Friday, April 25, 2014

Please pray for Derek

After we came home from Rochester Tuesday, Derek has had a rough time with the replaced stomach tube.  It had been leaking, causing pain off and on, and some stomach muscle spasms.  In addition to that, we noticed his right face was dropping noticeably more than usual.  We contacted the mayo clinic doctors/nurses. 

Stomach Tube:  We loosened the disk on the stomach tube, and it seemed to check out ok this morning.  It is still leaking and causing him pain.

Increased facial dropping:  We increased his dexamethasome back up to 4 mg/day which he was on back in November.  This helped the facial droop some, BUT it caused the old hiccup problem.  And these hiccups are hideous.  They come at about 40 per minute, and do not let up much at all.  Our only coping method was to decrease the dexamethasome again, because he reacts negatively to the hiccup-stopping meds we tried before.  Hiccups also irritate the stomach tube site.

All this is going on, and this morning about 9a, he says he has the chills.  About an hour later, he vomits, and so I start suspecting aspiration pneumonia or a negative effect from the new chemo which had caused nausea on the test dose (which he took a 2-month dose of it on Tuesday).  He developed a fever over the next couple of hours, and when our mayo doctor heard that, he said get him in to be seen.  We packed the van for a drive to mayo clinic, but when we got Derek off the couch to head to the van, he couldn't walk well at all, and began to vomit.  So, we decided Peoria OSF emergency room was where we needed to go.  Thanks to God for showing us clearly when the time came. 

When we arrived, they said his temperature was 104.9!  Also, his bloodcount was less than 1.  There's lots of you out there that know what that means more than I do.  To this point, we have never watched blood counts and never been concerned about Derek being more susceptible to stuff.  We've never had to.   So, needless to say they began putting lots of needles in and antibiotics, anti-nausea meds, fluids, and the x-rays were taken.  As of now (things change a lot in these situations), he has sepsis and pneumonia.  His blood pressure dropped to 78/50 and so they put a central line in for those type of meds and an artery line in his arm to continuously monitor blood pressure.  This is nerve-wracking to say the least. 

Derek has been ready to go home to heaven for so long, but when I'm actually watching him in a life-threatening situation, I marvel at his peace and long-suffering.  We have many tears for his pain, and prayers for God's mercy.  Please pray for God's will to be done.  I would love to have many more long pleasant days with Derek, but he's been fighting so long and so hard, and he's so worn down.  We love you and thank you for all you do!



  1. Thank you, Leann, for the update. It is so appreciated. Yes, there does come a time when troubles increase and the long fight gets overwhelming for the individual. We pray that God will give you the strength and grace to deal with whatever His will would be at this time. That desire to go to Heaven and be done with earth's pain, cares, worries, trials and burdens settles over the soul who can see the end in sight yet has to wait till God says, "Come home." On the other hand, leaving behind loved ones and seeing their obvious reluctance to have to part from them is so hard too. Finally, God steps in and when it is their time to pass on before us, they are so ready to go on. All the trials and tribulations you have gone through together and all the precious memories you have made does make parting hard. You've invested so much of yourself and yet probably realized that your beloved spouse was never really 'yours' but is on loan from His creator. Prayers are going up to Heaven and count the blessings that come down. May God be mightily by your sides.
    Mary and Dale

  2. Praying to our heavenly father that you can feel his loving arms that are wrapped around you.

  3. I'm so sorry Derek and Leann! So hard. Praying for you and trust God will provide the strength. Mary and Dale's comment was well said. I'm not great with words, but love you both and am praying for you!

  4. Twelve Sauders praying for God's mercy and provision for you all.

    John, Misty and Family

  5. How much more.... is in store, when whole congregations bring their supplication...

  6. Leann, it has been a blessing getting to know you, Derek and your children. I am grateful that I was able to be a part of his treatments and also hearing about the beautiful and painful journey you and Derek have traveled through. I pray that Derek and you feel the arms of Jesus and his warmth and love. His body is weak but his heart is so strong for you. I pray for strength when Jesus takes him home. I can't imagine the pain you are going through but the thought of Derek being at the sweet feet of Jesus is a blessing. Love, hugs and prayers to Derek, you and your beautiful children. Love, Dena

  7. Dear Derek and Leann
    Life can be a long road at times, and as we travel it there are beautiful spots, and some not so nice... as we have discussed many times you are on a particularly rough stretch as you experience these various health issues all related to your cancer. But you have also experienced the mountain tops... probably higher peaks than many people ever see, due to the trials you have gone through. Unique insight, patience, grace and understanding comes from trial, not so much from an easy life.
    One more time you have come to another great trial... our prayers are unceasing that you experience God's warmest comfort and love and hope as you lay (or visit) in the hospital, as you consider the future, and as you provide (particularly psychologically at this time) for the four little ones in your home.
    We love you deeply,
    Dean and Karen

    ps - I'm sorry I can't visit, as I am on meds myself due to a bad sinus infection

  8. So, I'll cherish the old rugged cross....Till my trophies at last I lay down; I will cling to the old rugged cross...And exchange it some day for a crown. Our prayers are with you. God bless you!
    Gregory & Gwen Schupbach

  9. Oh, Leann! Our hearts are so saddened by this valley you have to walk through!! I know that we have no idea how hard this is for all of you, but please know that we are praying...and have been... Shon & Peg

  10. As I closed the above comment, the words to a song came to mind...I have tears in my eyes for you as I type this...

    " be trusting, even when I'm hurting... be standing, when this trial's gone....
    ...Let me be be preaching, that YOU did not forsake me..
    ...use me for THY glory..I'll walk on!!

    Love you!!

  11. Derek and Leann,

    We have never stopped praying and won't now. I just recently sat with my Grandma R while she was in the hospital with pneumonia and sepsis and I understand how much pain that is and how hard it is to see someone you love dearly in so much pain. We are praying for strength for you, Leann, and for Derek to find relief from the pain, one way or another and also for your four little ones. One of my favorite verses has always been the promise held in Rev 21:4 - someday soon there will be no more pain or sorrow! We love you all so much and are with you in thought and prayer.

    Becky, Ryan, K, K, & E

  12. Derek and Leann, We continue to pray and lift you up to our Heavenly Father. Psalm 61 - Hear my cry, oh God; listen to my prayer. From the ends of the earth I call to you. I call as my heart grows faint; lead me to the rock that is higher than I. For you have been my refuge a strong tower against the foe.......We love you. Jerry and Marcia

  13. Praying for you this morning - we love you
    Marti and Martha and family

  14. I can't imagine what you are going thru, but am praying for you all in this incredibly hard time.
    The LORD himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged. Deut. 31:8
    Abby Klopfenstein and family

  15. As always many prayers ascending to our Heavenly Father on your behalf. This is a dark valley you have been asked to travel but remember He is in control and He will make it possible. He grants grace for each step when it is time to take that step. Derek, you have been such a Godly example to us (in your patience in tribulation). Leann, your example of Godly Strength has inspired us too. And for the children, God loves them so very much and He will provide mightily in the days to come! We can attest to that from past experiences!
    Love in Him
    Liz and Martha

  16. Praying, praying! Words fail, but God does not! Psalm 61 came to my mind as well. We love you, Alan and Sarah

  17. Thanks for the update - It sounds worse than I had heard?? Hiccups at 40/min? 104* temp - All the rest!
    May the Lord help him - indeed!

  18. God brought you to mind yesterday morning and you were in my prayers all day long. Now I know why. I love you both so much and I'm praying right now for God to wrap His arms around you, full of His strength, love and peace. I am praying for God's perfect provision, and His perfect will. Much love, Jill, Abby, Andrew & Allie Hellrigel

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  20. My prayers are with you too,Leann. May his will be done and his comfort given.
    Jen Kloter

  21. Praying for you tonight!
    -Becky (friend of the Kevin & Jody Sauder and OSF PT)

  22. Hi, Leann, I am praying for you tonight.

  23. Leann
    I just wanted to let you know I have prayed so hard for you and Derek many times a day for the past several years. You and Derek are still in our prayers many times a day and my heart is heavy for you so often. May God be with both of you and bless you mightily. Kathy Stoller

  24. Leann, you have been special to us for many years.....back in young group days, and we love you dearly. Our prayers are with you, Derek and family for many months as we follow your blog. May God's love fill your lives as many prayers are going up to Him for comfort and peace. Continue in God's grace and "keep on keeping on", with His help.
    Love and prayers, Bob and Charlene