Sunday, May 22, 2011


Many of you already know of this, but on November 1, 2010, the very day my debut novel THE MASTER'S WALL was released, I was diagnosed with Stage 4 T-cell Lymphoma: cancer. Since then, I've been undergoing the fight of my life, but not without the support of my family, church family, friends, schools, and the ACFW family. Truly, the prayers and support have rocked our world! 

Well, I'm now nearing the final battle. I'm in the hospital getting ready to undergo a bone marrow transplant. I've completed three days of totally body radiation, and just finished my last round of chemo today. Without the donor's bone marrow, I won't survive. The donor's bone marrow will arrive on the 24th (this Tuesday) and will be injected into my body (much like getting blood). Please pray for my donor. We haven't met, but I know he's in a lot of pain with the injections he has to take to produce more blood (all this for a complete stranger; it's amazing!). 

Anyway, I just wanted some extra prayers coming my way during this time. I likely won't have much energy in the upcoming weeks as my body will be at war within itself. The new marrow is supposed to grow and wipe out my old marrow, and in effect, tackle the cancer. Please pray it only takes out the cancer and nothing of "me." There's a chance it could attack my skin, gut, or liver. 

It's a scary time, and I have four children counting on this to work (17, 14, 11 and 3). My husband is using time off to be with me during my difficult times (he's also able to work from the hospital most times), and his parents are in town from Holland to help out at the house with the kids. My sister will be with me during my worst of times next week.

In the meantime, my second book galleys are being proofed. I sent them on to my editor, Wendy Chorot, to proof them. I just can't do it. I pray I'll have the strength to read the ARCs once those are released, and Lord willing, I won't find anything major that needs fixing! :-) It's rather ironic that this story is to release after/during all I've been through. You can read the book jacket description of it on my last blog entry and see the cover. In the meantime, I'll share the foreward with you below, which gives better insight into just how deep this story goes. I thought the foreward was very touching, and it might give you all an idea of what this road has been like for me.

Love you all, and thank you so much for your prayers. If you'd like to share this with other prayer groups or blogs, please do! ALL the prayers I can get mean everything to me! EVERYTHING!

Love in Him,



Foreward for YAHSHUA'S BRIDGE (Iron and the Stone: book two)

Nothing could have prepared me for the gut-twisting pain of discovering Sandi Rog was diagnosed with stage four T-cell Lymphoma. I have never experienced such raw, hyperventilating terror as the realization of what my best friend would endure sank into my heart.

This diagnosis came on the eve of birthing Yahshua’s Bridge, though she suffered many months prior to its completion. Each word became a struggle as she experienced devastating symptoms of the cancer that threatened to abort Yahshua’s Bridge. But Sandi pressed on, ran the good race, and word by precious word, completed this God-honoring masterpiece. The moment it fell into my hands for editing, I realized God had provided me with a coping mechanism for dealing with the grief of her diagnosis. As I sank further into the story, I realized God had provided Sandi with the same comforting tool. You see, Sandi doesn’t write anything about God that she doesn’t believe. As these characters came alive in the story, each with their own struggles, Sandi weaved truths and promises around them that come straight from our Lord’s Word. Truths and promises her family and friends can echo back to her when she is too weak to read them for herself.

You, Dear Reader, have in your hands a work of art built on the Master’s teachings. Yahshua’s Bridge will stir your soul, send you to your knees, and then cradle you and pour sweet peace into the corners of your heart. Its depths will leave you breathless for your savior while offering you comfort only His embrace can give. Yahshua’s Bridge carries the marks of suffering Sandi Rog endured to guarantee it touches you forever.

Wendy Chorot

Wednesday, May 18, 2011


I can't believe it worked! I can't usually access blogs from the hospital. Yay God! Here's the cover to my next book, Yahshua's Bridge. First, the book jacket copy:


Theme: Enslaved by sin. Set free by Christ.

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? 

If you click on the cover, it will enlarge and you'll be able to get a better look at it.

You don't have to read the first book, THE MASTER'S WALL, to enjoy this one, but you might enjoy it MORE if you do! :-) YAHSHUA'S BRIDGE releases THIS FALL!

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Every Breath I Take

I go in on Tuesday to start my regiment for the transplant. On that day, I'll get a new port put in my chest. "Joy." I've had a picc line in my arm, but that won't be enough, so . . . yeah. Starting on Wednesday, I'll be getting full body radiation for three days, which I hear is worse than chemo, yikes. Then the next two days will be extreme chemo. On the 23rd, I'll get a break, and on the morning of the 24th, I'll get the bone marrow transplant. Then we wait.


As the days for this draw near, I find myself hyperventilating. I've always had this problem. It's not the kind of hyperventilating that can be fixed by putting a brown bag over my mouth. It's apparently called "hyperventilation syndrome." If you google it, you can read more about it. Point is, the closer the day comes, the more dizzy I get. I already fight vertigo because of the stupid MS. Well, now my nervousness makes me dizzy too! I'm just meant to be dizzy! ARG.

Anyway... I try not to dwell on that mess, otherwise I'd go nuts. That's biblical, you know. Where is it? Philippines 4:8.

Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things.

I like that word: DWELL. You know, with all the crap that's happened to me over the years, I believe I could literally go insane if that's all I thought about. Think about it. (No pun intended, lol.) We become what we think about. I could dwell on all the abuse I've suffered and really feel miserable. Or I could focus on God and His love and what He's done for me in my life and be happy. Personally, I hate feeling miserable, so that's one of the reasons I try to focus on the positive. I'm hardly perfect at it, and I'm certainly no Job and have sinned with my lips and even yelled at God. So yes, I've had my negative moments. But God has gotten me through them. I certainly don't deserve His help, but He gives it to me anyway.

Now, speaking of "dwelling," or where I "focus" my mind, there's something positive I need to share with you about my dad. I've shared plenty of negative about him, and although he's caused me and others A LOT of grief, I also know I'm a better person because of him for many reasons. You see, he did something for me when I was a child that's CARRIED me through all the health mess I've been facing.

When I was about five, he took me to a check-up where I had to get a shot. Well, before the shot, he asked the doc/nurse to let him have a moment of private time with me to prepare me for this shot. (I'd had plenty of shots when Mom would bring me to the doc's, but this was the first time I remember Dad taking me. I never caused a ruckus, so I didn't really understand why he felt he had to talk to me about it, but now I know, and I believe God used that moment for me TODAY.) Dad sat with me and told me in detail how if I just relax during this shot, it won't hurt as badly. He said, it will hurt, but I just need to focus/dwell/concentrate on relaxing my body. He took a whole five minutes to explain this to me. :-)

Well, with all the MRI's, the radiations where I've had to wear a tight mask (I'm claustrophobic), and the pet scans and other tests, the many shots and having a picc line in my arm, not to mention the upcoming port they're going to put in my chest . . . I've really had to concentrate on RELAXING my body. It's not easy because I'm a very uptight person. But my mind constantly flashes back to that five minutes my dad took in the doctor's office to tell me that all I needed to do was relax and it wouldn't hurt as badly. Not only does relaxing make it not hurt as badly, but it also makes these tests get done much faster. After all, if I were to panic, we'd have to stop and start again, stop and start again. I can't tell you how often I've wanted to stop and NOT start again, but I really didn't want to prolong the inevitable. Nor did I want to have drugs to knock me out because it takes days for that mess to get out of my body. Anyway, God used my dad at that time to help me NOW. Isn't that amazing? Thank You, God.

So . . . back to breathing. Or "hyperventilating." I don't know why I hyperventilate. I do it without even realizing it. What makes me realize it is I get dizzy. Ha! Anyway, I've been thinking a lot about breathing lately.

I know. Weird.

You see, I watched my grandpa die. While he was on his death bed, all he could do was BREATHE. He could barely utter one word at a time, and it took all he had to suck in a breath. I've felt that way numerous times during all this mess. Only difference is, nothing can stop me from talking. But that's a another story. Anyway . . . I always wondered what made my grandpa stop breathing? Was it that he just didn't have the strength anymore? He died after he saw my mom. He'd requested to see her, and she came. After she left, he died. He loved my mom. She was very special to him. She was a hard worker, and he liked hard workers. All I know is, he stopped breathing after he saw her. We'd walked out of the room and took her to her car. When we walked back into the house, Grandpa was gone. He'd finally taken his last breath.

My thoughts about breathing of course involve God. I believe if God knows the number of hairs we have on our head (Matt. 10:30), which I could care less about, then He also knows every breath we take. And He knows my every breath. And . . . He knows how many I have left. It also means . . . He's VERY CLOSE. Imagine how it is when you go to kiss someone. Sometimes our breaths intermingle. Imagine being that close to God! Wouldn't it be wonderful to KISS HIM? I mean like a parent kisses a child. I love kissing my babies. I don't care how big they get. I'm sure He'd love to kiss us too.

Acts 17:27-28 says: God did this so that they would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from any one of us. ‘For in him we live and move and have our being.’ As some of your own poets have said, ‘We are his offspring.’

In a previous post I asked: why, oh why, does my heart become heavy when I feel like fighting for my will?

As I was reading through that post, the answer hit me. It's because I'm not putting God first. It's like Abraham when God asked him to offer up Isaac. Isaac was his son! The boy was precious to him and held all his hopes and dreams for the future. But would Abraham be willing to let go of all he held dear for his God? Well, he WAS WILLING, and then God gave the boy back to him. But you know after that moment, Abraham knew God was first and foremost in his life. God came before his son, his precious child. God reigned in Abraham's heart. Well, He needs to reign in mine as well. He needs to reign above my children (they are the reason I want so badly to LIVE) and above my life. I need to love God more than life itself. My will needs to be set aside for that of my heavenly Father's.

I have to say, it's a lot less stressful putting everything in God's hands. After all, He knows what's BEST. Doing this means I'm not fighting and worrying about my will. I'm just letting go and letting God. I'm in His hands. I know. I've said that a billion times. But instead of standing in His hands with MY hands on my hips and arguing with Him and trying to convince Him of what I think is best, I'm going to lie down on His loving palms, and TRUST in Him to perform His will in my life. That's what I HAVE to do, otherwise, I won't be able to RELAX.

I must TRUST in Him, TRUST that He's aware of every breath I take. Please pray that I'll have the strength to do this!

Jeremiah 17:7-8

“But blessed is the one who trusts in the LORD, 
   whose confidence is in him. 
8 They will be like a tree planted by the water 
   that sends out its roots by the stream. 
It does not fear when heat comes; 
   its leaves are always green. 
It has no worries in a year of drought 
   and never fails to bear fruit.”

Sunday, May 8, 2011


I just got word from WhiteFire Publishing that they’d like to publish my Inspirational Western WALKS ALONE as one of their releases for 2012!!! I'm absolutely thrilled and honored! I feel like this is the PERFECT home for WALKS ALONE. Here’s their link so you can check them out:

Since many of you haven't heard of this story, here's a book jacket blurb:


A Cheyenne warrior bent on vengeance. A pioneer woman bent on fulfilling a dream. –Until their paths collide.

White Eagle, a Cheyenne warrior, has a dilemma: he can't find God.

A man with a boot in one world and a moccasin in the other, White Eagle is disillusioned with his faith after a minister leads a massacre on his peaceful tribe. Where is his God? He's definitely not with the white men who are slaughtering his people. But White Eagle also can't give in to the idolatry practiced by his fellow tribesmen. Only the Truth can set him free. And it's found in a beautiful woman's carpetbag.

Anna van Stralen, a pioneer from Holland, has one goal: to reach Denver City.

Nothing will stop her, not even a band of wild Indians. After escaping her abusive uncle, Anna is determined to reach the city of her dreams. But White Eagle and his fierce warriors take her captive. Desperate to make it home, she attempts a harrowing escape. But her savage captor is determined to have Anna at all costs. He recaptures her and forces her to be his wife. Has God forgotten her, or does He have plans of His own?

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Rambling about my faith, or lack thereof (and an update)

I haven't written in a while because I feel like all I talk about is cancer, and really . . . who wants to talk about that? Yuck! But that's all my life has been about lately, and I figure, you all need an update, and it's about time I put one up. So . . . here we go.

My blog's theme is this:

If the world says you can't, faith says you can!

Well, I applied this to finding the castle of my dreams, so why can't I apply this to what's happening right now? I mean, I told EVERYONE I knew, I was going to see this castle. You know, the castle that's all over my blog. I had no idea where this castle was or what it was called. My lack of knowledge didn't matter. I was determined, and I was going to see this castle

. . . and I DID!

So, why can't I have the same kind of faith and say, I'm going to be completely healed of both cancer and MS and be stronger after this transplant than I've ever been? Why can't I say that with as much determination and confidence?

I think part of my problem is . . . God.

You see, He has a will in this. The question is: What is His will? Surely He wants me healed and to stay here for my children. Right? At the same time, He may need to give us what we "need" and not what we "want." Personally, I don't think I "need" to be broken. I need to be whole and healed so I can be the best mother I can be for my kids! At least, that's what I think. That's MY WILL. But why, oh why, does my heart become heavy when I feel like fighting for my will?

I feel like it's one thing to say I'm gonna see a castle and another to say I'm gonna be healed. What's different about these two things? I remember I didn't feel like I had anything to lose when I wanted to see that castle. If it didn't happen, it wasn't the end of the world. In this case, I have everything to lose if it doesn't happen. You'd think that'd make me have more faith, more determination! What's my stinkin' problem? UGH!

Then I figured it out. How I can say the words with the same confidence.

LORD WILLING, I am going to be completely HEALED of both cancer and MS and be stronger after this transplant than I've ever been.

Hmm. I'm not feeling it. The confidence, I mean.

I think that's because I knew a mother who left a five-year-old girl behind when she died of cancer, and she had confidence that she was going to be healed.

I don't think I like leaving this in God's hands. Whew. That's bad. That's really bad. But it's true. (I'm sorry, God!) But if I'm honest, I believe that's my problem, as much as I hate to admit it. My fear is God either wants to take me from here or He wants me to be broken . . .

Okay, I have to say, just as I wrote those words "God wants me to be broken," something inside me shouted NO, THAT'S NOT TRUE! GOD DOES NOT WANT YOU TO BE BROKEN.

A brother from church said he believes I'm going to be healed because God's hand has been in this from the beginning. If you recall, my doc "just happens" to be a doc who wrote the paper with another doc on how to cure MS, and I'm undergoing the same treatments they're performing on MS patients to see if this will cure them. Just before this cancer was revealed I asked God to heal me. Well, I'd asked him to heal me a billion times, but this one moment was special. I can't explain in words what made it special, but all I know is my heart was in God's hands (there's more to it than that, but I won't get into it). I asked Him to heal me. And I believed, and still believe, He has the power to do so.

Think of it this way, God says we don't have because we don't ask. Well, I asked, and I'm still asking!

Of course, I was hoping for Him to just snap His fingers and voila, I'd be healed! But instead, I got cancer (oh, and this just happened to occur when I was also asking God for a reprieve from being sick; to put my MS in remission). sigh

Guess I'm A LOT stronger than I thought. Actually, I'm not strong AT ALL. I've only been able to get through this with HIS strength. I'm seeing that more and more. Just the other day I was complaining to my aunt who came with me to the infusion center that I'm the only one in the world who can't lose weight on chemo. (I've been irritated that I've gained at least 15 pounds since all this started.) Well, after saying that with a laugh in my voice, a woman who was a stick reached out to me and said, "I'll take some of that weight." My heart broke, and that's when I realized I needed to thank God for all this extra fat He's given me. Apparently, I'm gonna need it for the transplant. The docs and nurses keep telling me this. Then I was in the bathroom and saw a woman from the cancer infusion center walk in with her little three-year-old daughter (same age as my little Chelsea), and the woman's mother was with her (the grandmother of the three-year-old). All I saw was the woman's face as she went into the stall with her little girl, and I was talking to the grandma about the little girl, asking her age and then telling her I had a little girl the same age. Anyway, as I was walking out, something moved me to say to them, "Everything's gonna be all right." I was nearly out the door when I added, "I know it's a lot easier to hear than to feel." Then the grandmother said, "Yes, but it's still good to hear." When I came out, I told my aunt what I'd said, and she pointed out the fact that the mother of the three-year-old was very pregnant. I didn't SEE THAT! And I started crying, and I'm crying now as I write this because had I known that, I wouldn't have been able to say those words! So . . . now I pray for her nearly everyday. That everything WILL BE ALL RIGHT. Please pray for this precious mom who has this three-year-old girl and a baby on the way as she struggles with cancer. Pray she and her unborn child WINS this battle!

God . . . I am yours. I belong to You. My body is in Your hands, no other. Not the doctors at the hospital, not the nurses, but YOURS. You are my physician, my oncologist, my neurologist, my nurse, my one and only DOCTOR. Work through ALL of the nurses and doctors, please use them as Your tools to heal me. To make me whole and unbroken. To make me stronger than I've ever been before. (And will You please do the same for that pregnant woman with the little three-year-old!) I know this world is temporary and it's really not important to be "unbroken" while we're here. I know we can learn a lot and become stronger from our brokenness. It builds faith and character. Well, I've had enough, to be quite honest. I'm sorry for being such a complainer, Lord. I'm sorry for not "counting it as all joy." I'm just so tired of fighting. Fighting to grow up so I could live my own life, fighting crisis after crisis, and now THIS. Well, I'm done. You're gonna have to fight this for me, and I want You to show me what You've got. Show me Your power, Father. I know I can read all about Your greatness in Your word, but I want to see Your power in THIS . . . AND in that pregnant woman's situation. Please show us Your greatness, Lord. Your HEALING power. In Jesus' Name, Amen

Now, back to my readers.

Here's a boring update. I finish my last radiation this Friday (it's been localized directly on my tumor), and then I get a ten day break. After that, I go into the hospital on May 17th. On the 18, 19 and 20 I'll undergo full body radiation, and then on the following days, I'll get chemo. After all my bone marrow is flattened, they'll give me the donor's bone marrow. (By the way, will you pray for this guy? He has to undergo quite a bit to give me his bone marrow. It's really amazing he's willing to undergo what he's going through.) After that, we wait. We wait for my counts to go back up, then I can be sent home. But the fight isn't over after that. I'll have to go back to the hospital every other day for them to check my blood counts, and I'll be very prone to getting sick (which could be very dangerous). It won't be until around September that this donor's bone marrow will fully kick in, and that's when we'll find out if his white cells are going to attack my body or not (it could attack my skin, gut or liver). I'm praying this man's bone marrow will LIKE my body and not attack it. :-) I'm praying I won't get sick or have any complications, and well . . . I'm praying for A LOT of things.

That's it for now. Here's a song I'd like to share with all of you. It's called BLESSINGS.