Thursday, January 31, 2013

Specific Prayer Requests

Several of you mentioned that you appreciate having specific things to pray for. I asked Sandra yesterday and today what specifically she would like people to pray for. She came up with this list:

- Patience - Sandra has now had a little over a week of TPN. As a result, she is feeling a little more energetic. But that also means she is more alert and thinks more and wants more to happen. But we are waiting on God's timing.
- The ability to sleep well at night - Up until recently she has always slept well at night. Last night she wasn't able to sleep more than a half hour at a time. Not sure if that's a result of the TPN or other medications.
- Peace - Enough said!

--written by Ardie

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

God's Daily Little Miracles

Yesterday we were concerned that it appeared Sandra's port had become plugged from the food (TPN) going into her veins. A nurse was able to flush it resulting in it working beautifully again. Sandra called that one of God's daily little miracles. Later that night there was serendipitous timing in connecting with her brother Mel in Wisconsin--not planned.

Today's daily little miracle was when I inadvertently missed a page in Sandra's devotional book and didn't read today's scheduled reading. Instead I read tomorrow's, Psalm 27. (What a beautiful Psalm!!) Just after we finished reading it, someone sent a message to Sandra at the new email address we set up on Sunday. They shared Psalm 27:1 with Sandra. I think we needed to hear that Psalm today! Another of God's daily little miracles.

Keep the encouraging notes coming in to Sandra at We won't be responding to the emails, but it's an avenue to provide encouragement for Sandra. Also feel free to leave a comment on this blog. And don't worry if the message is in Dutch, Tante and Oom. I'm not the only one at the hospital or reading the emails to Sandra. There are many family members spending time at the hospital (Audrey especially!). The last couple of days Sandra's been doing a fair bit of reading herself, which is great.

We love seeing God's little miracles. Maybe you'd like to share some of God's daily little miracles you're seeing today with Sandra?

--written by Ardie

Sunday, January 27, 2013


One of the greatest joys this week has been devotions with Sandra. We as family members have all taken turns (depending on who is there in the morning) to have devotions with Sandra. She has been using Seeking God's Face by Phil Reinders from Faith Alive Christian Resources. It is subtitled Praying with the Bible through the Year. Sandra has especially been enjoying the Psalm portion. I'm amazed at how often the Psalm of the Day is so appropriate. Today's Psalm was 24, and the Bible Reading was Matthew 5:1-10, the Beatitudes. I invite all of you to read those passages and be blessed.

Sandra also loves Psalm 34 and has requested that we read it to her again and again. She loves the whole chapter, but has focused several times this week on verse 7: "The angel of the Lord encamps around those who fear him, and he delivers them." We have prayed for Sandra to feel that encampment around her this week.

Many have asked for updates. There isn't a lot to update right now. The TPN has been started. Sandra gets "food" (TPN) through her IV port 20 hours a day. She gets fluids the other 4 hours along with other medications. She has a pick line into her upper arm for one of her anti nausea medications. She is generally not in pain. She is wearing a pain patch permanently which has been very effective.

The NG (nasal gastro) tube remains in place. Even though she is not eating or drinking, Sandra's body continues to build up mucus, gas and waste that normally would work its way through the bowels but can't. The NG tube relieves pressure and keeps Sandra from pain and vomiting.

Her chest tube is still in, but draining very little any more. That should be taken out early this week.

Sandra is weak--remaining bed bound. She is able to rest comfortably and sleep well overall. She does appreciate the posts people have been leaving on the blog and wants to encourage as many people as possible to do that. (We read them to her.)

If you are having difficulty posting on the blog (which I understand has happened frequently) feel free to send Sandra an email to: We have sent up that email address specifically for notes of encouragement to be sent to Sandra.

Thanks again for all of your prayers. We are feeling the support.

--written by Ardie

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Pineapple and Puzzle Pieces

Yesterday was a rough day. But last night went much better after the lung was drained and her NG tube reinserted. A nurse even said Sandra could suck on frozen pineapple today as a treat, just to satisfy the longing she's had for a week now for that taste.

A few more pieces of the puzzle have fallen in place today. Sandra's oncologist had been on vacation and she is now back, which helps, as she is a vital member of the team of doctors reviewing all of the information gathering that's been happening the past few days. This is what we know so far:

- The cancer is spreading and causing the bowel obstruction.
- Surgery is not a good option at this time for fixing the obstruction for several reasons.
- Sandra is very weak nutritionally.
- Chemo is not really possible with an obstruction.
- It is not unheard of for an obstruction to open up--but we are getting towards the end of the window for that to happen.

This is what's planned for the next few days:

- Tomorrow (Thursday) the nephrostomy tubes should be changed.
- TPN (Total Parenteral Nutrition) should begin to help build up Sandra's strength in hopes of possible intervention yet later.
- More research is being done for other options that might be in Sandra's best interest.

Sandra is resting quite comfortably (or as comfortable as you can be with 6 tubes attached externally to your body at once). We've had many tears and discussions lately about what's next. Sandra is looking forward with great joy to singing (or directing the singing!) in heaven. However, she has very real fears about what happens between now and then. She doesn't want pain and doesn't like the unknown of the journey between now and healing in heaven. She (and her family) is requesting specific prayers:

- For a miracle opening up of the blockage on it's own so she can eat again.
- For freedom from pain.
- For her fears to be taken away.
- For the God of peace to fill her.

Thank you for upholding Sandra and family in your prayers. What a mighty God we serve!

--submitted by Ardie

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Stacked up procedures

Sandra is having a procedure this afternoon to have her lung drained again. They're also hoping to squeeze her in for another procedure at the same time. In addition she needs her nephrostomy tubes changed this week. All of that needs to happen along with more testing before we can deal fully with the obstruction. So much just happening all at once--so it's like a stack of procedures to be checked off this week.

Pray for patience, relief from vomiting and strength.

--submitted by Ardie

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Hungry and Thirsty

I've been thinking about Matthew 5:6, "Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled." Sandra is currently feeling the physical sense of hunger and thirst in an extreme way. She has not had a meal (that's stayed down) since Sunday. She will remain in the hospital until at least Monday (possibly longer) when her doctor anticipates the results of the CT scan conducted yesterday. That will hopefully direct the doctors how to clear up this obstruction. In the meantime she is not allowed any food or drink orally. She is relying on IV fluids to sustain her. She is being fed ice chips, but that doesn't alleviate the thirst or the hunger she's been feeling.

While I would never wish this experience on Sandra or anyone else, can we all say we hunger and thirst for God that way? I know I can't.

--written by Ardie

Thursday, January 17, 2013


A lot has happened (or maybe I should say hasn't happened!) since the last post just two days ago. The nephrostomy tube change was postponed until next week because of an emergency procedure at the hospital, bumping Sandra in the priority queue.

What also hasn't been happening the last few days is the ability to keep anything down. This morning we took Sandra to the emergency room and she was diagnosed with a bowel obstruction. She has been admitted and will stay at least overnight if not longer depending on what they find out tomorrow with a CT scan. The scan will hopefully help determine what's causing the obstruction. Please pray that it's something that can correct itself and that no surgery will be needed.

Sandra's weekly chemo, scheduled for tomorrow (Friday), has also been cancelled. So there's a lot that's just not happening right now.

Thanks for your continued prayers.

--written by Ardie

Tuesday, January 15, 2013


Tomorrow afternoon I go into the hospital to have my nephrostomy tubes replaced again. Those six weeks sure go by quickly. Today I've been very tired so I did a lot of napping. I did manage to fit in a scrabble game with one of my neighbour-friends. Yesterday my sister and I were wondering who was making a hammering sound. We thought one of the neighbours was working in their place. But no, it was a flicker with his big long beak attacking the suet at my birdhouse. Flickers are related to woodpeckers and their long beak gives them away. He was getting some nice pieces the way he was pounding away at the suet.
My sister shared this beautiful verse from Exodus with me. "My presence shall go with you, and I shall give you rest." (Ex.33:14)

In His rest,

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Gorgeous Sunshine

Had another chemo treatment yesterday. It has made me very tired. I feel like I could just nap and nap all day. But my work ethic says I should at least get a few chores done, like filling up my pill box for another week and cleaning out one drawer of papers. This sunshine is just gorgeous, too, so maybe if I bundle up enough I could take a small stroll outside. How quickly we forget the rain when we have beautiful weather again. We'll just have to enjoy this while we have it, eh?


Tuesday, January 8, 2013

A Record Made

It's so cosy here in my recliner that if I don't start writing this blog I just may fall asleep. Today was a good day - the third day in a row in which I have not vomited at all. That's a record for me, I think, and I have felt hungrier as well. Maybe somehow the new chemo drug is working on my stomach. I do have a few more aches and pains but so far it's not been too bad. I'm just so thankful to be feeling better. Yesterday my sister and I went on a shopping trip and today I went out with both my sisters to do groceries. My younger sister from Alberta just arrived here for a 10 day stay. I finished knitting a scarf today, too, and made it into an infinity style. It was a very unique knitting pattern and makes the scarf drape nicely.
Time to eat a mandarin orange. Take care and have a good day!


Saturday, January 5, 2013

Chemo Went Well

Well, now it's Saturday. I had my days all mixed up. I thought yesterday was Saturday. So much for looking up the date. I'll just call it chemo brain, and that will be my excuse, O.K?
The chemo went very well. Thanks for all your prayers. I didn't get sick from it at all. Earlier today I was even rather hungry but that has passed on by. I will probably lose my hair (for the third time in my life), and I'll probably get tingly or numb fingers and toes. We'll just have to wait and see. So far this drug has been alright. Keep on praying that all stays well.


Friday, January 4, 2013


Tomorrow is a new day but I look forward to it with a little fear and anxiety. I began a new chemo drug (taxol) today but I have no idea as to how it will play out in my body. Will I lose my hair now? Will I get tingling and nerve pain in my toes, fingers, hands, and feet? Will it make me so fatigued that I just have to call off a session? Sometimes, even now, it takes me a long time to go upstairs because I'm just not as strong on my feet anymore. Time will tell, I suppose, and for now I will sing of my Redeemer and with His blood He purchased me. "How on the cruel cross He suffered, paid the debt, and made me free."
Sabbath blessings to you and may you be blessed and encouraged as you partake of the Lord's Supper tomorrow.

Love, Sandra 🎶

Tuesday, January 1, 2013


Happy New Year, everyone! May our Immanuel, God with us, protect you, guide you, and bless you richly in this year of our Lord, 2013.
Time for me to find some new pictures. All my Christmas decorations came down this morning so it had to come down on this site, too. My quilts go back to where my tree was placed. And it's back to routines and ordinary days,and those kind of days are good, too.