Saturday, April 4, 2015

Book Release

Family and Friends,

Today is Derek's first birthday in heaven.  With the help of loved ones, we were able to get his book published which he wrote during his years of illness.  He was always driven and purposeful, but I saw a definite shift after his cancer diagnosis towards wanting to pass on helps to those he would leave behind. This book does that by recording the key principles for success that Derek learned during his time at Precision Planting.  With thankfulness, I present the completion of this project...

Encore: Secrets of Serial Entrepreneurship
By Derek Sauder

Available on amazon at:

Proceeds go to The Sauder Children Fund.  Derek's gifts are from God, the Giver of all of our talents.  We worship Him and His Son Jesus this Easter weekend and always, praising Him for His loving sacrifice for us.  Because of Jesus, I can see Derek again.


Monday, October 20, 2014

Follow-up completed

Hello to all,

A couple weeks ago I had my follow-up with my thyroid surgeon and met my endocrinologist that will be prescribing my levothyroxine medicine that I need to be on for life.  They performed an ultrasound which was clear of any thyroid and any cancer.  They expected this, but I was glad to have it confirmed.  They did a blood test which showed the cancer marker was good for no cancer, and they tested my thyroid level which was a little hyperthyroid, so they adjusted my med and said see you back in 6 months. 

I questioned them on my voice, because I've lost an entire octave above middle C.  For those of you that love to sing, you will understand this is a great detriment.  Singing is a great way to praise the Lord, help my kids learn, and to be encouraged.  I'm really missing it.  Please pray for my voice to come back fully.  Even in my talking voice the "sweetness" is missing, because I can't physically pull those tones out of my vocal chords.  It makes me sound more monotone and kind of depressed (like on the telephone my friends think I'm down any time they call).  Also, the volume is lower at what I can speak.  So, this voice thing is my greatest frustration at this point, but I realize I can be grateful for so many other things so I'm opting to patiently wait to see if it will still return to normal.  We will address it at the next appointment if things haven't improved.  I believe there are procedures to partially fix it at least.

On the home front, I'm pleasantly surprised how well the kids and I can do keeping things maintained (with some help from others).  I feel very blessed to be able to live here where we can have some space, a barn, a few animals, a large home to enjoy and share with others, and the openness of the sky compared to being in town.  Driving down Lake Windermere Road this season, it's getting real pretty about now.  I remember Derek after being diagnosed with brain cancer saying how beautiful the leaves were over and over.  I think he just took time more to enjoy God's creation than he had before.  We miss him incredibly, and yet there is so much joy in our lives at the same time.  It definitely mingles together with the mourning, and I'm grateful God's grace gets us through the loneliness and sadness that comes from time to time.  Last week, I had time to watch a talk Derek did a couple years ago, and his advice was very pertinent to what I needed that day.  He said, "Don't be an island. We need each other."  I hope to follow it. May your days be filled with the love of our Father in heaven.  I know Derek said often that he would be willing to answer any questions anyone would have or help in any way he could.  I just want to say the same.  If anyone reading this doesn't know where they will spend eternity or questions the faithfulness of God, please feel free to ask me anything.  I would be glad to share more of what He has done for me. 

Much love,

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Post op

Doctor removed the large benign nodule, and found 2 smaller papillary cancer nodules behind it.  The entire thyroid was then removed, as well as a parathyroid embedded in muscle.  I'm having some sore throat pain, and I've been very sleepy.  It hurts to talk, swallow, and clear throat.  About a 3 on the scale to 10.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Vacation and now surgery

We had a very nice getaway to the Ozarks last week, and this week are saying good-bye to Doug's family as they are moving back to CA.  God's hand has been in so much of our lives, big and little.  His timing of Derek's death and having family be able to be around during the funeral time has really helped me see the goodness of Derek's passing, even though I grieve.  We enjoyed boating, swimming, Lainey's 2-year birthday, and adults out to dinner overlooking the lake.  Aunt Helen accompanied me, kept me awake when driving, and stayed in during naptime so we could maximize our time together.  I'm so thankful for being surrounded by dear loving family and friends.  I'm overwhelmed by cards, gifts, acts of service, and compassion that each of you share because of Jesus and His love.  Last Sunday morning, I felt Derek's presence, like he was holding my hand, and it was such a gift.  We've proceeded with life as much as possible the same as if Derek had been here.  It seems good to carry out any plan he had made with me.

On my thyroid nodule...  The surgeon was on the fence about removing it, but because I'm having symptoms related to it (coughing, sore throat, discomfort, and anxiety whether it truly is benign), we are going to go ahead with surgical removal of it tomorrow morning.  If things go as expected, I will be in surgery around 8:30a for about 2 hours and in the hospital overnight, arriving home Friday.  Life isn't always as expected though, is it?  So, I trust God's will to be done and am praying for a simple procedure and recovery.  Pray for Lexi, Wesley, Whitley, Lainey, and their caretakers.  The kids have each had their own forms of stress and grief, but I believe are doing well in light of the circumstances.  We finish up swim team with one last meet for Lexi and Wesley on Saturday.  Whitley and Lainey are just happy if they are jumping on the trampoline and dressing up.  Wes prefers to be building his tree house or picking the garden.  Lexi loves organizing a "school" lesson in the living room for her cousins and being near me to lend comfort.

We are thankful for your prayers and lots of love.

Monday, July 14, 2014


I'm tearfully thankful to see my pathology report online say Benign.  I still haven't talked with the doctor, so am not sure of the action from here.  I will probably not have the surgery July 22/23, because that was to be a family vacation with the Sauders, and we will want to go ahead with the vacation now.  I believe I can postpone the surgery with very little risk.  I will also consider non-surgical treatment options at this point.

This relief is a wonderful feeling.  I'm thankful for God's mercy and love.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Arrived home

Lexi and I are getting unloaded from our Mayo trip with Dad and Mom Stoller. Glad they could drive us.  The doctor's initial report of the ultrasound on my thyroid nodule was he could not tell me it was benign, but he could not tell me it was malignant either.  I think he expected to be able to tell me it was benign, but it was not that clear.  In other words, wait until Monday when the needle biopsy results are finalized.  It is likely I will have surgery with either report, just based on the sheer size of the nodule.  It was 2 cm x 3 cm on the ultrasound today.  The first available surgery date in their department was June 22/23 which I went ahead and scheduled.  I will be trying to move it up, but most people don't cancel surgeries, so it's harder to get in earlier than appointed.  I slept a lot on the way home, and prayed much.  The gist of this is that I "don't get it" that God is doing this to me, my kids, and now, but I do know He is faithful and His ways are worth following.  I appreciate all of the encouraging messages I've received.  God bless you all.


Friday, July 11, 2014

thyroid nodule

We've had a grieving week, but have felt overwhelmed with the love of family and friends, and the Lord's faithfulness.  If there can be a perfect passing of a loved one, I feel like we had that.  Derek's place at his desk, the table, at work, on the patio, is vacant here.  We miss him sorely.  With the great expectation of seeing him again and having assurance where he is now and what all he might be enjoying, we get through each day, comforted by the Holy presence of Jesus in our hearts.

On another note, I had a shoulder tendon tear last year which led to months of physical therapy, a cortisone shot, etc, and finally an MRI of my neck to check for disk bulge.  The MRI was the 9th, and it showed no disk bulges.  However, it showed a 2 cm thyroid nodule.  Based on the history with Derek, my inclination with the support of my two sets of parents was to come to Mayo Clinic and get answers fast.  I realize many are benign.  I've just completed the fine needle biopsy, and am waiting on the doctor visit which won't probably have the final results yet, but may indicate if it is concerning or whether surgery will be necessary.  It seems like strange timing to me, but as I laid on the table for the biopsy I had lots of thoughts of Derek thinking of him going through so much of what he did without complaining and with plenty of patience to go around.  It helped me to think of his steadfastness.

So, I will try to update when I learn more.  Prayers are so appreciated for our family.  The kids and their caretakers, my anxiety level, our grieving process, and so much more.  Health if it can be God's plans for us.  Thank you for your love.

Rejoice evermore, pray without ceasing, in every thing give thanks.