Monday, July 30, 2012

Peace & Quiet

We finally got home from the hospital yesterday (Sunday) at noon.  We had to stay 48 hours since Leann tested positive for the Group B strep bacteria and they only had time to get one dose of antibiotic in her IV before Lainey was born.  We had hoped to come home sooner, but if that's the price to pay for a fast labor, I guess it's worth it.

Things are pretty quiet around here.  We took the kids to Eureka at bedtime last night.  Lexi & Wesley left this morning for Colorado with Aunt Cindy.  They will be gone a little more than a week.  Whitley will be back tomorrow evening, she just got a short trip to Grandma's house.  With the 3 older ones gone, there are periods of total silence that I haven't heard in this house in a long time.  Lainey still hasn't got her days and nights totally straightened out, but we did get a 4 1/2 hour stretch of sleep last night, so can't complain too much.

As for me, I continue to feel pretty good, and am very thankful for the health God has given me to enjoy this special time as a family.

What I'm Learning from Cancer #4
I appreciate our church more.  I always knew that others loved me, but I guess I didn’t realize how much they did.  So many have done so much for us around our home, prayed for us without ceasing for months, and given to us financially.  When I saw how many cards we got each day in Indiana, compared to the other patients there, I knew that we have a much larger support group.  Not that we take pride in numbers, God can work with just a few people praying.  But in our human mind there is something more reassuring and uplifting when we have many people telling us that they are praying for us.  At times we might be tempted to be frustrated with someone, or focus on the differences we might have.  But I think we would be wise to not lightly disregard the great heritage we have been given.

Derek & Leann

Friday, July 27, 2012

Lainey Lea

I feel like the most blessed man on the face of the earth and this feels like one of the best days of my life.

We are the proud parents of Lainey Lea Sauder, born 9:23am this morning (July 27, 2012).  She weighed 8 lbs, 2 oz and was 20 1/2 inches long.  The labor and delivery couldn't have gone any smoother.  Contractions started about 5:30 this morning and we got the hospital about 8:45, which is a tad closer to cut it than I like.  Thanks everyone for your prayers, I'm sure that's why things went so well.

Derek & Leann, Lexi, Wesley, Whitley, & Lainey

Friday, July 20, 2012

Due date!

Wow, it's been a week and a half since I last wrote.  Time is flying by!  Today's the official due date of our baby, but no imminent signs at this point.  We are very thankful that the baby is no longer breach.  Our doctor did what's called an "external version" two weeks ago.  Anyone who wants details can ask Leann sometime.

Thanks everyone for all the prayers lately.  I know everyone has been praying all along, but I'm suspecting there has maybe been a little extra fervency with chemo, the baby, etc.  This week I have felt the best of any week since radiation ended.  I'm still taking some pain meds but only a couple times a day.  I even spent one morning cleaning out the garage, getting the leftover wood & tools from the doghouse project put away.  And so far, I haven't felt any ill effects from that.

What I'm Learning from Cancer #3

1.       God will help you through things that look too hard for you to bear now.  When do you get the boarding pass to go on a plane?  Just right before you need it.  (We were listening to Corrie Ten Boom on one of the Mayo’s trips)  God gives grace in the same timing.  So many of you comment that you couldn’t go through what we are or wouldn’t have the same attitude.  Actually I’m convinced you’d have the same attitude and be able to handle it just as well once thousands of people started praying for you.   Hebrews 4:16 “Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.”  Romans 5:20 “…But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound.”  II Cor 12:9 And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness.  Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.”  God gives grace to the humble, and so many times it’s hard to be humble when things are going well.  So the trials humble us, which then brings God’s grace to strengthen us and help us through them.  I’m struggling to find a scripture that really point blank says this, but I believe we would agree that God gives grace just as we need it, not weeks or months before.

  The Gospel Hymns #403 says it best probably,
 “He giveth more grace when the burdens grow greater;
 He sendeth more strength when the labors increase.
  To added afflictions He addeth His mercy;
 To multiplied trials, His multiplied peace.

[Chorus]  His love has no limit; His grace has no measure;
 His power has no boundary known unto men.
  For out of His infinite riches in Jesus,
 He giveth, and giveth, and giveth again!

 When we have exhausted our store of endurance,
 When our strength has failed ere the day is half done,
 When we reach the end of our hoarded resources,
 Our Father’s full giving is only begun.


I'm just thankful for each of the good days God has given me over the last couple weeks, and pray that it can continue and I can serve him with all my heart each day.  And if you have time to say a prayer for us, pray that the baby can arrive soon and safely.

Derek & Leann

Monday, July 9, 2012

MRI Results

What a week!  Seems like a lot to report tonight.  The last week has really been going much better and I'm feeling more upbeat.  I've continued the tylenol / ibuprofen regimen and have felt much less pain and stiffness.  I'm really thankful for that.

Today I went at 7:30 for blood draws, and all that tested fine.  Then we met with Dr Gomez's Nurse Practioner.  She said that the MRIs show no change in the tumor since the 1st of May.  This was really suprising to me since I had felt like symptom wise it was probably growing.  Her feeling about the pain I had a week ago is that it was an initial reaction or agitation of the tumor by the Avastin that caused this.  She doesn't expect it to happen this week.  I got my second treatment without any problems, just worked on my laptop while the IV ran in.  Less drama this time from the other patients in the room.

Then tonight we had a surprise (for me) family outing.  A Tremont family took our family to the Herman lake for an evening of grilled tuna, fishing, and water slides.  The kids had an absolutely awesome evening, and we all had the best fishing we've ever had in Illinois.  I don't normally like surprises, but it was even kind of fun to know I had to leave work early for some surprise.

What I'm Learning from Cancer #2
Take One Day at a Time.  We all seem to say this often.  But now I really know that this is true.  For the first few weeks after I found out the cancer was back, every time I found myself discouraged or afraid, I realized that I was thinking about the end of treatment, what my long term abilities would be, etc.  I finally had to realize I couldn’t let myself dwell on things down the road.  As I just focused on the decisions or treatment of that day, it got much easier and didn’t seem so hard after all.  I think this is what Jesus meant in Matthew 6:34 when he said “Take no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself.  Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.”  Not that my situation is evil, but just that when the future days get here, we will know what we need to worry about.  There is no point in worrying about them sooner as they might not come or might be different than we think anyway.  A month or so ago I was worried when I thought about the decision as to whether we should do chemo.  And I really suspected that when we got to the decision, it would be easier, so I tried just not to think about it too much.  And when we got to the decision, sure enough it seemed easy to make.  I think this is something I really never understood much at all before.  But God just really wants us to trust Him and only worry about the challenges of today, not tomorrow or next week

As for prayer requests - please thank God for the good report and that I'm feeling better, and then just pray that I can keep a good attitude if things don't go so well.  We really have felt your prayers and support the last couple weeks and appreciate it so much.

Derek & Leann

Monday, July 2, 2012

Better days

Quick update to thank everyone for their prayers over the recent days.  Thanks to my wife reminding me vigilantly, I've been taking Ibuprofen/Tylenol regularly the last two days.  The pain has been much less.  I'm still somewhat stiff but I can get up out of bed without the intense pain.

Love, Derek & Leann