Tuesday, July 31, 2012

In memory of my aunt

Today we laid a dear aunt of mine to rest, safe in Jesus' everlasting arms. It was a sad day, and a happy day, all rolled into one. Sad because I'll miss her sitting beside me in church, sharing the events of a week or singing hymns together. Sad because I'll miss her amazingly accurate memory of family stories and birthdays, anniversaries, etc. Happy because I know she's free of sickness and pain and kidney dialysis. Happy because I know she's singing in glory now and she so loved music. Happy because I was able to share in the celebration of my aunt's life with family and friends. Happy because I am feeling better and the pain is staying under control.
As we sang today - "Because He lives, I can face tomorrow..."


Monday, July 30, 2012

Home, Sweet Home

I came home this afternoon around 4:00 p.m. and I'm so thankful to be home again. My sister is playing piano while I write this blog and guess what she's playing? His Eye is on the Sparrow." Oh, how I love that song!! So true! God has been watching over me, and I am feeling better and the pain is once again under control. Thank you, God!

In gratitude,

Sunday, July 29, 2012

The road to Improvement

It's been wonderful to be home this afternoon. I received a day pass so I was able to get out of my hospital room for several hours and sit in my own chair at home. I took a little walk outside with my mom, enjoying the flowers and soaking in the sunshine. What a treat!
My blood pressure and temperature were back to normal this morning when I woke up. That's a first in a very long time and it was a good sign that things are improving again. If both those things continue to stay normal and my pain is under control, I should be able to return home to stay.
It was 4 years ago today that I finished my radiation treatments after my first bout with breast cancer. A special little girl was born that day, too (Happy Birthday, dear JM), and it reminds me of God's goodness and faithfulness. God gives life and He is faithful in giving His children joy and strength, peace and refuge, in that life. "How great is our God, sing with me, how great is our God..."

Singing His praises,

Saturday, July 28, 2012

No Pass Today

Sandra remains in the hospital after receiving a chemo treatment yesterday. She reacted much the same as she did last week, experiencing fever and a lot of pain.

The doctor hoped to give her a pass to come home for the day, but that didn't happen. There's the possibility she will get a pass tomorrow.

Thanks for your continued prayers on her behalf!

--submitted by Ardie

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

From my hospital room

Very briefly...doing better today and slowly getting pain a little more manageable. Tomorrow I may go for another chemo treatment but I'll stay in the hospital to be monitored. Thank you for your continued, fervent prayers.

Love, Sandra

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Upblog the Date

Sandra asked me to "upblog the date," in other words: update the blog. The mixed up words were cause for a good chuckle. Maybe Sandra invented a new word: upblogging!

Sandra has been in the hospital since yesterday morning. She is in the emergency ward, awaiting a bed on the oncology floor. She did not have the chemo treatment scheduled for yesterday. Once she's on the oncology wing, they will administer it there to watch for reactions.

It was a tough week last week for Sandra. We are hoping for relief of pain. After a visit with the pain management doctor this morning, it seems to be headed for improvement.

Thank you for your continued prayers on her behalf!

--Submitted by Ardie

Friday, July 20, 2012

Left Lung Drained

Just letting you know that the lung drainage went smoothly this afternoon. A liter of fluid was removed so that makes breathing easier again. Right now it's still very tender and I'm a little sore and achy but a good night's sleep should help that. Thank you for your constant prayers and your loving care.

Resting in Him,

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Protected by God

It's been a struggling week, a tired week, a difficult week. Tonight things are looking up, however, and I am beginning to eat again, have a mostly normal temperature again, and have a little more energy. This afternoon I went to see my GP and he took me off of the anti-biotics. They were wreaking havoc with my digestive system so now my appetite is better again. So many things seem to be going on it's hard to keep track of why certain things happen but suffice it to say, I'm feeling better than yesterday.
Tomorrow I get my lungs drained. It wasn't that long ago that they were emptied so it feels quick to be doing it again. Please pray that the procedure will go smoothly this time and there will be no after-effects. As I sit outside on my deck the words of my favorite Psalm come to mind: Keep me safe, my God, for in You I take refuge (Ps.16:1).

Safe in Him,

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Kidney Infection

Yesterday afternoon I had my first injection of the new chemo drug. The power port worked SO well! The pin prick going in was so minute it didn't really qualify as pain. What a treat! I was done in an hour and returned home.
And then.... I ended up back in the hospital last night. As the doctor put it - I had a "rip-roaring" kidney infection. I was put on a round of IV antibiotics, and at 2 a.m. I was able to go home. My vital signs had returned to normal again and the fever was gone. Now I have to return each day to the hospital for antibiotic IV therapy. I went this afternoon and it only takes a half hour. I do have a fever again tonight but it's not as high as last night so I'm praying it will go away. My lungs are also filling up with fluid again so the doctor suggested I get them drained this week.
Day by day, moment by moment...
Just relying on the promises of God.


P.S. Thank you for the visits and thanks, girls, for the baking!! Yum, yum!!

Sunday, July 15, 2012

The Family of God

Today we had a family birthday party for two people in our family. Everyone came over to my place and we had a most wonderful day together. Even though it wasn't nice enough to be outside we still fit in my living room and enjoyed the day together. When we get together there is always lots of laughing. There are some good entertainers in my family. And as we get older we like to reminisce about various things. It's so great to be part of a family, and how much greater it is to be part of the family of God! Knowing that I am a daughter of my Heavenly Father brings true, down-deep joy and peace.
Tomorrow afternoon I start my new chemo injection. I am a little nervous about how it will go. Please pray for calmness of spirit and for everything to go smoothly.

Your sister in Christ,

Friday, July 13, 2012

Enjoying God's Creation

This afternoon I sat by a lake and just enjoyed the sunshine, the view, and the company. What a treat it was! I was outside most of the afternoon. Of course, I made sure I wasn't in the direct sunlight. My nephew was trying to get pictures of different birds - swallows feeding their young, and an eagle flying overhead. My sister has been pointing out a beautiful tiny songbird, a red-breasted house finch, around my townhouse. It has the most beautiful song to sing.
On Monday afternoon I go for my first round of the new chemo drug, navelbine. I'll go to the cancer clinic and they'll be able to use my new port. Oh, happy day!!! Then on Wednesday afternoon I start another new drug for my bones - that injection will be once a month. Two new drugs next week - pray that I will be able to tolerate them well and they will work to shrink/eradicate the cancer in my body.


Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Our Refuge

Today has been a good day. What gorgeous weather we are having and all that sunshine just makes me happy! I did some errands with my sister and niece and had company and took a little nap and just enjoyed the day and the people in this day. The port site is healing nicely. It is still very tender to touch but that just takes some time. I'm so thrilled to have been able to have that done and now I'm just waiting for a call from the chemo clinic for my first chemo injection.
I got a new devotional yesterday, called Seeking God's Face, and I'm excited to read it. Today's verse is "The Lord is good, a refuge in times of trouble. He cares for those who trust in Him." (Nah.1:7). I am so comforted and reassured by God's promises. My future on this earth is so uncertain, as is all of ours, but I can know for a certainty that God is caring for me. And that is all I need to know for now - bringing a huge smile to my face.

Wrapped in His embrace,

Monday, July 9, 2012

Successful Procedure

This will be short. I just want to let you know that I got my power port today and it went very smoothly. I'm very tired and a bit woozy. The site is tender and sore but at least it's done. A few days to heal now - I'll just take it very easy. Thank you, God, for answered prayers.

In Him,

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Bach and more...

My niece is playing a piece by Bach on the piano while I sit here writing this blog. How lovely is that!! Yesterday afternoon some of my family from Alberta arrived and are staying for 10 days or so. I went to church this morning with my sister but battled a fair amount of pain the rest of the day. So more morphine meant it was a little harder to stay awake but nevertheless, it was an enjoyable day. I visited with other dear friends from out of town, too.
Please pray for a smooth day tomorrow at the hospital. In the morning I attend a chemo "teaching" session and at 1:00 p.m. I get my power port. I hope the procedure goes well with no glitches. It will be such a relief to have that port for all chemo and lab work from now on. Ahh....

Resting in Him,

Friday, July 6, 2012

Minter Gardens

Guess what? I'm sure you figured it out by the title. I went to Minter Gardens today! Six family girls - aunts, nieces, cousins, sister and sister-in-law. It was a fabulous day. It was so good to get out and since they have wheelchairs available, I could go all over the gardens. The weather was perfect and the flowers were splendid in color. We ended our afternoon with a bowl of delicious ice-cream. It was just an all-out fantastic day and increasing the morphine meant I had an almost pain-free day! My heart overflows with thanksgiving and praise!

Singing His creation praises,

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Power Port Appointment Coming Up

Oh, I'm loving this beautiful summer weather! Today was a good day and I even was out and about a bit running some errands with my niece. I checked in with my own GP this afternoon and we readjusted my morphine intake so I can be pain-free. I really want to be able to move around more and when that sun is shining, I am determined to be out there enjoying it. The hospital called this afternoon and I will be getting my power port on Monday afternoon. I'm so happy about that - I'm looking forward to procedures becoming so much easier.
Did you notice that I finally figured out how to remove the pictures? Time for some new ones now. Maybe this weekend!
Onward and forward - one day at a time (thanks for that musical reminder, T!)

Love in Him,

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

New Hope

This afternoon I had another big appointment with my oncologist. The CT scan showed that there was no change and everything has remained stable. That was the most promising news I could have expected. I, as well as my onc., were surprised by the good results. The left kidney remains the biggest problem, however, and it seems as though there may be cancer in the kidney. However, that is a bit of a mystery to the medical profession. I am going to change to a new regimen of chemotherapy - one drug that I have not had before. Hopefully, the side effects won't be too harsh. Before I start the new chemo, however, I will have a power port "installed.". That way no one will need to find veins again. The power port will allow them to do chemo, do blood work, and even inject dye for CT scans. I am looking forward to having that done as soon as possible. My onc. wants me to begin chemo within the next two weeks so the power port has to be put in soon.
I feel thankful and encouraged by today's visit. God answers prayers and He has given me results that I hadn't even thought possible. It amazes me how God answers our prayers in surprising ways. I am blessed with new hope. Thank you, God.

In Christ Alone,

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Happy Canada Day!

It was a good day today. My parents came by this afternoon and I even squeezed in a nap after their visit. I've been reading a good book, too, and I think I may even finish it tonight.
"You are my hiding place.
You protect me from trouble.
You surround me with joyous songs of salvation."(Psalm 32:7)
I missed being able to sing songs with God's people at church today but what a promise to know that I am surrounded by songs of God's saving grace. And sometimes, even in the night, those songs come to mind to bring comfort and joy.

Live in joy this first week of July!
Love, Sandra