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


  1. What to say... I was a student of Sandra's in elementary school: I probably have not talked to her since the day of my grade 7 graduation in 2001. Reading this blog today touched me deeply as I can't help but reflect on the times spent in her class room. Sandra, thank you so much for everything you gave to years and years of students! You and your family will remain in my prayers.

    -Laura Vanderwel (Kastelein)

  2. Praying for you Sandra... praying that almighty God will give you strength, courage, peace, and everything you need as you wait on Him. You've been a blessing in my kids' lives at ACS and in my life through your blog... you've shown such faith, joy, and positivity in all circumstances, which has been a humbling yet encouraging example for me when I think I've had a "hard day."

    Sending our love, thanks, and prayers...
    Teresa (John, Gabrielle, Ethan & Aidan) Koetsier

  3. Hello family... this is cousin Rhonda... writing from Mexico.
    Ardie... or whoever is updating the blog... I have a sincere request for you...

    Can you please tell Sandra how much I love her. How much she meant to me growing up - we had a special connection she and I - much deeper than a cousin I only see every once and awhile. We share a passion for life, music, God, and joy. She invested those things in me. I have beautiful memories of her loving me and caring for me.... and have always been proud knowing she has been proud of me and what I'm doing with my life. That meant alot to me. I know we didn't have the greatest contact as time and geography have separated me... but she's been on my heart these months... remembering these season with my mom (Auntie Ada).... and just wanted to let her know...
    I love you dearly and grateful for your life Sandra!

    Will be praying for you all, all the way over here in Mexico. Hugs to you guys.
    Rhonda (Elgersma)

  4. Dear Sandra,
    My thoughts multiply as I read this blog. Just wanting to let you know that you have meant a lot to me in my teaching career. It was you who inspired me to be the best that I could be and to always strive for a godly example to my class. You are a true example of a godly women and lived your life as an example for others. I have many beautiful memories of times spent at school with you pouring over music or new ideas. Also times spent going to Vancouver to BCMEA or the reading workshops. I pray that you are given comfort and strength as you struggle through these difficult times. Also wishing your family all that they need. I know that they always meant a lot to you, because whenever we were together you always had something to say about one of them. Will be praying for you all. WIth Love Janna

  5. Hello, Ardie
    I am not sure if anyone is checking Sandra's emails, so I have copied my email here as well. Would you please relay my message to her?
    Dear Sandra, It is now almost 2 weeks since I emailed last. I have been looking forward to the time when I felt well enough and was rid of my cough, so that I could come to see you. Now I am at that point and was thinking perhaps this week. But I have visited your blog and have found things are changing for you right now. I would still love to see you and am hoping that you, or someone for you, will get this email and let me know … is it still possible and appropriate for me to come? I would be happy to visit at the hospital if that is possible. In the meantime, I am praying for you for a number of miracles...that the bowel obstruction will clear, that you will be free of pain and nausea, hunger and thirst, that God will be very near to you and your family during these days and hold each of you securely in His loving arms. I am praying that God will give you peace and calm your fears. God bless you minute by minute through these days.
    Love Joanne Koning

  6. Hello Sandra and Ardie,
    Praying for God's peace and strength for you.

    Cora Stol