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.


Wednesday, July 2, 2014


Derek A. Sauder, 40, of Tremont, passed away peacefully into eternity at 8:28 am Wednesday, July 2, 2014 at OSF St. Francis Medical Center in Peoria.

He was born April 4, 1974 in Pekin to Steven E. and Mary A. Woerner Sauder.  He married Leann Stoller on March 16, 2003, and she survives.

Also surviving are his parents of Tremont; his children, Lexi, Wesley, Whitley, and Lainey Sauder, all at home; two brothers, Doug (Brooke) Sauder of Washington and Brent (Janelle) Sauder, of Tremont; and his paternal grandparents, Earl and Glenna Sauder of Tremont.

He was preceded in death by his maternal grandparents, Chris and Wilmina Woerner.

Derek graduated from Tremont High School in 1992 and the University of Illinois in 1996.  He worked many years at Precision Planting in Tremont helping farmers across the country improve their operations by innovating new planting equipment.

He was very passionate about serving his Lord, his wife, his children, his employer, and their customers, and his co-workers.

Since May 2011 he battled brain cancer, striving to continue his passions while his health declined.

His funeral will be at 10:00 am Friday, July 4, 2014 at  Apostolic Christian Church in Tremont.  Ministers of the church  will officiate.  His family will receive friends for calling hours  from 1 to 4 and 6 to 8 pm Thursday at  Apostolic Christian Fellowship Hall, 601 S. Chestnut St., Tremont and from 8:30 to 9:30 am Friday at the church.  Burial will be in Apostolic Christian Cemetery in Tremont.  Davis-Oswald Funeral Home in Tremont is handling the arrangements. 

Memorials may be made to the Sauder Children Fund established at Tremont Community Bank.

To  express condolences online visit


Around 8:30am Derek went home to be with the Lord.  He was peaceful, just like we had prayed for.  The family was all able to gather around.  We are very thankful and appreciate your prayers.

Off of ventilator

Derek's blood pressure dropped overnight, and we have decided to stop life saving devices and do comfort measures only.  As always, we need you and your prayers.

Leann, Lexi, Wesley, Whitley, and Lainey

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

More aspiration - ventilator

Derek took a turn for the worse around 11pm tonight.  The nurses were turning him, and he vomited once again and inhaled a large amount.  His oxygen dipped to 50, and they promptly inserted the ventilator/intubation.  We opted to go ahead with intubation (if needed) earlier today.  Each time we have come into the ER, Derek has been asked whether he wants to be "full code" (use all measures to fight for his life) or partial or Do Not Resuscitate.  Because he has been so motivated and returns to normal so quickly following hospitalizations, lately he has opted for the "full code" with high hopes of recovery and longer life.  Believe me, we have discussed these issues to the nth degree in the past 3 years.  He's sedated right now.  They are also doing an NG tube to decompress bowel impaction and draining the stomach so there is nothing else to vomit.  This turn of events makes his situation much more bleak, although I'm reminded to have hope and keep trusting Jesus who died for us.  We are so thankful for all of your love and prayers.


Back in the hospital

Derek didn't have as much pain over the weekend as I expected him to, and he enjoyed going to church and the Sunday school picnic.  Monday was ok too until around 4p he had nausea and vomited.  Monday through the night his pain skyrocketed though, and he vomited a couple more times causing me to bring him in.  He's very out of it because of all of the pain meds now, and it's not looking real pretty for a possible infection again (since he is prone to aspirating vomit).  I figured this week would be hard, but I didn't think I'd start wondering if he would live through it.  Now, I'm not too sure.  Yet things have often turned around when you have all prayed, so I'm pleading for your love once again in asking of the Father His mercy for Derek, whichever route that means.