You are currently browsing the monthly archive for February 2007.

Thanks to all the people who have sent well wishes regarding the CT scan.  I continue to be blessed by all the comments on the blog.

I’m still quite tired during the day although I can thankfully take naps.  My hands are improving each day but are still quite tender and not near being ‘normal’.

Love Marisa

post script – it is true I do look like my dad, and he WAS the milkman at the time.


Marisa & Her Father

This morning Marisa had a cat scan of her liver and breast.  Let’s hope for peace.  The heavenly kind, not the earthly kind.

Thanks again for all the comments, they are dear to our heart.

Love, M and M

Today sucks. After having a great dinner out with Gary and Rose Tamming last night, today is terrible. That verse about being thankful in all circumstances is ringing through my head today and I wonder if Paul knew how hard it would be when he wrote it….

Cancer is sneaky, miserable, relentless and does not show love. Marisa is sick, tired and her hands are bad again. This breaks my heart.

I was going to apologize for the tone of this post but I’m not. This sucks.

Splanchnology is the study of the human body’s visceral parts or in easier terms, the gut.

Yesterday was another course in splanchnology.  Marisa and I spent 6 and a half hours in the cancer clinic.  Spending 6 and a half hours on something is one thing, but spending it at a cancer clinic makes you think about cancer for 6 and a half hours straight.  It makes splanchnology come to the forefront because you see so many sick people, and your stomach aches for each person.

Like always Marisa took her ‘lunch bucket’ attitude and was her usual brilliant self.   Her drive, hope, faith and courage are an inspiration to me.

The oncologist told us that the treatment plan that was told to us before (chemo for 6 months and then surgery) has been altered and clarifed to the current treatment plan which is that Marisa will undergo chemotherapy until her body can not handle the chemo anymore.  Then the doc said that there is a plan B and a plan C in case the chemo is not effective.

We continue to fight, pray, take solace in our friends and hope that Marisa will experience peace and full healing.

Thank you to all who have walked this journey with us and all those who have helped in every way.  You continue to show Jesus to us.

As for now, our education in splanchnology continues….

Love Mendelt (and Marisa, who proofreads every post)

Today our message was titled ‘Amazing Grace’.  Pastor Andrew mentioned that this very blog has been a source of grace for some.  None more than us.

Near the end of the service, the musician that was playing, seemed to be unfamiliar with the last song “Our Friends, May you Grow in Grace”.  Because Marisa and I were sitting beside the piano, I offered to play it for him.  He willingly accepted.

Then instead of myself,  Marisa played it.  Her hands.  Her fingers.  Her amazing, graceful fingers.  The fingers that 10 days ago couldn’t lift up her own fork to eat.  The fingers that 10 years ago caught my ear, eyes and then my love.  (For all the musicians:  she even nailed the double third riff that is in that song, a tough feat during normal circumstances)



It’s been a great few days–I feel ‘normal’ again!  🙂  It does take a few days before the drugs wear off I think.

As I was bringing Zion to bed tonight he asked to feel my head (he often does) and he said that it was a ‘pointy bald’.  From the mouths of babes.

A few people have asked about my hands–they are almost back to normal again.   A layer of skin (the skin that turned red and puffy) peeled off and now the new skin is just tender.  (It was a bit sad when my skin was peeling because Jacoba didn’t want to hold my hand when walking anymore because the skin was too rough….)  It is definitely managable now though and I would say that the ‘hand and foot syndrome’ is now at mild as opposed what it was last week–moderate/severe.  If it’s mild then I don’t have to go off or moderate the chemo drugs, but if it gets to moderate or severe they have to moderate the drugs–which my oncologist did.

Back to watching ‘Hockey Night in Canada’.  Go Leafs!  (Sorry Alec.)

As of right now, 8:10 P.M. (EST) we have entered party city.  Marisa just finished her 2nd cycle of chemotherapy.

Hopefully no more fatigue.  No more sore hands.  No more dry, bleeding nose.  No more pills twice a day.  No more chemo…for five days.

Thanks to all who leave comments on the blog, write e-mails, send meals, send cards and above pray for us.

Peace and Love,


Mendelt discovers that Marisa has a beautiful scalp.

There is only one way to take control of hair loss during chemotherapy and that is to pre-empt the hair loss by getting sheared before the hair falls out.

In support of Marisa, her father-in-law, Heit, or Gerzinus Hoekstra, has also had his hair shaved off. Here is the often asked for picture

Marisa and her father-in-law, Gerzinus Hoekstra

my lunch prayer went as follows:

“When this whole cancer ordeal is over, let me never take things for granted like eating without distractions, a full night sleep, Marisa’s amazing piano playing, having time to shave, hindsight, playing basketball in the morning”…the list went on.

(for those that don’t know Marisa well, she can make a piano sing)

Marisa has 5 days left in her 2nd cycle. The oncologist decreased the chemo dosage for the second time as Marisa’s body couldn’t handle it. She is getting more tired as the days go on. Her hands are cracked and weathered but her spirit continues to fight. I used to think I was in love with Marisa but I had no idea. You should see her fight.

I used to think that the most beautiful sight in the whole world was a pregnant woman. While I still think it is beautiful sight, there is none more than a woman with cancer who continues to give all her love to her children.

We are looking forward 5 days off after this cycle. Party city.

Thank you again for all the comments, we love you all.

Love Mendelt

(this is what I took from Pastor Andrew’s message on Sunday. Paraphrased by me)

Most of us know the story. Jesus is about to meet His betrayer, be arrested, disowned, mocked and crucified. He knew what was going to happen.

Before all that happens, as recorded in each of gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke and John) Jesus goes to pray. He knows what is going to happen, he is Jesus. But he still goes and pray.

If anyone needs a reminder that prayer is worth the time, effort and learning, this is the perfect example. Jesus, who knows what is going to happen, who knows that He is going to be crucified still stops to pray. God decides that Jesus should stop to pray. God chooses to have Jesus pray.

God chose for Marisa to get cancer.  God now chooses for us to pray.

God sovereignly determines that He chooses to need our prayer.

take courage,


In terms of nausea, this week has been the best since the start of chemo.  Too bad there has to be a but…So…but there has been some other side effects that have reared their ugly head, the main one being “hand and foot syndrome” that I am experiencing.  The docs told us that this might happen but we hoped that it wouldn’t happen at all or at least not so soon.  My hands are red and swollen and sensitive to touch and it feels like they’ve been burnt.  I have trouble opening a bottle of medication, bottles for Zekijah or other daily activities things that I took for granted.

(this is where Nurse Mendelt earns his candy stripe uniform)

Not having nausea shows us that God is giving me only what I can handle because I couldn’t imaging having nausea on top of these tough hands…

Thanks to everyone for the meals, comments, e-mails, and above all prayers.  Pastor Andrew had a soul-moving message on prayer today that Mendelt will most likely speak about in a future post.

Love Marisa

The last few days have been ‘very good’ for Marisa.  It’s amazing what perspective does to how one can describe a day.  The ‘chemo cocktail’ has seemed to work with most of the nausea.  We hope that this continues.  Marisa had major stomach cramps this morning but we fixed that.  This whole ordeal has also been quite a lesson in pharmacology.  (sometimes Marisa calls me Nurse Mendelt…awwww)

Marisa’s mom has been here for the last two nights which allows us to share the load, she is great with the kids and they love their Grandma.

Thanks again for all the comments.  Please continue to pray that Marisa stays comfortable and that we all can sleep well at night.  When you lie in bed at night, the devil tries to creep into your head and that is sometimes tough.

Thanks again,


Shine On DVD

This DVD is of a concert put on by Marisa's family that raised funds for a yearly scholarship in Marisa's name.

Donate Now to receive a DVD