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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