to be in my classroom once again. I kept the day short and worked from 9-3. I rested when I came home and my legs are not bothering me. That's a very good thing. Maybe sitting on my new stool in the classroom helped as well.
I am overwhelmed by this journey that I've been on, the memories of the past year and a half that keep arising, and my deep gratitude to God for giving me health and strength to return to work. This is truly the day that the Lord has made for each one of us. May we never forget to be glad and rejoice in Him.

Singing His praises,

Thursday, September 2, 2010


It's already Thursday and I haven't blogged since Saturday. Can you tell I'm back to work? My days are full and I love preparing for the new school year. I'm very tired in the evenings, however, and can't do very much when I get home from school. I need to put my feet up because my legs are pretty sore. It will take time to gain my strength back. Slowly, slowly.... I have to remind myself to take it one day at a time. I continue to covet your prayers for patience and pain-free legs.

In His strength,

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Barbecue Time

Before I dash off to a family barbecue this afternoon I'll just connect with you and say hi. It's been a fun week working at school every day, except Monday. My classroom feels organized; now it's time for meetings, and curriculum work. On Monday all staff will be at school after the summer vacation. It will be so good to see them all and be able to work beside them once again.
Now I must be off. My family calls. Time to catch up on all our trips and enjoy a barbecue, too.
Sabbath blessings to you tomorrow!

Love, Sandra

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Getting Organized

Today I worked at school all day! It was so fun being in my classroom, getting organized. I had a great crew of four helping me out, too. They did all the bulletin board work and that's a huge help to me. My shoulder still isn't good enough to do all kinds of stretching, and pulling, and lifting, and stapling. Tomorrow I'll do a little more preparation and then in two weeks time, when school begins again, I'll feel ready.
Enjoy your week and hope the weather stays nice. It was beautiful today!!

Love, Sandra

Sunday, August 22, 2010


It was a wonderful cruise! We got in this morning at 7:00 a.m. but of course, you can't all get off the boat right away. What a great week away! Last night at the supper table in the dining room we saw a whale right by the ship! Amazing! Seeing the Mendenhall Glacier in Juneau was a highlight. Those glaciers are so huge and so majestic! Listening to the roar as chunks of ice break off is incredible! Watching porpoises jump in the ocean was awesome. Walking around Saxman Totem Park in Ketchikan in some rare moments of sunshine was memorable. Getting a chocolate on your pillow before bed each evening was just plain decadent. Tonight I get to sleep in my own bed again but I won't be rocked gently to sleep by the waves (and no chocolate, either). Oh well, it's good to be on terra firma once again. It was a holiday I won't soon forget!

Love, Sandra

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Cruising Update

Hello all,
This morning we arrived at Hubbard Glacier. What a phenomenal sight to behold! This glacier is HUGE!!! We took a lot of pictures. We got up close to the glacier with the cruise ship - only about a mile away.
The weather is cool, cloudy, and drizzly. I should have taken more warm sweaters. Who would have known when it was 33 degrees when we left Vancouver?
It's quite the experience - this cruising! We are enjoying the time to relax and all the culinary delights! Tomorrow we dock at Juneau and we are going to see another glacier and of course, explore the town.

Love, Sandra

Saturday, August 14, 2010


Guess what? I'm going on a cruise!!! I'm off with a friend tomorrow afternoon for one week to Alaska along the Inside Passage. I've never been on a cruise before so I'm very excited, a little nervous, and busy packing. I've heard many good things about the absolutely beautiful scenery. I am going to take a lot of pictures, I think. And being on the water in this heat will be a welcome change. As I was driving in my car this afternoon the temperature outside read 37 degrees!!
I better finish packing now. Maybe I can connect with you as we're sailing, sailing, over the deep, blue sea.


Wednesday, August 11, 2010


I'm amazed how quickly a day flies by! Just incredible! And the sun has come out again, after a few overcast days. I've been hearing a lot of airplanes flying overhead today. I think they're practicing in preparation for the airshow this weekend. Some of them are pretty loud! I remember going to the airshow as a young girl and looking up all day, shielding my eyes from the sun. It was hot standing on the tarmac. I think I'll just listen to them flying high and oh... here comes another one! Flying by...
"God gives wings as eagles;
God gives wings to fly and strength to rise above.
God gives wings as eagles.
When my feet begin to stumble,
And my dreams begin to crumble,
I mount up on eagles' wings."

In His strength,

Monday, August 9, 2010

We'll See...

This afternoon I went for another physio appointment. My shoulder has gained a significant amount of mobility and the physiotherapist was pleased. I was encouraged and had noticed that the shoulder was doing better. All in good time before school begins. Now I'll be able to use both hands better for conducting.
It's been good to have a few days of rain. The earth has soaked up the moisture well and the air has been cleared of haze. Maybe it'll be dry enough this evening, however, to go for a walk. We'll see...


Thursday, August 5, 2010

August Beginnings

A pretty warm and muggy day today. I went out to the library and the air was just so hazy and heavy. You couldn't see the mountains at all.
And guess what I've been doing? Just a little planning, and preparing, and thinking, about a new school year. Oh... it's so delicious to know I can go back full-time! I think I better start getting used to waking up a little earlier. 6:30 a.m. is going to be a real shock to my system!!
A few more weeks of summer first, though. August has only just begun.


Tuesday, August 3, 2010

The Best News Yet!!

This afternoon I had a visit with my oncologist. She was very pleased at my progress and said I could go to work FULL-TIME! She thought I was doing well and it was encouraging to hear her be so positive. I am elated!! I know it will be a big adjustment but I will be careful and take things on slowly. I'm just so glad that I can begin the year at 100%. I've had a good summer and I think that has given me confidence that my energy level is continuing to increase.
Thank you again for your faithful prayers. God is so good and I marvel at His faithfulness. He makes all things beautiful in His time!!

Singing His praises,

Sunday, August 1, 2010

A Quiet House

Yesterday morning my company left to go back home. We had a great week and I enjoyed the time together. I even washed the sheets and changed the beds. Hard work but at least it keeps my left arm moving and I'm learning to work through the pain. It's going to take time so I may as well just keep that sore left shoulder mobile.
On Tuesday I see my oncologist for a two-month check-up. What will she say? I'm always nervous and yet I want to see her so she can say that all is well. Please pray for a really good doctor's visit.
Enjoy the holiday Monday tomorrow, if it's a holiday weekend for you.

In Him,

Thursday, July 29, 2010

A Place at God's Altar

Singing songs with my friend yesterday we marvelled at the imagery and the beauty of this one:
"I will seek a place at Your altar,
humbly draw near to You;
I will hide myself in Your shadow,
worship in spirit and truth."
"Even the sparrow has found a home, and the swallow a nest for herself...a place near Your altar, O Lord." Psalm 84:3
This afternoon I went to a first birthday party of a dear little girl. So cute! It reminded me that a year ago I had just completed 5 weeks of radiation. I thought I was done...

In His shadow,

Tuesday, July 27, 2010


What another beautiful day! I have friends over from Alberta so I am enjoying their company and doing lots of visiting. We sat downstairs in my cool basement this afternoon and did some quilting. This evening we went for a walk around Mill Lake and when we came home we sat on the deck and ate a delicious homemade popsicle! It was so refreshing!

Love, Sandra

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Cool as Popsicles

Phew... I worked hard today. I swept my deck, cleaned my barbecue, played piano, picked up groceries, did 2 loads of wash, cleaned out a kitchen cupboard, and made popsicles! As I was cleaning the cupboard I found my popsicle maker. I don't even remember ever using it before so this afternoon I put it to good use. It certainly is the right weather for something as cool as popsicles!
Have a good Sunday tomorrow.


Thursday, July 22, 2010

Pulling Weeds

I did a little gardening this evening - pulling weeds, trimming my roses, pulling off the dead blooms from my petunias and geraniums, and just tidying up. That felt good and it looks a lot neater again. I have some beautiful, yellow roses but they grow all over the place and start falling over and block my sidewalk so I have to keep them trimmed back.
It was pretty cloudy and overcast this morning so I thought it would be a good day to make a pot of soup. It did warm up a lot this afternoon - but I made the soup anyways and it was delicious!
Take care and enjoy the summer days!

Love, Sandra

Sunday, July 18, 2010


A rehearsal, wedding, and a visit with family all kept me occupied the last few days. I played for the wedding so I did some serious practising as well. My arm is still sore, but no worse than before. It seems to be at a standstill - not getting better, nor getting worse.
I sat out on my deck and listened to the birds singing in the trees.
Best of any song
is bird song
in the quiet, but first
you must have the quiet.
(from A Timbered Choir by W. Berry)

Resting in Him,

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Home again

My niece and I arrived home in beautiful weather today. It was gorgeous as we drove home from Kelowna, unlike yesterday when we even hit snow!!!! in the Rockies. It was down to 1 degree!! It's good to be home again and sit outside on my deck in the sunshine. My flowers looked so happy and they're blooming beautifully! I wish my arm and shoulder would allow me to do more gardening. Oh well... in time.
Take care and have a good day tomorrow!

Love, Sandra

Monday, July 12, 2010

Wind and Rain

Whew! We're having a huge wind and rain storm right now! What a weather!!! Today has been a relaxing, home day. My niece and I are packing up again because we're heading back to B.C. tomorrow. We'll do the trip in two days again, stopping in Kelowna this time. I hope the
weather's a little more decent by tomorrow morning. The forecast is just rain, and more rain. Sounds like B.C., doesn't it?

Love, Sandra

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Birds of the Air

Yesterday I went to visit a friend who lives out in the country on a farm. She has beautiful flower gardens and a gorgeous yard and as we sat outside I was fascinated by all the birds. She told me about the pine siskins, the purple martins, the finches, the woodpeckers, the sparrows and the wren that's made a nest in one of her little bird houses. The mama wren scolded us as we sat on the deck because we were in the way of her flight line to feed her young. In the evening I saw the brilliant yellow finches come by to the bird feeder. What a beautiful colour they are! I could become a birder yet!
"Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable that they?... Therefore, do not worry about tomorrow... " (Matt.6:26, 34a)

In His care,

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Summer Fun

What a marvelous day! It was sunny and warm and perfect for a trip to Heritage Park. We had such a good day together - going on rides, wandering through old houses, watching a play, eating an ice cream cone, and riding on a paddleboat. Good thing we slathered on sunscreen first and saved ourself any sunburns. Yup - it was a wonderful day!

Love, Sandra

Monday, July 5, 2010

Learning Contentment

Today was cold and blustery, rainy and very "un-summer-y." It was a good day to stay indoors and do some journal writing, reading, crafts, etc. Tomorrow is supposed to be a nicer and warmer day.
Yesterday morning we had a sermon on contentment. "...for I have learned to be content, whatever the circumstances... I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation..." and then moving on to one of my favourite verses: "I can do everything through Him who gives me strength." (Phil.4:11,12,13)
Help me to be content, Lord, and so be strong in You.

In Him,

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Wild Life

We're here in Alberta at my sister's place. Had a good day of driving yesterday. We saw three elk, one coyote, four deer, and we did see a moose but it had been hit and was dead on the side of the road. Ugh - poor thing. Last evening we went for a walk on the park trails behind my sister's place. It was windy, but good to get out and walk. We saw a tree felled by a beaver. This morning we went to a huge farmer's market! It was fun to roam up and down the rows and rows of booths. Alright - my nephews are going to wash my car for me. I better go and move it into the driveway for them.
Have a good weekend and may you be blessed through praise and worship with God's people tomorrow.

Love, Sandra

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Driving to Alberta

Guess what? I'm on my way to Alberta with my niece. We're driving and though it was pretty busy on the road today, we had a good day. We're taking our time and doing the trip in two days so we're staying overnight in a motel. The mountains are so majestic! Hey, maybe we'll even get to see a moose tomorrow!
Time for bed now. I think my niece is almost asleep.

Love, Sandra

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Looking Forward

I went to school today for a staff meeting! Looking ahead to next year -just plain wonderful. As I was going through some things in my little music office, I found papers from before I became ill in January 2009! It made me sad to realize how much time I have missed at school. But now I can look onward and forward!
Yesterday I went to the doctor's to have my shoulder checked out. I had an x-ray done just to rule out any bone problem. I'll continue with physio again tomorrow and try not to do too much activity with my left arm.
Have a good evening!

Love, Sandra

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Blessed Assurance

Had to give my arm a bit of a rest before I wrote up this blog. I played piano for both services today and practised piano in between at home, too, and I could tell. My left arm (especially the shoulder) was rather achy after this evening's service. It was so good to play though. What an awesome way to praise and worship God - through music and singing!
"Blessed assurance: Jesus is mine!
This is my story, this is my song,
Praising my Saviour all the day long."

Singing His praises,

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Creation Sings!

This evening my niece already returns to Alberta. That time went fast but it was very good. Yesterday morning I went to school to join the staff and students for the closing chapel. Last year at this time I had made a DVD message for the students because I wasn't able to physically be at school. Now, a year later, I am feeling good and my immune system is strong enough to be in crowds. Praise God for healing mercies!
Last night my niece and I went for a walk on Eagle Mountain. The views up there are spectacular. I had never walked up there before. Wow! God sure created a beautiful world! What an awesome responsibility we have as stewards of that creation. Makes you feel pretty small, and yet so special that God holds each one of us in the palm of His hands.
OK, we're off to the library and to run a few errands. Have a good afternoon!

In Him,

Monday, June 21, 2010

The Longest Day

My niece and I had a slow, relaxing start to our day. We went into town to run some errands, and talked quilting for awhile. We started planning a new quilt to make - maybe we'll have time to begin that tomorrow sometime.
Today was the longest day of the year - June 21 - first day of summer. I can't believe that next week will be July already!
Time for bed... I have to get up on time tomorrow morning so I can go to school for grade 5 chapel.
Love, Sandra

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Sparkle of Light

What a beautiful day it was! We had a garage sale in our complex and I participated, too, with the help of family and friends. It was just so nice to sit outside and enjoy the gorgeous weather. A perfect day to enjoy the sunshine! My brother put up lights around my deck and now I can hardly wait until it's dark enough so I can enjoy the sparkle of light.
My niece and I are relaxing now. We're tired from our busy day and last night my shoulder bothered me so much that I woke up from the pain. Ugh... that shoulder of mine! Tomorrow we will go to my mom and dad's to celebrate Father's Day.

Love, Sandra

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Saying hello...

This afternoon I was at school again, joining a couple of grade four classes. I so enjoy seeing the students and just being there in that environment again.
One of my nieces from Alberta is arriving here tomorrow morning and she's staying for almost a week. It will be wonderful to have her company and I do have a list of things to keep her busy (...and she thought she was coming for a holiday!).
My supper is ready. Have to go...

Till next time,

Tuesday, June 15, 2010!

Oh my! What a lazy day today. Yesterday I was on the go all day. I left the house at 10:00 a.m. and didn't get back home until 9:30 p.m.! I was at school most of that time, and then went out visiting after that. Whew! It was a wonderful day and I enjoyed every minute of it. Today the recliner was my favourite spot and reading was the most strenuous activity. I had my second massage therapy session this afternoon. Just trying to get that lymph drainage system going. I sure hope it will work and maybe then my shoulder will heal quicker as well.

Love, Sandra

Sunday, June 13, 2010


Yesterday I went for my first massage therapy appointment as another way to improve the lymphedema. What a wonderful way to make things better! If only all treatments could be that relaxing! I'm hoping it will also help my shoulder as well. That's my specific prayer request - no more shoulder pain. It sure is taking a long time to heal. Time... we just had a sermon on time this morning. "But do not forget this one thing, dear friends; with the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day." 2 Peter 3:8

In His time,

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Great is Your Faithfulness!

It's rather chilly here after that warmer Ontario air. I can't wait for a warmer, drier, and sunnier weekend. Oh well, it's not officially summer yet!
Today was a quieter day. Yesterday I was on the go all day - and it was good. This morning we had our townhouse complex Bible study. I'm going to miss that when I go back to work in September. Even in the middle of really hard stuff, like cancer, God shows His love and compassion through things like an Ontario trip and a weekly Bible study, etc. etc. Oh, how good is Christ the Lord!
"Because of the Lord's great love we are not consumed,
for His compassions never fail.
They are new every morning;
great is Your faithfulness!" (Lam. 3:23)

In His love,

Monday, June 7, 2010

On to the Next Step...

Home again - back in B.C. I had an awesome trip out East!
Yesterday we all got together at my mom and dad's house to celebrate some family birthdays. We had a fun afternoon together - lots of laughs!
This afternoon I went for another lymphapress treatment - my LAST one! The physiotherapist was pleased with how the sleeve had kept the swelling down so I'll just continue to wear the sleeve and monitor the swelling. Yeah - another step in the healing process. Now I can set up massage therapy treatments to continue to promote proper lymph drainage by the shoulder area. She also said the shoulder can take a very long time to heal and can be sore for at least three months. In my case I think that three months should almost be over. She told me it's a very slow process so I shall be patient and continue to baby it along.
Well, it's turned out to be a nice evening. I think I'll have to go for a walk.

Love, Sandra

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Ontario connections

OK - I experienced a true Ontario thunderstorm last night. It was a doozer - but it didn't last long. It was pretty spectacular actually and pretty loud. And my friend was around to keep me calm. This evening I head back home. It's been a wonderful time here - I connected with so many people, both friends and family. That was just great! I feel like I've been away for ages and yet the time has gone by quickly, too. Does that make any sense?
Enjoy what remains of the weekend and once I get home I'll post up some new pictures.


Tuesday, June 1, 2010


I'm sitting in the public library and able to update you on my stay in Ontario. The weather continues to be sunny and warm. It's beautiful for going for a walk in the evenings. I am enjoying the time with my aunt and uncle and cousin and we're catching up and talking and visiting. Last night my cousin and I walked through an apple orchard. It was a good walk!
Blessings to you on your day!

Love, Sandra

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Reflecting, Renewing, and Rejoicing

I had an awesome day yesterday - seeing people I hadn't seen in a very long time. The anniversary celebrations were just superb and it was great to connect with teachers I had taught with so many years ago. I visited dear friends in town as well and my friend and I even drove past the townhouse that we had rented way back then just for old-times sake. Great fun!!
This afternoon I am heading out to my aunt and uncle's for the week. I may be unable to connect with you for awhile but I'll write again as soon as I can.
The weather is still beautiful - sunny and warm. Just lovely!
A wonderful church service this morning - by faith alone; in Christ alone. How comforting to know!

In Him,

Friday, May 28, 2010

Keeping the Beat

Well, it has cooled down a bit today. Now it's just warm and pleasant. And we didn't get a thunderstorm last night as predicted. Yeah!
You know we are in the age of technology when the teacher asks "How do we know where the whales are?" and a student quickly replies, "With a fishing GPS."
I taught a music class this afternoon and we sang, and clapped, and played instruments, and kept the beat in our feet. Great fun!
Now it's the weekend and I am looking forward to it. Tomorrow I go to the 50th anniversary celebration of the first school that I taught in after completing college. It'll be neat to connect with people I have not seen for a long time.
Enjoy your weekend, too!

Singing His praises,

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Hot and Humid

Here I am in Ontario and it's hot and humid! I had a good flight yesterday without any glitches. Always a good thing! I am sitting in the classroom at my friend's school right now and that is very refreshing because it is air-conditioned! I did ask for no thunderstorms while I'm here but that's highly unlikely. One is predicted for this evening. If you know me, you know I do not like thunderstorms at all, but it's Ontario, after all.
I'm enjoying the time away - a break from appointments. The compression sleeve is working on my arm and the flight and the heat are not making it swell up more.
"This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it."

Love, Sandra

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Off to Ontario!

I'm packing my bags and flying away tomorrow to Ontario for a visit and an anniversary. The school where I first began teaching many moons ago is having their 50th anniversary, and I'm going to celebrate with them. That'll be fun - and I'll be able to connect with a lot of people, I hope. I'm going to visit my aunt and uncle there as well and enjoy some time with friends.
I had another physio appointment this morning and my shoulder is doing better. The range of motion is improving and the pain is a little less.
So back to my suitcase... The next post will be from out east!

Love, Sandra

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Long weekend

Just waiting for my mom and dad to come over. We're going to celebrate an uncle's birthday this afternoon. Yesterday I was at school again - can't stay now!! It was so good to be there and I'm dreaming and planning for next year already. I am feeling good and my arm is doing well in the new sleeve. My shoulder is slowly improving and I am thankful for that. Have a wonderful long weekend - I'm hoping for that sun to come out brightly sometime soon!!

Love, Sandra

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

More Than We Ask

I'm still smiling and I just can't stop. I didn't realize how much I wanted to hear my doctor say I could return to work. Thank you so much, dear family and friends, for all your prayers. Sharing my excitement with me through your encouraging emails, your phonecalls, and your face-to-face chats has made this time even more special.
"Glory be to God whose power, working in us, can do infinitely more than we can ask or imagine." (Eph. 3:21)

Singing His praises,

Monday, May 17, 2010


I went to see my oncologist this morning and we had a very good visit! She asked if I'd like to go back to work in September. Of course, I said YES!!! I am so excited to be able to dream about my music classroom again and all my wonderful students! My doctor was pleased that the lymphedema is under control and hopefully the sleeve will keep it that way. I'll continue with physio for my shoulder (it's still pretty painful) and I'll stay on the pain medication for my legs. I will see my doctor again at the beginning of August - she is definitely keeping close tabs on me. I'm fine with that.
I'm just excited and smiling from ear to ear! It's the best news I could have received. Thank you for your prayers, even as I know you said them this morning while I was at my appointment. In health and strength day by day, let Christ be glorified. To God be the glory, great things He has done!

Singing His praises,

Sunday, May 16, 2010

True Hope

"The mystery in a nutshell is just this: Christ is in you, so therefore you can look forward to sharing in God's glory." (Col.1:27 The Message) That's true hope - that's the only hope. Because Christ lives in me, my image is restored and I can glorify my Saviour!
In every song we sing, in the praises that we bring,
let Christ be glorified.
In the service that we give, and the lives that we live,
let Christ be glorified.
To worship with God's people and be renewed in hope and strength - that is the joy of today!
Please pray that the visit with my oncologist tomorrow morning will be only encouraging news.


Friday, May 14, 2010

New Sleeve

This afternoon I got my new compression sleeve and it's so much more comfortable, better fitting, and I know it'll be more effective, too. I'm so glad it came in today. Finally the lymphedema can be properly managed. What a relief!
What another beautiful day, too! It feels like summer, doesn't it? It's time to put my patio furniture back on the deck so I can sit outside again.
I've been thinking back to last year at this time - still in chemo, no hair, and staying away from crowds. As I think ahead to Monday's visit to my oncologist, I pray that all will stay well. I need to keep on trusting, knowing that I can lean on the everlasting arms.
"The eternal God is your refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms." (Deut.33:27)

Trusting in Him,

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

The Lymphedema Saga...

Isn't it just gorgeous weather? I love the sunshine but I am getting a little tired of my lymphedema saga. And it continues... This morning I went back to physio after one week away, and wearing my new compression sleeve. Well, my arm was not good - it had swelled up considerably in places. That meant the sleeve was not working. So I was fitted for another sleeve, and had a treatment this morning, and another one tomorrow morning, and yet again on Friday afternoon. Oh my, oh my... I'll get lots of reading in this week, won't I? Hopefully, by Friday my new sleeve will be in, too. The good thing is that for now I'm not wearing a sleeve at all - because it's not working anyways. Freedom!!
I've been talking to several people lately about prayer - sometimes there are answers we clearly see, and sometimes it seems as if no answers come at all. But maybe, as I was reading yesterday in a book, our fervent, pleading prayers are meant to "absorb all manner of pain, and transform it into hope." I like that because I live in hope - constant, God-given hope.

Hope-full in Him,

Friday, May 7, 2010

Music "Stuff"

Today has been a full and busy day! This morning I practiced with the praise team for Sunday. I'm going to play piano in church on Sunday. My left hand and shoulder were sore and tired after I had played for an hour or so but it settled down quickly. I'm still trying to get used to the sleeve on my left arm. It's not always very comfortable.
This afternoon I went to school and taught the grade 3 music classes. That was such a joy to do! I loved being in the music room, singing and talking about music "stuff."
My deck just got pressure-washed this afternoon. I hope it stays warm and sunny over the weekend and then maybe I'll even be able to sit outside for a bit.
Enjoy the weekend!

Singing His praises,

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Hair Cut

I just went for my first haircut in over a year this afternoon. I needed to get it trimmed and shaped a little - and the curls are still there, especially in the back. My hair styles nicely all on its own. My hairdresser didn't have to use any product, or dry it with the blow dryer. Isn't that so cool? I've never had hair that styles itself!!
I'm wearing my new compression sleeve, too. That will take some getting used to. I don't find it really comfortable and I have to get used to it being over my thumb and hand. More adjusting... But at least I can play piano again and that seems to go fairly well.
This morning I went for physio on my shoulder again. Though it's very sore right now because it was manipulated, it is feeling better than before. My physiotherapist says we caught it before it went into a frozen shoulder, so hopefully this treatment will prevent that from occurring.
OK - time for a cup of tea.

Love, Sandra

Monday, May 3, 2010

Music Monday

This morning I went to school so I could listen to the students sing for Music Monday. I love Music Monday! I love the idea that all across Canada, at the same time, students are singing the same song; sharing their love of music! You did a great job of singing, students! I really enjoyed the song Sing, Sing. Usually we sing outside for Music Monday but that sure wasn't able to happen this year! It was raining, and hailing, and windy, and just plain cold and miserable. And now the sun is shining, and it's much warmer - how fickle the weather is today!
"I'm gonna sing, sing, sing, sing, sing out loud..."

Singing His praises,

Friday, April 30, 2010

Make Music!

Oh dear - I'm a little behind in posting an update, aren't I? This past week has been full of appointments and sitting long times in physio rooms - but I also got in a lot of reading! My shoulder continues to be sore, but if I don't make the wrong movements, I can keep the pain somewhat under control. I will only be going for one more lymphapress treatment next week. I will be fitted then with a compression sleeve so I don't need my arm and fingers bandaged up all the time. Yay, I'll be able to play piano again!
" I shall sing (and play) to Yahweh all my life,
make music for my God... (Ps.104:33)
Just feeling better today - able to look forward, hopeful in the treatments, abiding in God's love, feeling strengthened by your prayers and encouragement in this long journey!

Love in Christ,

Monday, April 26, 2010


Had a wonderful weekend away with my brother and sister-in-law and nieces. We were in Seattle and it was the first time I walked through Pikes market and saw them throwing fish around! We had such a good time and the weather was even warm enough for a picnic in a park with the Seattle skyline in view. I slept long this morning because I've been waking up in the night with such a painful left shoulder. No fun! Tomorrow morning I go for physio again and put the arm in the lymphapress. Please pray for healing in my shoulder, and the swelling to go down in the left arm.

In Him,

Friday, April 23, 2010

Shoulder to Finger-tips

OK - I'm getting better at this one-armed thing. I'm so bandaged up actually, that it feels like my arm is in a cast, from shoulder to finger tips. I spent three and a half hours at physio this morning. Lots of work - this recuperation business. Actually two of those hours my arm is in the lymphopress and I can sit and read comfortably. The physiotherapist thinks I may have the beginnings of "frozen shoulder," therefore, the pain in my shoulder with so many of the movements I make. So, more exercises, and heat, and TENS machine, etc.
The remainder of the day was spent quietly at home, reading and resting.

Love, Sandra

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

All Wrapped Up

This is going to be short. My left arm is so wrapped up in bandages that it's hard to keyboard, or do anything with it. I have to keep moving it, but that's pretty hard to do. It could be a long next couple of weeks! Sure hope it helps!!

Monday, April 19, 2010

My Left Arm

What a gorgeous, warm day today! Perfect weather for an afternoon stroll. Tomorrow I have to go and pick up supplies so I can begin my lymphedema treatments in earnest on Wednesday morning (finally). My physiotherapist will teach me how to wrap up my arm myself. I hope I can do that. Sounds like quite the procedure! She says even my fingers will be wrapped so I won't be able to play the piano! That's going to be hard on me - I'll have to play songs with the right hand only or get a piano with wider keys so even bandaged fingers will fit on them! I'm just relieved that we're getting started on my arm - it's pretty sore and getting more and more limited in its movement.

Love, Sandra

Saturday, April 17, 2010

More Concerts

A week later and I'm going to another VSO concert tonight! I'm very excited about it - tonight is a concert with acrobats and jugglers, called Cirque de la Symphonie. Sounds good, eh? I wonder how they'll combine the circus with symphonic music!
Last evening I heard Brahms German Requiem - a gorgeous musical work! It was beautifully sung, and it always is better when you have your own connection to the music. I sang that work myself in a choir years ago, so I could sing along "in my head."
Just have to leave you with a quote that I read this morning: "Through surprise our inner eyes are opened to the amazing fact that everything is gratuitous. Nothing at all can be taken for granted. And if it cannot be taken for granted, it is gift." (D. Steindl-Rast)
May my life be open to the surprise of God's gifts each and every day!


Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Cute Little Lambs

This afternoon I went to my mom and dad's for tea. We sat outside on the deck because it was so beautiful and warm!! And I got to visit with the new baby lambs! My parents are bottle-feeding two of the tiniest lambs because they've been rejected by the mother ewes. So I got to feed one of them their afternoon bottle! They are just so cute! And of course, they love people and being cuddled.
Tonight it's off to the middle school fine arts evening! Maybe I'll see you there!!

Love, Sandra

Monday, April 12, 2010

The Day After

It was a great birthday yesterday! I really enjoyed the day. Thanks to all of you for birthday wishes, cards, gifts, phonecalls, emails, ecards, visits, and "Happy Birthday" renditions. It was all so celebratory and I just had such a good time!
Today has been a very laid-back day after all the festivities. The frustration of today was that my lymphopress treatments got postponed for another week. Now they won't start the wrapping until next week Wed. (Apr.21) because apparently they don't have the supplies here. I just want it to be done so I have my arm back... but I have to wait again!! Another lesson in patience, or something like that.
Time to go -talk to you again soon.

Love, Sandra

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Special Day Coming!!!

It's VSO night tonight and we're going to listen to a piano concerto by Grieg, I think! The concerts are always good and I'm looking forward to it. First, it's out for dinner and then it's concert time. Relaxing, refreshing, and enjoyable.
And it's Birthday Eve - tomorrow I can celebrate another year! How grateful I am to be able to enjoy my birthday this year. Last year I had just finished chemo treatment number one. Thank you, God, for life, and the true joy and anticipation of days ahead!
Bask in God's love tomorrow as you worship Him with fellow believers!

In Him,

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Tulips and Snow!

Can you believe it? I woke up to a dusting of snow on the ground this morning! Snow in April with the tulips blooming and the rhododendrons just starting to appear. What's that all about?
Last night as I was sitting at my dining room table, I heard an owl hooting in the trees just behind my place. It sounded so close by. Maybe he was warning me about the snow!
My car is up and running again. I was able to get it repaired on Tuesday so I had it back by Tuesday evening. It was the starter motor that was broken and without that - it just won't go!
I am feeling good but my left arm continues to be very sore and I have to be very careful how I move it because it can be very sore. I hope that goes away over the next couple of weeks with the lymphopress treatments.
Have a good evening!
Love, Sandra

Tuesday, April 6, 2010


I've been carless yesterday and today - my car refused to start but it's getting fixed now. Hope to have it by this evening again. Just been enjoying my tulips at home, and reading, and crafting, and visiting, and washing, and ironing, and just relaxing.
"Gratitude takes nothing for granted...
You acknowledge that you are surrounded by God's indescribable generosity.
You awaken to the fact that your life is a gift." (Don Postema)
My life is certainly a gift; each new day is a gift, too.

In Him,

Sunday, April 4, 2010


Hallelujah, Christ the Lord is risen today! The glory and the power of the resurrection give us hope and joy! Just had to post the tulip pictures (photographs courtesy of JEB) taken this afternoon when we walked through the tulip fields and gardens in Washington. After attending a jubilant Easter service and singing those powerful Easter hymns, seeing the fields of tulips just spoke of new life! The colours were so magnificent!
Now I'm back home again and there are vases of tulips all over my house. It was a great few days away and I enjoyed the change of scenery.

Singing His praises,

Friday, April 2, 2010

Away for the weekend!

I know it's pretty late but I had to touch base with you. A friend and I are away for the weekend, enjoying (enduring?) the April showers (and blustery wind). We're hoping to see some beautiful fields of flowers but today we went shopping instead. The weather was just not conducive to tip-toeing through any tulip fields (but we bought enough shoes to go tip-toeing)!! It's just fun to be away for awhile - I'll put up with a few raindrops. At least I don't have to worry about my hair in this weather. These curls are staying in!!

Love, Sandra

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Goodbye to March

What a wonderful Wednesday! I went to school this morning to talk to a class; then went to the staffroom to celebrate a baby's arrival. After that I went to a friend's house for lunch, and finished off my galavanting with a trip to the library. Since I came home I have been reading in my recliner. I finished a book entitled The Cello Suites about J.S. Bach, and a famous cellist named Casals, and the mystery of the original manuscripts of the music. I was intrigued and thoroughly enjoyed the book!

Happy reading!

Monday, March 29, 2010

Lymphopress treatment

This morning I had my first lymphopress treatment done. The physiotherapist measured my arm before and after the treatment and there was even a difference already! Amazing, eh? She didn't wrap the arm afterwards today - this was a trial run! We'll start the treatments in earnest on the 12th of April and then the arm will be wrapped up in cloth bandages in between treatments. I'm sure learning all about lymphedema. What an education! My physiotherapist said we caught it nice and early, however, and we should be able to get it under control, but lymphedema, though manageable, is with me to stay. Just one more side effect of this past year!


Saturday, March 27, 2010


Before I turn off my lights for Earth Hour this evening, I'll post a note here. It was a slow, but pretty good day today. My legs have been a little sore the past two days, and my arm continues to feel tight and painful, but I am doing my exercises as much as I can.
Tomorrow is Palm Sunday. Hosanna to the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords! Easter is fast approaching. It seems to have come so quickly this year. Blessings on your Sunday tomorrow. May you be encouraged and built up in the faith through worship with God's people.

Rejoicing in Him,

Thursday, March 25, 2010


I went for my first physiotherapy treatment this morning and that was really good! I got a lot of helpful information, and exercises, and tips about lymphedema. The physiotherapist was very glad I had come because the swelling is significant in the upper arm, and she said it's better to catch it early. So on Monday I will go again, and she will add the lymphopress to try and get the lymph fluid to move out of the arm. I have lost a lot of movement in my left arm and I really want that back again.
There's always something, it seems, but at least it's not chemo...!!! Better get to work and do my exercises now!

Love, Sandra

Monday, March 22, 2010


YES!!! The news is good. The final test came back negative and I will NOT need to have any more chemo! I am ecstatic, and relieved, happy and so very thankful. Now I can once again go into recovery mode, and recuperate fully from the second surgery, and gain my strength back. My oncologist looked at my left arm, the side from my surgery last year. She said lymphedema has developed and so I need to wear a compression sleeve, and go for physiotherapy and massage therapy. My left arm has gotten very sore in the last two weeks, and the range of motion has really diminished. The neuropathy in my legs continues to bother me so I will stay on the pain medication as well. I will see my oncologist again in two months (in May) so that she can continue to monitor my progress and make sure all is going well.
Thank you so very much for praying and pleading to God on my behalf. He is gracious and good, isn't He? A weight has been lifted and I can go on with this business of recuperation. Praise God!


Saturday, March 20, 2010


Yesterday afternoon my niece and I went to Harrison. It was just so beautiful with snow-covered Mt.Cheam sparkling in the background. We walked around and took in the warmth of the sunshine, marvelling at the beauty of God's creation around us. I'm just so enjoying the springtime this year - the blossoms seem so lush and brilliant in colour, the sun feels so warm already, and the trees are taking on the bright green hue as the leaves get ready to burst out.
It's been good to have things to do and see and have family around to keep my mind off of Monday's appointment, but I can feel the nerves setting me on edge every now and again. I wonder what my oncologist will have to say -- will there be more chemo ahead, or are we finished? Please pray for good final results to the additional tests and for peace and strength to listen to my doctor on Monday and take in what she has to say.

Leaning on Him,

Thursday, March 18, 2010

God is Enough!

Another beautiful day! Sunny and bright! My niece and I went for a walk around Mill Lake and then walked around downtown poking our heads into some little shops. What fun!
Here's a song that the Dordt College concert choir sang on Monday night at the concert, accompanied by the cello, and it was beautiful. The words really spoke to me even though they were written hundreds of years ago by St. Teresa of Avila (1515-1582):
Let nothing disturb you,
nothing frighten you,
all things are passing.
God never changes.
Patience obtains all things.
Whoever has God lacks nothing.
God is enough.

Resting in Him,

Monday, March 15, 2010

With My Niece

My sister left early this morning for home. It was so good to have her here. Tonight my niece and I are going to a choir concert of my alma mater, and her college presently. All this wonderful music! Yesterday I played for our church services for the first time in over a year. It was exciting to be behind the piano again. I hope and pray that life will soon return to "normal" and I can do the things I love to do, without thinking about treatments, and pain, and cancer. For now, I will enjoy the week with my niece.

In Him,

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Chopin Concert

Now my niece from Dordt has arrived here as well. She's staying with me over her Spring Break. I love it! People in the house! Last night my sister and I went to a Chopin concert here in Abbotsford. The pianist was Janina Fialkowski, a Canadian-born musician, living in Montreal. I got a CD of her playing Chopin and then she signed the CD after the concert. How cool is that!
I'm feeling pretty good - my left arm from the surgery last year is quite sore and I can't stretch it out. It swells up usually each day a little, probably not a good thing, but I'll tell the doctor about that next week.
Have a good weekend and blessings to you all.

Love, Sandra

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Quilt of Belonging

Yesterday my sisters and I went to see the Quilt of Belonging at the Surrey Art Gallery. What a magnificent work of art! It was spectacular! It is a quilt made up of 263 squares representing 192 immigrant nationalities and 71 aboriginal groups found in Canada. It is 36 metres long and 3.5 metres high. The squares are just so beautifully crafted, each one a work of art in and of themselves. Some of them have 3-dimensional objects on them, such as the Dutch square with its tiny little silver wooden shoes. If you get a chance to see it, go for it. It is truly worthwhile! You can look it up online as well, I think.
It's so good to have my sister here and to do some things together. Today we ran some errands in town and went for a walk around Mill Lake, even though it was a bit blustery and cool.

Take care,
Love, Sandra

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Family Ties

On Sunday we celebrated my sister's 50th birthday and therefore I had to post a new picture! I'm feeling much better - hardly any nausea and more energy again. I'm so excited because my sister from Alberta (Sharon) is coming tomorrow and then my niece, who is attending Dordt, is also coming for her spring break! I'll have a house full and things to look forward to! How wonderful to be able to get together with family and enjoy each other. And then to think that our heavenly Father enfolds us into His family and loves us so dearly that He sent His only Son for us!
How great is the love of the Father, the love He has shown to us-
So great that He calls us His children, and children of God we are!

In His love,

Saturday, March 6, 2010

VSO tonight

What an absolutely gorgeous day! Just love that sunshine! I'm all dressed up and ready to go to a Vancouver Symphony Concert this evening. It's going to be an evening of Chopin! It will be good, I'm sure. I am feeling a little better - the nausea isn't so strong anymore. What a relief! My stomach has had a rough week but it's beginning to settle down now. Yeah!

Love, Sandra

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

My Saviour's Love

Yesterday I went to school in the morning, participating in grade 5's music classes, and singing the song of the month. It was in my head all afternoon!
How marvelous! How wonderful!
And my song shall ever be:
How marvelous! How wonderful
Is my Saviour's love for me!
Still struggling with nausea - eating just isn't a favourite thing to do right now. I hope it goes away soon.

Love in Him,

Sunday, February 28, 2010

February's Over

Just been taking it real easy the last couple of days because I've felt a little under the weather (tired, nausea, and "headachey.") But I've got good books to read, people who come to visit, and Olympics to watch. Can't believe that tomorrow will be March already!
Hope your week is a good one!

Love, Sandra

Friday, February 26, 2010


A rainy, coastal B.C. day. I went to school this morning to watch the school's own "Olympic closing ceremonies." Such fun! Don't seem to have a whole lot of energy for anything else - except some reading and crossword puzzles. My sister's coming over for tea later. Yesterday I went to Bible study in our complex again. I hadn't been there since before my surgery. We're looking at the book of Mark and yesterday we studied Mark 12.
"Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength (Mark 12:29-30)."

Love, Sandra

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Patience x2

I spent some time at school this morning and it was so good to see students and teachers! I am energized just going there and it makes me want to be teaching again. Time for a heavy dose of patience!

Waiting in Him,

Sunday, February 21, 2010

This is My Father's World

I was playing that song on the piano today - just had to play it considering the beautiful, sunny day we had!
This is my Father's world: O let me not forget
that though the wrong is great and strong,
God is the ruler yet.
The Lord is King, let the heavens ring!
God reigns; let the earth be glad.
I hope you can revel in the glory of God's creation this week. I'm just glad to be able to have some thinking time to process all the information given to me on Friday. And I'm looking forward to feeling well enough to get out a little more and do some things. This morning I was even able to go to church again - on the first Sunday of Lent.

In His love,

Friday, February 19, 2010

As Good As It Gets for Now

I've just returned home from the cancer clinic and you're the first to hear my news! It'll help me process the information as I write this out to you. The news is mostly good, although incomplete at this time. We are still awaiting more test results, since one of the "markers" was inconclusive and needs further testing. Once those final results come in, my oncologist will take all the information to a "conference" with other oncologists to see what should be done. There is a possibility of more chemotherapy if the test comes back a certain way but at this point we are going to do nothing!! The tumour this time was much more aggressive than last year, faster growing, and completely different. However, they are confident that the surgery removed it all and so any further chemo would be to kill off any stray cells that escaped into the body. There will not be any radiation for sure. The surgical site is clean.
So there you have it, as best as I can tell you now. God's mercies are new every morning! He continues to answer prayer and now I ask you again to pray for the best test results so that chemo is unnecessary. My next appointment will be March 22. Now I need to continue healing from surgery and that is going well.
Thank you so much for your thoughts, and cards, and visits, and flowers, and prayers. Your support and encouragement upholds me and keeps me going.

In His loving care,

Thursday, February 18, 2010

New time

Tomorrow is a big day because I see my oncologist for a detailed explanation of the complete pathology report and what, if any, treatments will come next. My appointment time was changed to 1:00 p.m. (Fri.,Feb.19) and I will let you know the results via my blog. Don't expect any news until later afternoon. Please pray for calmness, and good news! (I really want to keep my new, curly hair!)

Abiding in hope,


Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Wait and Hope

I'm living in hope right now - hope that the visit on Friday will be positive through and through and I won't need anymore chemo or radiation. I can't imagine my body being able to handle that. I just want to be done with this cancer journey. I just want to live a "normal" life again - whatever that is. I just want to be teaching and busy. I like this "hope quote" I received from a friend:
Until the day when God shall deign to reveal the future to man all human wisdom is summed up in these two words, - - wait and hope. (Alexandre Dumas 1802-1870)

That's what I'm doing - waiting and hoping and I know my hope is firm in Jesus, my Saviour.
I'm feeling pretty good, a little sore, but my legs aren't as painful as last week. Perfect time for Olympics, since I need couch time anyways.
Enjoy the sunshine today!!

Hoping in Him,

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Bimbo Cupcakes

What a wonderful weekend with friends! It's so good to catch up and visit and just enjoy each other's company. Today I went to see my mom and dad as well. It was a beautiful drive because the sun was so bright and warm. I'm feeling good today, a little stronger all the time. I've still been napping most days but today I stayed up all day (of course, I got up pretty late)! And now I'm snacking on a delicious bimbo cupcake. Mmmm.... delicious!

Love, Sandra

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Sparkly Encouragement

My cousin came over today and spent the day with me. (Thanks, cuz! I loved it!) We went to the library and did a little grocery shopping. Tonight 2 friends from Alberta are coming to visit and stay the weekend. My wound is slowly healing - it's taking a little longer than last time and it's a little more tender, I think. But it looks good - no sign of infection.
Thank you for your encouragement cards, Grade 3 GEMS class. They are beautiful! I love all the sparkles. Your cards and prayers are definitely an encouragement to me.

Love in Christ,

Monday, February 8, 2010

God Answers Prayer!

This morning I went to see the surgeon and he told me that the cancer had not spread to the lymph nodes. There is NO lymph node involvement! Isn't that FANTASTIC? I was so delighted to know that I would not need anymore surgery. There were two small tumours in the breast so it was good to have had a complete mastectomy. They were still pretty close to the chest wall, but not intertwined in the tissue - also good. So now I wait to see my oncologist next week Friday (the 19th) and she will have a course of action ready for me. The tumours were grade 3 which is the highest. I'm not sure the implications of that but I will learn more next week Friday. The report was not complete as of today.
I'm so thankful for this answer to prayer. I'm just so happy that this time the cancer has not spread to the lymph nodes. Now the incision just has to continue to heal and I have to continue to get my strength back.
"Hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us." (Romans 5:5 NASB)
Thank you again for your faithful prayers. I could never do this without the support of all of you, family, friends, colleagues, and students.

Hoping in Him,

Friday, February 5, 2010

My Help Comes from the Lord

Doesn't it feel like spring is in the air? What gorgeous sunshine today! I was even outside for a bit as I went to the health clinic and the library. (Don't worry - I didn't drive. I have friends staying with me each day).
"I lift up my eyes to the hills - where does my help come from?
My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth."
I just thank God for His help and love day by day. He makes it so I won't slip or fall. He watches over me, sleeping or awake.

In Him,

Wednesday, February 3, 2010


It's been a good day. I'm able to sit up more and be out of bed for longer periods of time. Why, I even got dressed today! How's that for progress? My surgery site is not very sore at all and the health care nurse said it looked good. My caregivers have been awesome and I love having the company at my house. Thanks, staff, for the wonderful sunshine basket! It was so fun to open the little packets. My bed was covered in wrapping paper and gifts this morning.

Resting in Him,

Monday, February 1, 2010

Naps and rests

Thanks for fixing my computer connection, Jon! Now I can update my blog. My nephew is out from Alberta - it's good to see him. I had a good day today. I have a hard time staying up for a long time but with rests in between, and an afternoon nap, I am doing well, I think. Thank you so much for your cards, and phonecalls, visits, and prayers. I am continually amazed by the love I feel and the "communion of the saints" that I experience.

Love, Sandra

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Pink Pyjamas

Yup-the next entry is from the patient herself.
Praise God from whom all blessings flow! Nervous as I was going into surgery, I am so thankful to have made it through surgery so well. I'm sitting up in my bed right now - I'm happiest in my bed still, although I do get up for short periods of time as well. Like Ardie said, my legs continue to be quite painful but hopefully that will clear up, too, as my body gets stronger. I'm delighted to be able to chat with you again. I don't do much yet, except read, visit, and sleep, but that will improve, too, as the days go by. God is so good - He's so good to me!

Love, Sandra

Things are going well!

Recovery seems to be much quicker this time around. All is well in the pain department except for the continued neuropathy in her legs. Just to give you an idea of how bad the lasting effects are of the chemo, yesterday her legs hurt worse than the surgery area.

I think the next post will be from the patient herself!

written by Ardie

Friday, January 29, 2010

There's no place like home...

Sandra is tucked into her own bed tonight! She is in a fair bit of pain, but that's normal post-surgery pain. Hopefully it won't interfere too much with sleep tonight. (For my sake too--as I'm here with her for the night.)

She definitely is much more perky and acting like her old self faster than last year at this point after surgery. She still tires very easily and will spend much of her time sleeping over the next few days.

Thanks again for all of your prayers!

written by Ardie

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Same song, same verse, one year later

I just came from the hospital. I was able to talk with the surgeon tonight. He said the portion of the surgery that involved finding and removing the sentinal lymph node went as well or better than can be expected. He was very pleased with how the surgery went overall. He is also quite certain Sandra will come home already tomorrow afternoon. I think that she seems more alert than last year after surgery. While she is sleeping most of the time because she had a lot of pain medication after surgery, the few times she is awake she is much more lucid than last year post-surgery.

They have also put her in a single room. It appears there is just more caution all around this year with how things are being handled and precaution against infection.

Thanks again for all of the prayers! The good surgery is definitely an answer to prayer!

posted by Ardie

In surgery...

This is Ardie with a brief update...

Sandra walked into surgery just before noon today. She was doing well, but was very nervous. I won't know anymore for about 4-5 hours or more, so look for another update later this afternoon or evening once she's out of surgery again.

They did give her antibiotics already before the surgery, so I'm thinking they are being very cautious with the risk of infections because of her low blood levels.

Thanks for all your prayers!

First Procedure Done!

God is answering prayers already!! I had a good sleep last night and didn't wake up until my alarm went off. I was calm for the sentinel node procedure this morning and it went very smoothly and almost painless. I was so worried about pain but it was short and not even that intense. Ardie and I have come home for an hour before we head back to the hospital for surgery. I have to be back there by 9:45 a.m. because surgery is at 11:45 a.m. I would love a Starbucks coffee but off course that's off-limits. Too bad!
Keep on praying! Ardie will post later in the day and let you know how surgery went.

At peace in Him,

Monday, January 25, 2010

Vancouver Cancer Clinic

My appointment at the cancer clinic in Vancouver went fine today - nothing new, just the doctor's regrets that I have to go through this so soon again. It felt like deja vu - I went to Vancouver 3 days before surgery last year, too. This is my yearly "Hodgkins" check-up.
My sister came along with me and I was glad to have her company. I am a little uptight this evening and wanting the days to go by quickly so I can get this surgery over and done with. Tomorrow morning I go to the hospital here for my pre-op appointment.
Thank you all for your continued prayers. They are getting me through these tough days.

Love, Sandra

Saturday, January 23, 2010

When Peace Like a River

Last night I went to hear the 3 Christian tenors! What a wonderful evening - the singing was incredible! Goosebumps galore! They sang When Peace Like A River - a most powerful song and I know that's the song of the month for the students at school, too. We were invited to sing along on the chorus. I could sing along - It is well with my soul!
What another beautiful day - not sunny all day, but at least it was dry! I took it easy and visited and read, and visited and did a load of wash, and visited and listened to music.
Blessings on your Sabbath rest tomorrow.

Thursday, January 21, 2010


It feels good to have a surgery date. Next week will be busy with appointments so the time will go fast. I have an appointment on Monday with my oncologist in Vancouver and on Tuesday and Wednesday mornings I have appointments in preparation for surgery on Thursday.
Yesterday I went to my sister's place - shopping and out for lunch. Today I ran some more errands but my legs were very weak. I found it difficult to walk at times. Don't know what that's all about. I even had a good sleep last night so my legs shouldn't be tired.
Have to go now - I have some students coming over to give me a music performance. Wonderful!

Love, Sandra

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Surgery Date!

It's been a difficult last couple of days but this afternoon I got the phone call I was waiting for. I have a surgery date for next week Thursday, Jan.28. I have to be at the hospital by 7:00 a.m. - bright and early. I'm so relieved to finally have a date and I thank God for answering our prayers. I will have surgery before the end of January and for that I am grateful. A second surgery within the year is hard to grasp but I pray fervently that this time the tumour has not spread to any lymph nodes - not a one.

Trusting in Jesus,

Saturday, January 16, 2010

The Grand Weaver

Tired today
but feeling content in God's hands.
I got a "thinking of you" balloon bouquet today and that just boosted my spirits.
I joined my staff in a prayer meeting yesterday afternoon and that encouraged and strengthened me in God's abundant mercy and love.
I have begun reading from a book by Ravi Zacharias called The Grand Weaver and am so blessed by it. (Thank you for the recommendation, dear friend). God really is the grand weaver of our lives and every thread matters to Him.

In His love,

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Settled Down

Yesterday and today I have been processing the wait time and am more settled and calm about it. All your prayers, and visits, and phonecalls have certainly blessed me as well and helped me to rest in God. Yesterday I went to my mom and dad's and of course, that's always good therapy. Today I went out for lunch and baked cookies. I am feeling good and the leg pain has subsided again from a couple of days ago. How can you be so sick and feel and look so well?


Tuesday, January 12, 2010

More waiting...

The appointment with the surgeon was disappointing. Yup, he'll do the surgery but he doesn't give out dates. His secretary calls the hospital and they make the arrangements so now I wait for a phonecall from the hospital. I am SO VERY TIRED of the waiting... This process is long and frustrating. I have no more patience.
Today has been a very hard day...


Sunday, January 10, 2010

Go Now in Peace

God gives His people peace and today I felt at peace. It was a quiet, calm day: tea with a friend, phone visits with other friends, reading and listening to music. Last night I attended a wonderful Vancouver Symphony concert. Rachmaninoff's Third piano concerto! Fabulous!
I step gently into a new week. What will it hold? The song in my head today is a choir piece I taught my church choir many, many years ago:
Go now in peace, never be afraid,
God will go with you each hour of every day
Go now in faith, steadfast, strong and true.
Know He will guide you in all you do.

In His peace,

Friday, January 8, 2010

The Gate of the Year

This poem was given to me 25 years ago when I was first diagnosed with Hodgkin's. It is on my bulletin board in my office at home. I want to share it with you now, especially since we are at the beginning of a new year, and even more because I feel like I'm moving in darkness now.
And I said to the man who stood at the gate of the year:
"Give me a light, that I may tread safely into the unknown!"
And he replied:
"Go out into the darkness and
put your hand into the Hand
of God.
That shall be to you better than
light and safer than a known

Finding God's Hand,

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Hard News

This is not an easy blog to write, nor is it one I wanted to write. I was hoping for much better news but the biopsy report was not good. A new cancer was found and I will have to undergo a second mastectomy. My oncologist called me yesterday afternoon to tell me the news, and then I went to see my GP to make arrangements to see the surgeon next Tuesday morning. I hope to have the surgery in the next week or two - hopefully sometime before Jan. 22. My oncologist would like to move quickly but everything takes time.
I find this all very overwhelming and incomprehendable. I cannot understand why this is happening all over again. I'm trying not to think beyond the surgery for now, and stay focused in the here and now. I'm trying to live one day at a time knowing that "all of my days are held in God's hand."
Please continue to pray for peace and strength. Though I am unable to face large crowds right now, I'm very happy to have visits. The tears flow freely, but I know in my heart that God is upholding me and guiding my every step, even in these very tough days. What would I do without Him in my life?


Monday, January 4, 2010

From Ocean to Ocean

Yesterday we ate lunch looking out over the Atlantic Ocean in New Jersey. Today we are back home, flying into Vancouver Airport a little over the Pacific. Amazing, eh? We had such a wonderful trip! My nephew's wedding was absolutely fabulous - such a cultural diversity of people, too. Congratulations, Kenneth and Ai! Thank you for a great day of celebrations! Spending time with family was priceless. I loved seeing my little great nieces and nephews and of course, it was good to talk with my "big" nieces and nephews also. Now I have to get over jet lag - three hours does make a difference. It was good to be away and helped me to forget what looms ahead. Please pray for peace and strength and miraculously good results!

Love in Christ,

Friday, January 1, 2010

New Jersey

I'm sitting in my motel room relaxing and trying to adjust to a new time zone. It's a sunny day with a dusting of snow on the ground.
My family is here,too. It was wonderful to have breakfast together this morning. We kind of took over the breakfast room. Had a smooth flight here yesterday, despite the heightened security.
Happy New Year to all of you! God's peace and strength in 2010.

Love, Sandra

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