Friday, December 30, 2011

Umm . . . still in shock.

I thought to title this post as a “praise report,” but I want God to be praised no matter what (whether in good times or bad). Why is it so much easier to praise Him when things go my way? I did praise Him numerous times (trying to be like Job) when things were discouraging. There was no jumping up and down, though. It was more of a quiet praise, a whisper of praise that I felt in my heart.

Anyway . . .

We got the PET scan results yesterday, and the doc said there was no cancer to be found: not in the scan and not in my blood work. It was NOT TO BE FOUND and therefore I’m in REMISSION!

She said the pain I have in my back is from a fractured rib because of the cancer and then radiation (it broke when I was coughing; I’ll never forget it, ouch!). It will take some time, but it will heal! Thank You, Lord, for my fractured rib! LOL We thought for sure it was cancer!

Both my husband and I were so shocked, we could hardly believe what she was telling us. We’re still having a hard time fathoming the wonderful news. I can’t tell you how GOOD it was to tell our kids this! It brings tears to my eyes just thinking about it.

Thank You, God! Thank You so much!!

The doc is still going to keep a close eye on me, and I’m still pretty weak. At least, one more treatment from Dr. Brown (the Naturopathic doc in AZ) will be good for me. All the fundraisers have made it possible for me to see him again. Thank you to all who helped with that!!!

Again, thank You God!!!

I’m just so happy I can barely type. My hands are trembling and tears are flowing. A part of me is almost afraid to be happy. Ya know? We just kept getting slammed with bad news, over and over again. How can this truly be real?

All I know is, I’ll take what I can get! And I thank God for saying “yes” to all the prayers that have gone up on my behalf! Thank you all for praying. Thank you!!! I just pray that God will allow this remission to last for a good long time. I want to be here for my kids, no matter how old they are. I know how much I love having my own mother in my life, and I want my kids to have the same. Praise God for whatever He decides is best.

Thank You Lord, my Holy precious Savior. Praise You and thank You!

I tried not to use all caps too often so you all wouldn’t feel like I was yelling, but honestly, all those exclamation points are shouts of joy!

I’m on my knees thanking my heavenly Father, kissing His feet. Thank You for giving me and my family this time of joy.


Sandi xxx

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

PSA from Alison Strobel

Hey friends of Sandi's! I'm popping back in to let you know that Phase 2 of the fundraiser for Sandi's cancer treatments has begun! We've got five great gift cards (Applebee's, California Pizza Kitchen, and!) to raffle off this week, and on Saturday we're drawing for a Kindle Fire or Nook Color! Tickets this time around are only $2--how cheap is that?!

If you donated the first time around, I thank you profusely. Please know we don't expect you to donate again. What we'd love, though, is for you to spread the word a little more--tweet it, Facebook it, blog it, email it--so we can get the word out to even more people. Include this URL ( so folks know what's going on. We'll start the drawings tonight at 10PM, so if you *are* going to donate again (or for the first time!) please do it soon so you can get in on the action. You're entered into the raffle automatically when you donate; no need to come back to the blog and comment anywhere like last time.

Thanks again for all the love you've shown Sandi through this fundraiser. I can't wait to see the amount of that check on Christmas Eve!

Friday, November 25, 2011

A Note from Alison Strobel

I'm commandeering Sandi's blog for the day to make sure everyone is aware of something we're trying to do to help the Rogs as Sandi embarks on a new treatment for her stubborn cancer. We've launched a fundraiser in conjunction with, where we've already raised 25% of our $21,400 goal. And as an extra little incentive, we've amassed over six thousand dollars' worth of prize donations that we've grouped into packages that we're raffling over the next week. Author autographed books, hand-sewn/-knit/-crocheted items, jewelry, gift cards, chocolates, hand-dyed yarn...the variety is incredible! Nearly all the items have been previewed on the blog; come check them out, and after you're done drooling and you've chosen your favorite packages, done to the fundraiser through the widget in the sidebar. Every $5 you donate gets you a raffle "ticket"--to read all the details of how the raffle and tickets work, check out this post on the blog.

We know that the economy is tough right now, and that most people don't have a lot of disposable income. But for most of us, situations like Sandi's fall into the "it could be worse" category. You may have stopped eating out, like we have, or are shopping at WalMart instead of the big supermarkets because it's cheaper (also like us!). You may be cutting back on your holiday decorating or Christmas gifts. But you can spare five bucks, or even twenty, for a one-time "it takes a village" moment to link arms with the rest of us to help make it possible for Sandi to receive the treatment she needs in Arizona.

So go check out your bank account, figure out if there's a pumpkin spice latte you can skip this week or a lunch out that you can forgo, and join us in blessing Sandi and her family this holiday season. Thanks for hanging with me--hope to see your name on the donor list!

author of "The Heart of Memory" and "Composing Amelia" and others
~ Visit my website to sign up for my free newsletter! ~


Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Sorry I haven't posted much

It doesn't mean I don't think of you all, or thank God for all of you. I've just been overwhelmed with . . . everything. A lot of good things are happening with my book YAHSHUA'S BRIDGE which is now available. So, I've been busy with that. But also with doc appointments and just feeling tired. I'm looking forward to seeing Dr. Brown again. I was my "old self" when he treated me, and I want to feel good again.

I finished radiation a week ago Tuesday, and it completely wiped me out. I had yucky side-effects when I wasn't supposed to have any--I won't give you the details, e-hem. This tells me that chemo is NOT a good idea since it would be 5 times worse. Thankfully, my doc hasn't brought up chemo--maybe because I already told him "NO WAY, I don't want to do it" when he did bring it up (I wasn't that harsh; but I was pretty clear about it via our nurse coordinator).

Anyway, it's nice to know I can actually "read my body." I told him before the radiation that I really didn't think I could handle the chemo, or recover from it. And after seeing how I've reacted to radiation, I know I was right. If I wasn't supposed to have any side-effects from the radiation, and the chemo is worse, then there's no way I can handle chemo right now.

I should be going to see Dr. Brown at the end of this week or the beginning of next. He's supposed to call tomorrow morning.

Anyway, enough about that.

I wanted to write to you all about crying myself to sleep (lol, an even "better topic!"). But that usually occurred when I was supposed to be TRYING to go to sleep. So, I didn't get up to write. I just can't count how often I've cried myself to sleep. It amazes me. There were other things I wanted to write about, but I've just been too tired. And I'm tired now, so I think I'm gonna end.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

YAHSHUA'S BRIDGE available for pre-order!!!

Did I tell you all that my book YAHSHUA’S BRIDGE is available for pre-orders? That means, FREE SHIPPING. You have until November 1st to take advantage of this special offer. Here’s the link:

YAHSHUA’S BRIDGE is the sequel to THE MASTER’S WALL. Here’s a book jacket description:

An amethyst stone draws him to his past. An elusive maiden draws him to his future.

Alexander is born into slavery under an abusive master: a master of his own flesh and blood . . . a man he will never call Father. Determined to break away from his master’s hold, Alexander devises a plan to purchase his freedom. But what’s he to do when he finds himself shipped off in shackles to Egypt, disappearing from the lives of everyone he knows and loves?

Here are a few endorsements for YAHSHUA’S BRIDGE:

Sandi Rog has done it again. With Yahshua’s Bridge, the sequel to the enjoyable and award-winning The Master’s Wall, Rog proves that her first effort was no fluke: This lady knows how to spin a page-turning adventure that is at once heartwrenching and uplifting. Yahshua’s Bridge has that rare and immensely satisfying quality of being a wonderful story, brilliantly told. ~Robert Liparulo, author of The 13th Tribe, Comes a Horseman and The Dreamhouse Kings

Sandi Rog's novels are sneaky good. She has an excellent understanding of the first century and is able to convey the details of New Testament culture without making it feel like a history lesson. Like her debut novel, Yahshua's Bridge is complex without being confusing and teaches truth without being preachy. With a story that hooks you and encourages you in your own life, Yahshua's Bridge is a fast but engaging read that is sure to please any lover of historical or Biblical fiction. -Alison Strobel, author of Composing Amelia and many others

In Yahshua’s Bridge I found an amazing novel full of romance and intrigue just as I’ve come to expect from Sandi Rog. Beyond that, I found an epic struggle of good versus evil played out against a backdrop of martyrs, coliseums, and gladiators. This book illustrated to me more than any other novel the fact that life is but a pale illusion and the glorious reality awaiting us in eternity far supersedes any temporary pain or struggles we might face on this earth.  ~ Dina Sleiman, author of Dance of the Dandelion

Yahshua's Bridge is a powerful story about forgiveness and loyalty to the Christian faith. I loved the theme that God loves us enough to allow whatever is necessary to bring about our spiritual good and to produce healing in our lives. Sometimes what He allows makes no sense to us at the time. 

Yahshua's Bridge reminded me of Francine Rivers's Mark of the Lion trilogy in that it was also set during the first century when Christianity was still growing, and when gladiators fought to the death for mere entertainment of Roman citizens. Sandi Rog draws you into the story so deeply that you feel each character's pain and you hurt along with them. Well-written and fast paced, Yahshua's Bridge has the potential to heal hearts and touch many lives because it doesn't soft-step or minimize human suffering. The greater the darkness was, the more the light of Christ shone in this book. I loved it! ~Michelle Suttonauthor of over a dozen inspirational novels.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

A plea from my mother-in-law

Here’s a plea from my mother-in-law. It took me this long to post it.

October 1, 2011

To family and friends,

Nearly 11 months have passed since coming to Colorado to try to help Karsten, Sandi and the kids through a very difficult time. During that time I returned home for two weeks and Henk was able to come here to help out for two month. This obviously was not the plan. But we are very thankful to the Lord that He granted us the possibility to be of help.
We just knew that this all wouldn’t be necessary, but…. We know so little. I will be returning to the Netherlands in a week, knowing only that the Lord is in control and that He has wonderful children who will carry on as needed. Hopefully it will not be necessary for me to return to Westminster soon, but needless to say, I will if the need arises.

After the stemcell transplant we had full confidence that this would be a cure for both the MS and the T-cell lymphoma. It didn’t/hasn’t happened. Cancer showed itself again at three spots on her spinal column. The radiologist says that the cancer is coming from somewhere but they don’t know where. The plan is to do localized radiation 15 times hoping it will take care of the immediate problem.

In the meantime, one doesn’t stand still just hoping for the best but looking for a possibility of making her stronger and eradicating the cancer long term.

Karsten and Sandi made a very quick trip to Arizona to consult with Dr Joe Brown, . I believe he knows what he is doing and that this is a treatment that can give the family back a healthy mother and wife for a long time to come. Karsten has been applying some of the nutritional aspects for several years, now he has support and even better guidelines to help Sandi and the family be healthy. Through his efforts Sandi was able to come through the chemo, radiation and transplant as well as she did. The caregivers at the hospital were surprised at her overall good health, despite the cancer and MS.

After a three hour consultation, Dr. Brown is drawing up a plan “of attack”. Before they left the office he started Sandi on the first treatment, told her what to eat and not to eat, set her up with two more treatments before they had to return home.

Now we need to find the financial means to make the rest possible. Yes, you guessed it. It is not free, but if one looks at the medical cost already incurred, it is “just a drop in the bucket”, however one they have to finance themselves. Karsten is still looking at the “ins and out” to being able to claim it on their insurance. In the meantime it could cost up to $20,000 and life goes on. They would prefer to do this on their own with the Lord, but they know they can’t. The Lord uses all His children to accomplish His works.

If you could help in any way the Northwest Church of Christ in Westminister is happy to function as a contact for this effort. This congregation as a whole and as individual members has been a wonderful support to the family in many ways and they continue to support them. We thank you for all you have already done, especially for your continued prayers and words of encouragement.

You can contact Karsten:

Or one of the elders at Northwest in Westminster, CO:
Ron Hanegon:

Or send a check to:
Northwest Church of Christ
5255 West 98th Avenue
Westminster, CO 80020
Specifying: Rog family

For international bank transfers contact: for bank IBAN and BIC numbers and to let him know
you are making a bank transfer for the Rog family.

May God bless each of you in your daily life,

Celia Rog

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

ARIZONA . . . My hope!

I’ve gotten a lot of emails and calls from folks asking about the Doctor in Arizona. If I haven’t replied to your emails, please don’t take it personally. I honestly can’t keep up. I will do my best to reply to everyone. I just need your patience. I also didn’t have very good Internet connection while there, so if you sent an email for any reason and I haven’t replied, please don’t take it personally. If I don’t reply within the next couple of weeks, try resending your message. In the meantime, I thought I’d better get an update up so folks can know what’s going on.

So . . . where to begin?

Let me start by saying, Dr. Joe Brown is AWESOME!!

Here’s the story:

We arrived there with a flat tire. I won’t go into details about that: in the mountains, in the middle of nowhere, in extreme heat (thankfully, we had a spare), but we were worried because that meant spending more money on tires if we were to get home safely. We were already pushing it by going out there, but we had high hopes and a lot of prayers behind us, so we went (I mean, we were only 70 miles away from the doctor’s office, so why turn back at that point), trusting God to show us His will. As my husband was fixing the tire he asked, “Now, is this from God or Satan?” We’d asked God to close the doors if He didn’t want us there. So . . . we were wondering. Because of the flat tire, we were twenty minutes late for our appointment, but they were understanding.

The intake meeting was thorough. Dr. Brown never gave us the impression that he was in a hurry or had other things to move on to. In fact, the intake meeting lasted THREE HOURS, and I can honestly say it only felt like ONE. Hubby knew how much the meeting would cost per hour (and no, that’s not why the doc took his time, lol). We had a billion questions, and we wanted answers, and he answered them. It was so GOOD. It was during this meeting we learned about the treatments and the supplements I would need, how often, that he has experience with stem cell transplant patients (we actually found that out before we left), etc. I watched and listened closely (not just during the meeting, but during the treatments), because usually I can tell if someone hasn’t had experience with patients like me, but he knew exactly what he was doing in every way. It was a big relief.

My biggest question was if his treatment would cause graft vs. host disease because he’s strengthening my immune system and this isn’t “my immune system.” He said without hesitation and with complete confidence (and he wasn’t an arrogant doctor, btw), “No.” He said none of his patients who’ve undergone stem cell transplants have gotten graft vs. host disease from his treatments. Absolutely none. Then he said he can’t say that it can never happen, but he (strongly) doesn’t believe it will.

After the meeting, we decided that’s all we could afford. We wanted to buy the supplements he suggested, but the meeting ended up being more than we expected (like I said, it felt like one hour, but the clock told a different story), and we still needed tires for the car. So, we paid for the meeting and left. We were going to find a way to come back, but we didn’t know how to make that possible yet (financially). It’s not that Dr. Brown’s services are expensive, because they’re not. Not at all. It’s just that when something like this isn’t covered by insurance and the money is coming out of pocket, it’s unaffordable. When we reached our car, Dr. Brown’s assistant came after us and said that Dr. Brown wanted to give me a free partial treatment before we left. Of course, we were happy and willing to do this. Dr. Brown got me hooked up on IVs and ended up giving me a full treatment. During the intake he said that if he had “leftovers” he could give those to me for free because he would throw them away, and he’d rather they get used. I have a feeling, he didn’t treat me with “leftovers” that day.

Anyway, I was so touched that he would be so generous, I thanked him but felt that was inadequate. He said he just wanted me to get well. Then he offered to treat me for the next two days at a discounted rate that we could afford. Actually, both treatments combined were approximately worth the amount of the car tires, but we took his offer and ended up buying new tires on our credit card. You see, we NEVER use our credit card because we don’t believe it’s right to be in debt. We only have credit cards so we can have “good credit” here in the States (which makes no sense to us). When we moved here from Holland we had no credit, which equaled to bad credit (which also didn't make sense to us). So for example, to build up credit, I’ll shop at Kohl’s (with that Kohl’s credit card), and immediately go to the service desk and pay it off. :-) We firmly believe in not spending what we don’t have. Anyway, so it was a big deal for hubby to use our credit card to buy new tires, but we needed to make the 900-mile trip home safely. I also have to add, the people we were staying with left us a generous gift which actually paid for the entire next two treatments.

So . . . was God opening doors or closing them? You tell me. :-)

During the treatments, Dr. Brown said that by Friday I would have more energy (that was Tuesday or Wednesday). Honestly, I was skeptical. I’ve had a lot of doctors tell me things like this, and their predictions didn’t happen. However, by Thursday (not Friday), when we were in the car heading home (we were in a hurry because I had a Noon appointment on Friday with the radiation doc), I had a TON of energy. I was laughing without getting tired, making jokes, and feeling like my old self. It lasted for several days (I’m still stronger actually). It’s WONDERFUL!!!

And so is Dr. Joe Brown.

Now for what my radiation doc said. He’s very positive and he's excited about the success of the first localized radiation. He says it was radiation that knocked out the tumor in my head (oh, and it’s DEAD; apparently, there isn’t a sliver of it left like we thought; it’s GONE), and they want to do the same treatment on the tumors (there are three) on my spine. He feels confident that will take care of it. So, I’ll get 15 treatments of radiation on my spine on each tumor. This will take approximately three weeks.

Dr. Brown told me I should do what my oncologist here tells me to do, so if he wants radiation and chemo, I need to do it. Well, I found out that the doc here plans to do chemo after this radiation. Two outpatient chemo rounds, and one inpatient chemo round for five days (which I've been doing for the past year, and a lot of “good” it did). You see, since I still have tumors, that means little cancer cells are still floating around my body, but we can’t see them because they’re so small. We can only see them when they hook onto something and start multiplying into billions of cells (which they’ve now done on my spine; this new radiation doc explained all this, and I really like him too. He’s awesome. He took his time with us and answered all our questions, showed us the pictures, and didn’t make us feel stupid). Well, I’ve decided that I DON’T WANT CHEMO. I talked to the other doc’s assistant (the doc who’s been in charge from the beginning and wants to do the chemo--again), and she said I don’t have to do it, that it’s my choice. I believe what Dr. Brown is doing for me will do the job of the chemo (find those little cancer cells that we can’t see and kill them). And I’m still so weak that I don’t believe I will do well on chemo again. Seriously. I really don’t think I’ll recover. So, I don’t plan on doing chemo again.

Okay, so that’s the latest. I’ll start radiation on Monday (it was going to be on Friday, but I also have a photopheresis appointment—this is a “light therapy” where they run my blood through a machine to calm down the t-cells to keep graft vs. host disease under control—on that same day). The photo people say I should stay out of the sun after a treatment, or at least, spend as little time in the sun as possible (they even gave me sunscreen and sunglasses). Well, I was thinking, wouldn’t radiation be similar to being in the sun? So, I called my regular doc, and he said all was well and it’d be fine. Then I called the radiation folks, since they’re the experts in radiation treatment. I started at the reception desk and was forwarded through several people who couldn’t answer my question, but they kept saying it was a good question. I finally got the assistant to the doc who was to call me back after she asked the doc if it would be safe. Whew. She called back and said I might have some minor side-effects, yada, yada.

We moved the appointment to Monday.

You know, it’s one thing to downplay the side-effects, but they don’t have to live with them.

So, all is well. I have energy that I haven’t had in ages, and it’s because of God working through Dr. Brown. That fact can’t be denied.

P.S. Several years ago, Dr. Joe Brown was a cancer patient and told he had a month to live (after going through treatment after treatment and surgery after surgery with no success). He took things into his own hands and has now been 15 YEARS in remission. If you want to know more about him, click on all the links or his picture above. His story is also told on YouTube on a TV show called The Incurables. It's in three parts. I encourage you to watch it. 

Sunday, September 25, 2011

I'm a worst case senario

Hubby and I decided to look into alternative treatment. We're planning on driving up to Tempe, Arizona to check out Dr. Joe Brown. Here's a LINK to his site. He cured himself of cancer when they gave him about 30 days to live. That was approximately ten years ago.

My current doc/oncologist calls all alternative treatments done by quacks. He hardly answers our questions about other treatment possibilities and even interrupts us to where we can barely finish a sentence. My husband finally asked him not to make fun of us, that we're simply desperate and need answers. We're not doctors and know everything like he does. He didn't say that last sentence. I'm just frustrated, and so is Karsten. Anyway, he's a good doc, but he's overworked, which is why we keep running into all this miscommunication, having to postpone appointments, etc. And now he's suggesting more chemo and radiation.

Because he already gave me chemo that would "kill a healthy person," I'm refusing to do anymore. I mean, if that chemo didn't do the trick, why would another "brand" help? The chemo never helped the tumors. I will, however, do the radiation. I have a feeling it was the radiation that actually cleared the tumor in my head, and not the stem cells. 

Here's why:

The doc said it would take a couple months to be able to see whether or not the radiation worked or not. We weren't able to wait that length of time, so we did the radiation, the chemo, and the full-body radiation, and then the bone marrow transplant (which I found out later was/is actually a stem cell transplant from an ADULT donor; they said they use the term bone marrow because "stem cell" has such a negative implication, where folks assume we're using embryonic stem cells, which I would NEVER do). Anyway, now that the transplant is done, I can see that the tumor in my head is nearly gone. But now I have a tumor on my spine?! Why would the stem cells attack the tumor in my head, but not in my spine? It doesn't make sense. So, that's why I think the radiation took care of the tumor in my head and not the stem cells. 

Another reason I think the radiation took care of my tumor is because the stem cells are being suppressed by all these drugs I'm on. The doc is very fearful of graft vs host disease (where the stem cells might attack me), so he wants to prevent that, and he does that with these drugs. I kind of feel like the stem cells haven't even had a chance to WORK. But hey, I'm not a doctor, so who knows. I also think it could be these drugs that are causing my liver to skyrocket in enzymes. The liver biopsy tests came out negative for the graft vs host disease, but the doc felt certain I had it because of my liver enzymes going up. Isn't it possible my liver is acting up because I eat pills for breakfast, lunch and dinner?!

I say all this, but what do I know? My doc has 30 (yes 30) years of experience, while I have none. 

I'm just in the worst position I could possibly be in. The alternative doc will want to up my immune system, but then we run the risk of my (the donor's) immune system attacking me (which this doc is aware of; he's had experience working with stem cell transplant patients). And what's especially scary is that graft vs host disease could kill me and could rear it's ugly head overnight. I could wake up with a major case of it. At the same time, these new stem cells are what we've counted on to kill the cancer! 

What to do, what to do? 

Although my doc suggested chemo, he only hooked me up with the radiation people. I don't know if that means he's not going to do the chemo, or if he's going to do it later. He hasn't communicated anything to us. Oh, and that meeting I told you he was planning to attend to talk to the whole oncology team about my case, he never made it to. Do you see my frustration? sigh 

If I do nothing, this cancer will eat through my spine and make me lame from the waist down and eventually kill me. If I go with the alternative doc, I could get a bad case of graft vs. host disease, and that could kill me, OR it will get this new immune system working to where it attacks the cancer and not me, and I'd be CURED. Or, I could just go with the radiation treatments and hope/pray that works and see what happens and hope/pray that eventually my new immune system will kick in despite all the immune suppressant drugs (btw: I got cancer from immune suppressant drugs to begin with!) and kill the cancer.


What a mess I've become. 

Monday, September 19, 2011

“This wasn’t supposed to happen.”

That’s what my friend said. I mean, after all, I was supposed to be cured of MS and cancer. Right? That was the plan. That’s why I ended up with this particular doc because he wrote the paper with the doc who uses this method to cure MS. It couldn’t be a coincidence, God must have brought us together. At least, that’s what I thought.

I don’t know a gentle way to put this, but my doc says the biopsy results on my spine show that I have cancer. The same stinkin’ cancer that was supposed to be wiped out. He said this was his worst fear because this type of cancer is “clever.” It knows how to hide and that’s what it did. The doc wiped out my entire immune system and I even have someone else’s cells and blood-type now, but the cancer managed to stick around. The doc is going to consult the entire oncology team tomorrow/Tuesday and decide what to do: chemo (a different brand, which will be outpatient) and/or radiation.


Yes, I’m being sarcastic. sigh

The worst was telling my kids. My POOR KIDS. I won’t even tell you how that went. It’s too painful.

I asked the doc what my chances are, and he wouldn’t give me a percentage. He simply said something along the lines of, sometimes he beats the cancer, and sometimes he doesn’t. Something like that. Anyway . . . .

I’m still trusting in God. I told my kids to do the same. That this life is temporary, and really, Satan just wants our souls, and he’s trying to get to them through me. I told them they’re to remain faithful no matter what happens. If they’re mad at God for allowing this, that’s okay because God can handle our anger (He invented the emotion for crying out loud), just don’t sin. I told them to talk to God about their feelings because He knows and He understands. But don’t blame God. Satan is to blame for this. Just REMAIN FAITHFUL TO GOD period. I told them if I don’t make it through this, I want us to be reunited in Heaven—so they better remain faithful. I guess, I’m saying the same thing to all of you who read this.

I’ll do my BEST to FIGHT this, but I’m tired and I’m angry and I’m sick of fighting. I’m tired of asking for all of you to pray for me. I can imagine you all are probably sick of praying for me too. You’d think God would be sick of hearing from all of us and just give us what we want. Ya know? You’d think He’d push us out the door and kick us off His door step and say, “Fine! I’ll heal her, just leave Me alone! Quit ringing my doorbell!” You’d think we were more annoying than those telephone solicitors. They’re the worst, aren’t they?

Anyway, please keep praying for HEALING. My kids would really appreciate it. As would I and my husband.

When I say I trust in God, know that I mean I trust He knows what’s best for all of us spiritually (well, and physically, of course). He is my God and deserves my (our) praise.

He was, He is, and He always will be!

I praise You my Father, my Lord, my Master, my Daddy. I long to be held by You. To touch You, to breathe in Your Majesty. I LONG for it!

But I humbly ask that You will allow me to stay longer on this earth for my kids. You know how much I hate it here, so I don’t ask to stay for selfish reasons. Unless begging to be able to raise my kids and teach them to love You is selfish?
No matter what happens, I will praise You. (I imagine that’s a good kick in the face to Satan, right?)

Then . . .

Praise the Lord! Praise the Lord! Praise the Lord! Thank You Jesus for dying on the cross for my sins. Thank You for all You’ve done for me. Thank You. Thank You for my precious children. Please take care of them, guard their souls, teach them to love You (preferably through me, e-hem). Please God? Please? . . . Please . . . .

I love You, Lord. I love You so much. Hold me close and don’t let go.

Keep the faith, everyone. Please keep the faith. Cling to the Lord. He loves you. He loves me. And He loves my kids.


Now why do you delay?
Get up and be baptized,
and wash away your sins,
calling on His name (Acts 22:16).

Sunday, September 11, 2011

What I remember on September 11, 2001

I was living in Holland (the Netherlands) at the time and just happened to be watching CNN. I watched the entire thing unfold before my eyes. The newscasters went from reporting ordinary news to “this just in” and there were the towers. They showed the first plane hitting, and while they debated whether or not it was an accident or on purpose, the second plane flew into the next tower. Not long after that, I watched both towers go down. I couldn’t believe it. When I was eighteen, I’d stood on the roof of one of those towers, and those buildings (after collapsing) would have wiped out the entire center of Amsterdam. How could these “little” planes have such a huge impact?

What was especially disturbing during this time was the fact that I was outside the US and had to witness first hand (in my face) the reaction of the middle-eastern students and Islamic leaders. They were cheering in the streets!!! For days!!! And I won’t repeat the hateful things they would say. Gulp!

I was also concerned about our neighbor, wondering if they were also cheering about what happened because they were also Muslim and from Afghanistan. Of course, they knew we were an American family (our kids played together), so I was hesitant to knock on her door. A few days after the attack, she came to my door. She told me that she had family in New York and had no idea if they were safe or not because she couldn’t reach anyone. Anyway, she was suffering with us, and I felt ashamed for not having been the first to reach out to her. Later, it turned out her family was safe and all was well.

Months after the attacks, we still had to be careful, avoiding Islamic neighborhoods that had signs hung up on shop windows, saying things like: Yankees Go Home, etc. That was in Antwerp, Belgium. My husband made it clear that we were not to speak English outside the home (although, all the neighbors in our little village knew we were part American; my husband is Dutch; and we had three young children at the time). But we followed his orders. No more English outside the home.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011


First full review of YAHSHUA'S BRIDGE!!! It's due to release November 1, 2011!! Just click on the book! YAY!!

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Feeling Very Beat Up

I had the WORST day yesterday.

I went in for my scheduled appointment for the photo (ferenthesis/thing) to help tame down the new (donor) T-cells that might be attacking my body (which IS working, btw). My counts are improving and as you know the doc says the liver biopsy test said I DO NOT have graft vs. host disease in my liver. Karsten/Hubby and I made the doc repeat this THREE times just to make sure we heard him right. They don't yet know what's wrong with my liver, but the light therapy is working, and it's possible when I get off all the drugs/antibiotics it will improve.

Well, I got an unexpected visit from a Nurse Practitioner (NP) yesterday, while I was having my blood work done on the photo machine. Apparently, I had an appointment with her and knew nothing about it. It was also out of the ordinary because I usually only see NPs weekly, and I'd just seen Dr. Myint (my main doctor) on Thursday. Well, yesterday was Monday, so I wasn't supposed to see an NP until Thursday of this week. But she came and here's what happened:

To sum it all up, she basically told me Dr. Myint DOES BELIEVE I have graft v. host disease in my liver, even though it didn't show up in the test results, and so they're going to treat me as if I do. I couldn't believe what I was hearing. Of course, I started bawling and asked why the doc would say that? She said, I was crying because of the steroids and they make people crazy and do crazy things. I said, "No, I'm crying because you're contradicting what the doc said about my results." Because I was clearly upset, she said the steroids can make me feel suicidal. If I feel that way to call her immediately. I told her I wasn't feeling stinkin' suicidal, just upset by the contradictory information. And honestly, she's the LAST PERSON on the planet I'd call if I ever did feel suicidal (which I DON'T believe I ever will; I have FOUR KIDS that need me!). Instead, I might feel HOMicidal toward HER (please know I'm joking here)! ARG Why would she say the doctor is lying to me? Why?! Why would she do that to me? That's what she's saying, right? He's not being truthful? He's telling me one thing, but her another.

All I know is I left feeling completely beat up after this conversation. One of the nurses there that I highly respect didn't think they should lower the dose of my steroids too quickly/too soon (he told me not to expect it), but this NP got permission from another doc to lower it (my doc is out of town). Now I'm doubting if I should even listen to her! I'm not feeling very well today--I took the lower dose, but now I feel nauseous. Either it's stress from my conversation with her (which my mother-in-law witnessed and said the NP could have handled things much better), or it is the steroids making me feel nauseous. I'm waiting to hear back from my nurse coordinator to get this mess straightened out.


Okay, just talked to the nurse coordinator. She said that the tests were negative for graft vs. host diseases in my liver, but sometimes the tests give false negatives, so Dr. Myint doesn't trust it, so he's still going to treat my body as though I have the disease to play it safe. The doc NEVER said this to us, even after our making him repeat the results THREE times. Maybe he doesn't want to scare or worry us? But apparently, everyone knows what's going on but us. SIGH

Anyway, all I know is I'm in God's hands. He's my DOCTOR, and He's going to take care of things. Now, if I could just PRACTICE what I preach and quit all this worrying, I'd be FINE. LOL

I go in for a bunch of tests this week to see how the cancer is doing: PET scans, MRIs and another bone marrow biopsy. “JOY” I'd think the radiation fluid I have to drink for the PET scan wouldn't be good for my liver. Right? I mean . . . duh! SIGH But I'm not a doctor. 

I'm still on steroids, so if I'm a little wacky, please forgive me. Sure miss being normal. It's gonna come. If you want to keep updated, just check out my Facebook and blog. 

I just really don't like this particular nurse. She loves using words like: graft vs. host disease is a real MOTHER. You don't want it.

Well, DUH! Can you just tame your language down a bit? sigh It's stressful enough without her bombarding us. After hearing all that, I just wanted to drop facedown in a pile of mud and let God drag me away. My mother-in-law laughed when she heard that description. Though I was sincere, it was nice to see the humor in it, and it made me feel like Anne of Green Gables. I do tend to be a drama queen, and these steroids really don't help.

Well, that's the latest. Pray I have peace and will trust in the Lord.

Love you all,

Me xxx

Sunday, August 28, 2011

I'm so vain.

So, there's a picture of my "lovely" bald head on Facebook. I tried to paste it here, but for some reason, it won't work.

Here's Chelsea and Whitney instead. I'm the bald one on the right. :-) We were celebrating my daughter, Whitney's, 18th birthday. I'm so proud of the woman she's become. She truly loves God and does all in her power to please Him. I love you, Whitney. You make me proud. Happy Birthday!

Below is my grandma and me, watching the kids swim during Whitney's party. You won't be able to see some of the details of my head during my explanation below. If you're curious, drop by Facebook. You can see them there.

Anyway, here's what I had to say:

I can't believe this is me. Thank goodness it's only temporary. Notice the dent in my forehead? They cracked my skull during the biopsy of the tumor. "Lovely." It's amazing how I can still be so vain. What's it like for my four-year-old to look at me and know that freak . . . er . . . I mean, that bald, fat woman is her mother? Must not be too bad since she still hugs and kisses me, and still wants to cuddle with me. 

It wasn't easy to share this photo, and my cheeks are so hard and heavy from the steroids, I can barely smile. sigh But I felt I needed to mark this moment in my cancer history. Like I said: I'm the only one who can't lose weight on chemo. Thank God He loves me no matter what I look like. LOL, SIGH, SOB, WEEPING. All the pictures from my past that I thought were ugly are now beautiful! Even the ones below. My mom is the one in pink, and Aunt Pat is on the right. Pat helped raise me and my sis and is like a second mom to me. 

Chelsea with her Daddy at Kirsten's performance when she sang Blessings by Laura Story. 

Kirsten and Chelsea. xxx

And there's my Aaron with Daddy and Kirsten.  

Thank You, Father, that I'm still alive. Alive for my family. I'm here to continue the fight. Please just give me the strength because I can't do it without YOU.

Just a taste of those I'm fighting for. There's more, but I'm horrible at downloading these pictures.

And umm, Lord? Thank You for all the things You've taught us and continue to teach us throughout all this. I'd just like to put in a special request. When I'm healed, will You please give us all a really fun vacation? I have some places in mind (You know, here on this planet, e-hem). Just think about it, Lord. 

Loving You, my Father, my GOD . . . through the FIRE.