The purpose of this blog is to keep friends and family updated on Sandy's health situation. We will periodically post updates so you know what is going on. While we know that you will likely have questions that aren't answered on this page, please understand that we have unanswered questions as well. Your concern and support are very much appreciated. We realize it can be difficult to know how best to help, so we will offer some suggestions along the way.
(**UPDATE 10-5-14: Sandy asked that we let you know you are welcome to call her if you want to. At some point we may again request only cards or emails, but for now, chat away!**)
September 2014: At this time, it is difficult for Sandy to receive numerous calls and texts, even those simply letting her know she is prayed for, because they serve as constant reminders of all the unknowns and the things about which she is trying not to worry. For now, it is a better option to "simply" pray (we know that is the BEST thing any of us can do!), and/or send a card or even an email. Please give her grace, as this is unchartered territory, and she doesn't know what would be most helpful!
As you all know, Sandy is a giver. She loves to give of her time, attention, encouragement, and support. It is very hard for her to be on the receiving end, and even harder for her to have to temporarily step out of some of those giving roles. While she has not told me this, I imagine she still wants to be involved in your lives, caring and investing, and she would still like you to interact with her apart from health issues - in other words, just have normal conversations and share life, rather than always bringing up what is happening next with her health.
We look forward to shutting down this blog and celebrating her full recovery very soon!
Link to January 2015 video: https://vimeo.com/115013190
Link to September 2016 video: https://vimeo.com/c3media/review/185699250/24bdbf13d2
Thursday, May 17, 2018
Chemo has been discontinued, new prescriptions have been started, and we're awaiting the results of additional tests that will determine her eligibility for clinical trials of an up-and-coming treatment.
This is discouraging news, though we remember that our hope is in God and not in tests. Outcomes are not limited by what doctors, with all of their experience and knowledge, tell us. Sandy is planning to enjoy several days on the lake with a friend for their annual vacation before teaching in July and gearing up for the fall semester. And there are quite a few grandkids looking forward to their sleepovers at Grandma Sandy's and Papa Rod's house. She is going to keep going as long as she can, striving to enjoy each day, as we all ought to do.
Thank you for praying for the end of the semester's workload - she was able to attend classes and final exams, complete grades, and attend graduation. The TX trip went smoothly, and they made good time coming home. She has pretty flowers in all of her flower pots, she found a couple pairs of capris that fit regardless of the ever-changing size of her abdomen, and she has been able to attend church each week.
Please pray for physical comfort, absorption and digestion of food/nutrients, wisdom, peace, and physical strength.
Below is the link to a song that she wanted to share with you:
"More Than Anything" I know if You wanted to You could wave Your hand Spare me this heartache and change Your plan And I know any second You could take my pain away But even if You don't I pray Help me want the Healer more than the healing Help me want the Savior more than the saving Help me want the Giver more than the giving Help me want You Jesus more than anything You know more than anyone that my flesh is weak And You know I'd give anything for a remedy And I'll ask a thousand more times to set me free today Oh but even if You don't I pray Help me want the Healer more than the healing Help me want the Savior more than the saving Help me want the Giver more than the giving Oh Help me want You Jesus more than anything When I'm desperate and my heart's overcome all that I need You've already done When I'm desperate and my heart's overcome all that I need You've already done Oh Jesus Help me want You more than anything Help me want the Healer more than the healing Help me want the Savior more than the saving Help me want the Giver more than the giving Help me want You Jesus more than anything Help me want You Jesus more than anything
Sunday, April 1, 2018
We've been through so many ups and downs, especially after each hospital visit. Each time she has been admitted, it has been for cholangitis. A quick online search reveals that cholangitis (infection in bile duct) is a very serious matter, and can have a lengthy recovery process. Sandy has dealt with this type of infection at least ten times. Each time, she has bounced back. This time it is just harder to do that.
Easter was a special time with family, good food, and a 32 degree temperature egg hunt....the kids all enjoyed their visit at Grandma and Grandpa's house.
Thanks for your continued support.
Saturday, March 24, 2018
Wednesday, March 14, 2018
Sandy's fevers were very uncooperative this week. Despite numerous medications, her temperature kept spiking and pain was fairly constant.
Several tests were administered. A drain, the type she had several months ago, was placed to remove biliary fluid that could not drain through the bile ducts because they were occluded. The next day both stents were removed because they were blocked, and later a second, smaller drain was placed since one of the tests showed a pocket of fluid that needed to be removed.
Based on the cholangiogram, it seems that the drain is servicing both ducts. A repeat cholangiogram will be performed within the next week to make sure the drain is still effective.
Sandy will have follow up appointments with the oncologist, the infections disease doctor, and the interventional radiologist.
She's been instructed to rest. Rod told the doctors that doesn't happen - when she's released, she returns to work. However, they have convinced her to actually stay home and rest this time. Spring break is next week, which will help with that.
There are many unknowns. Please pray that pain is minimal, drains continue to work, and that doctors agree on a plan going forward.
Friday, March 9, 2018
Tuesday, January 30, 2018
Saturday, January 13, 2018
Since the last Houston trip, Sandy has experienced off and on pain, pressure, fevers, and overall discomfort. She has played the go/don't go to the ER game several times. Finally, this week Thursday she had a routine appointment at the Cancer Center. However, her temperature was up and continued to climb while she was there, as it has done many afternoons lately. After seeing how she was doing, the doctor arranged for her to go straight over to St. Francis for admittance. The staff at the Cancer Center took great care of her, staying with her and making sure she was warm, helping her get a prescription without getting out in the cold, and keeping her at the Center until her room at the hospital was ready for her.
Friday morning her labwork confirmed that there was a problem with a blocked stent, so around 9:30 she went in for a double stent exchange - double because when one is disturbed, the other one moves as well, requiring both to be exchanged. The procedure went well, and she has been back in "her" room recovering and waiting to be discharged. The latest news is that she can go home Sunday afternoon.
Thanks for your continued prayers. We know many of you are also dealing with difficult situations, and we're praying for you as well, that you will feel God's presence and peace, that you will be filled with joy and see the many blessings that surround us rather than the hard things that seem to scream for attention. Find the blessing, give thanks for the blessing, tell others about the blessing. See you soon!