Welcome to
by Sandie Riddin  

Like the theme of my life, I know as we all  keep our eyes on Jesus we will walk on our stormy waters.


"The Rising Sunset" my original autobiography, I wrote in 3 days with no sleep when I lived in Eshowe, was a 858 page manuscript in 1991, for a New South  Africa Competition with Harper and Collins in Jeppestown, Johannesburg.

I had kept a dairy since the age of 13. I loved photography and took photos  of most experiences. As I looked through my dairies I press stuck my photos on  the wall and I typed in a program called MultiMate on my computer as memories  came to mind.

After receiving it back I was told by Harper and Collins that it is an excellent story, very  publishable but needs work on it's spelling and grammar. I sent it to a Durban  Children Book Author, Editor who edited it and when corrections were done, it  became 54 Chapters of 596 pages. One of her comments was that already by then, there were many books within my first Volume in the series of 5.The first 4 Volumes are about my being told that I was going to  die in 1981 Hodgkin disease - Lymphatic Cancer, 1997 Liver Problem caused by Radiotherapy, 2007 Leukemia and 2013 Stage 3 Breast Cancer and Volume 5 is about how I rose above each time. 

I literally I have already lived the first 4 volumes of my 5 volume autobiography, I have also written 9 booklets on Discipleship and many other books but as yet I did not have the time to publish any. As all articles in The Rising Sunset Christian Newspaper come from my writings; I will keep writing and will eventually get my books published.

Photo taken on 19811203 on my 21st and Engagement to Dicky (who I married on 04/02/82, divorced him 03/12/93 and he died 05052003). My hair had stared growing back underneath. That is how the front of my hair looked from the front.

Volume 1 Chapter 1

FAITH is not believing it is EXPECTING

In Addington Hospital, situated on the  beach front in Durban, KwaZulu Natal, South Africa, in July 1981,  Mrs Trichardt  had Cancer and was so depressed that the Nurse in Ward 3A asked me to go cheer  Mrs Trichardt up.

"Hello,” I said with a Hugh smile[1] on my dial as I entered her private ward.

"No, please don’t smile near me, I don’t  think I can survive your happy smile,” she said.

“Sorry, I was asked to come cheer you  up, so until you at least can smile, I am not going to leave.” I reassured her  that I was not going anywhere as I sat on the chair near her bed.

“Okay you can stay as long as you do not  ask about me.” Mrs Trichardt accepted my staying. “Tell me, what you are in this  prison for? You have been here for a few months now.”

“I have the same as you.” I tried to explain as she looked at me in disbelief.
“You look so healthy, how can you have  the death sentence too?”

“Look, here,” I showed Mrs Trichardt my neck, “In March, the surgeon cut out two lumps; one was the Thymus Gland which was a tumor and the other was a Lymph Node and showed that I have Hodgkin’s Lymphoma Nodular Sclerosis in short - Cancer of the Lymphatic System.” As I spoke I undid my buttons to my top and peeled off the Hugh dressing over my  major operation scar. “Look at this battle scar; you can see the 54 external  stitches are still in, from my diaphragm to my pubic bone. I had a Staging  Laparotomy and Splenectomy with biopsy of everything to see how far the Cancer  has spread before they can prescribe treatment.

By now I could see Mrs Trichardt had  seen enough to believe me. She started to open up. “You know I am born again, I  have a relationship with Jesus and know where I am going when I die? And you  also know that I was born with polio. And as you know I am 92 and know my time  is nearly up. My problem that is depressing me seems to be a selfish vein  request from God and I am not sure if I should even ask Him. I would like  to have normal legs before I leave my body. You know to us women our legs  are what attract men. Well, I never knew what normal felt like and that is all I  would like. Do you think I am vein or that this request is too selfish?”

“No, I do not think that at all. Jesus  said that we can ask anything in His Name[2]and  the reason we do not receive is because we do not ask[3].“Would you like to hear the beginning of  my Cancer Story? I will tell you.”

“Please do, I have often wondered what  you are really doing here besides being my personal nurse in your pajamas? ”

Often I had picked Mrs Trichardt up and  put her in her wheel chair and taken her to the bathroom where I bathed her,  dried her, powdered her and dressed her and returned her to the safety of her  bed. I was actually a nurse at Entabeni Hospital and now was a patient in  Addington Hospital. 

“January 1980, straight from school I  went to train at Entabeni Hospital on Durban’s South Ridge. February the next  year, I had my first leave and I went to a Christian Guest Farm called Lincoln  Haven in KwaZulu Midlands, where I went to Chapel every day. One specific day  when I was quiet depressed, I pulled out a scripture from their Daily Bread Box  that read: “Those that sow in tears shall reap with joy.[4]”  

Little did I know what my future held but looking back, I know God was with me  and encouraged me all the way? While on holiday, I was called to come  back to work to re-write my first year finals. I returned feeling very tired  wishing that my leave could be longer.

At Addington Hospital, I started writing  the next Monday, but by the Wednesday the pain became evident – a dumb period  pain started in my feet and crept up my legs was worse in my groin and up  through my body until it reached my head. That night I could not sleep.  

Thursday, I had to go and stand in the long queue at Entabeni Hospital to  receive my salary. Standing behind was Sister Ziggy to whom I asked where she  stayed. She told me in Maze Road, just below Entabeni. I asked where about in  Hunt Road which was a way away and she repeated herself, explaining: “NOT Hunt  Road but Maze Road.” as she wrote it on a piece of paper.

Suddenly, I recognized  that I WAS SERIOUSLY ILL as I WAS CONFUSED. I felt like I heard HUNT and not  Maze Road. 

Friday, diarrhea started. I pinched all  the way to Addington Hospital on the bus. As I did not want the invigilators to  stand outside the toilet listening to my thundering waterfall I handed my paper  in after 1 of the 3 hour paper. Again, I pinched all the way home. I was pushing  fluids and had started feeling weak by the time I reached my sister and her  husbands flat in Windermere Center, in Morningside a suburb of Durban, KwaZulu  Natal. I bought myself a Wimpy Burger and force myself to eat, before putting my  feet up against the wall and tried to sleep. The pain was so bad in my head that  I felt like it was about to burst so I was trying to get my blood to run towards  my head. 

“Wake up, let’s go swimming at Sutton  Park?” Cherryl, my sister asked me when she got home. I agreed and we went. When  I stood in the water and as the water line stopped at my collar bones Cherryl  told me that she could see two lumps on my neck and she suggested that I go look  in the mirror in the clock room which I did. 

Quiet excited I began to tell her what I  thought. I had watched 18 people take their last breath the first year I nursed,  so I had become familiar with symptoms of diseases and death . I also knew a lot  of scripture which built my faith in Jesus. The more I talked telling Cherryl  what I thought, the more her eyes enlarged as she seemed to be going  into a panic: “Well, the lump below the thyroid I am not sure about but  according to the Anatomy I wrote the other day the lump on the side of my neck  is a Lymph Node or Gland and as it is not sore it indicates that I most probably  have Hodgkin’s’ Disease.”

I could see that she did not really understanding and being  Catholics I explained further. “Just like a rosary with beads these glands  ramify the body in the Lymphatic System, something like the Blood System that  runs all over the body.” 

Still speechless, I tried to reassure  her[5]. “Don’t worry, I know Jesus loves me and now the world will know because I  know He will heal me."[6]

From this moment, I started going through what I would explain as a black-out  where I seemed to communicate or look normal yet at times my mind was not there  and I do not remember spaces in time. Although I did not fall over in a faint  for moments or long periods of time even though I walked and maybe spoke I am not  sure my memory had any recollection of how I got to a place or what could have  been said or done to me. My next recollection was José Carlos; Cherryl’s  husband fetched us from the pool.

I think we went home to their place and then  they took me to my Mother’s place, in a flat in Mac Arthur Street in the city  center of Durban. I came around standing looking at my very blood-shot eyes in a  mirror when I over heard them saying that José and Cherryl were going to take me  to Addington Hospital Out-Patients.

I guess we were there a long time waiting for me to be seen but I only recall about 15 doctors around me all discussing  what they thought in a very low tone. They had all has a turn to stand behind me  and asked me to swallow while they felt the lump under my thyroid and then they had to move the lump or rather the swollen lymph node asking me if it hurt and  it was painless. The pain and fever in my body was indescribable though. 

“We need to admit you as it looks like  your thyroid is swollen.” The head surgeon started and I interrupted.  

“Sorry, you do not have to try cover up,  I am a nurse at Entabeni and had just written my First year Finals and I know I  have Hodgkin’s disease, Cancer of the Lymphatic System.” I insisted that I knew the truth. I could see that they were surprised  that I could even guess their suspicions but he tried to reassure me that they could not even say such a thing until they had laboratory proof. So he suggested  that I get Entabeni Hospital Matron’s permission for me to be admitted into  Addington Hospital under observation before that could diagnosis me correctly  and treat me if necessary. They sent me home without even pain killers. Saturday came and went and I am not sure  what happened on Sunday as well.

Sunday night, I remembered. Fish, Ziggy’s husband Graham, who we called Fish as was a Fisherman for Jesus. He fetched me to go do the Addington Chapel Service before we went to Invisible Church then  situated in Brickhill Road. Just before we went into the Chapel, Fish told me  that I should up for prayer when he called Patients up for prayer. I went up.  Although my body and mainly my head was in pain; Fish laid his hands on my neck  and prayed.

While he prayed, I prayed to God: “Lord, if you do it, you do or You  don’t, it’s okay because I am so sore I don’t know how to believe.” I don’t remember anymore of that day. I  do know I took nothing for pain.

I went to bed in pain and woke up … with … NO  PAIN.

I had no pain. “Thank You, Lord. But am I healed from  the Cancer Pain or the Cancer?” I asked God.

“Maybe, I could ask Fish and he could  pray for you?” I suggested to Mrs Trichardt   who was looking more hopeful. “Yes,” Mrs Trichardt sounded a little excited. 

While she answered I heard in my  conscious: “IT IS NOT THE PERSON PRAYING, IT IS JESUS!” So I said, “You know, it is not the  person praying, it is Jesus who heals.” 

Mrs Trichardt seemed to try sit up in  her bed as she said, “That means you could pray for me?” I had never seen or heard of a miracle in my day except my being healed of the Cancer Pain nor had I prayed for anyone’s healing before. But I believed the Bible without a doubt. I started feeling the beating of my pulse in my throat just thinking that God could do a  miracle through my praying[7]

“Yes. I will pray for you. First, we  need to close the door as the Bible tells us to pray behind closed doors and  what we pray in secret God will reward us openly."[8]

I closed her door as I spoke. “Then, we need to pray in agreement as there is  power in unity[9].  

When I pray, I need to pray believing we have received even before we have  received it[10] and give God all the Glory as we expect a miracle.[11]

And I need to lay my hands on the area that needs healing."[12]

“Okay,” Mrs Trichardt said as if to give me total reign to do whatever I think I need to do.

By now, I had pulled her  blankets off her legs. As I did this, my hands heated up, they seemed to have  the same sensation as our ears get when they feel red hot and the saying goes:  “someone is talking about you.” I knew GOD HAD ANOINTED ME to pray for the  sick[13] and this was my first experience.  

“Heaven Father, thank You for Your Word[14] that tells us that it is by the stripes of Jesus that Mrs Trichardt has been  healed[15]. We thank You that the reason Mrs Trichardt had polio from birth was because You wanted to heal her and be Glorified[16].  We are in agreement and believe without a doubt[17] that You can and want to heal Mrs Trichard’s legs of polio. So we pray in Jesus’ Name and ask You to touch Mrs Trichard's legs and make them normal to  the Glory of You Our God and Our Heavenly Father[18].  We thank You right for healing them and believe You have already done it[19].  Thank You Lord. Amen.” 

I opened my eyes to see, Mrs Trichardt,  smiling. “I suppose I can now leave you to enjoy  your sleep,” I smiled back feeling satisfied.

“I guess we both better get some  sleep now. Good night.” 

“Thank you for praying, I feel much better emotionally now, Good night Dear.” 

I left her private ward and headed for bed myself. 

3 am the next morning the night nurse  woke me up and told that Mrs Trichardt wanted to see me. As I put my gown and slippers on, I told  the Lord, “I suppose she thinks I am a priest and she needs the last rights?” I had no idea what awaited me. 

I sheepishly opened her door slowly and  quietly and peered around the door. 

“Come in and close the door.” Mrs  Trichardt was sitting straight up in bed with a glow on her face that radiated such joy, she looked surprisingly beautiful. “I want to show you what Jesus did  while we were sleeping,” she said as she threw her heavy blankets right off the  bottom of her bed. 

I could not believe my eyes; I started  to tremble with fear. I was petrified. I never understood the fear of the Lord  before[20].  It was the first time I had seen God do a visible miracle in my life. And He did  it through my prayer[21].  

I could not contain myself. My tears just flowed down my cheeks as I rushed to  take her hands and said, “We bet … ter thank God right now.”

I took her hands and closed my eyes and thanked the Lord aloud for healing Mrs Trichardt and gave Him all the glory  as we cried as we both knew He did it.

As I said Amen, I heard in my conscious, “FAITH IS NOT JUST BELIEVING – IT IS EXPECTING!” 

Two days later, Mrs Trichardt’s sister  brought me one of Mrs Trichardt’s bouquets of flowers and told me that Mrs Trichardt wanted me to have them, when she passed on to be with Jesus, to say  thank you for praying for her as her last days were the happiest of her life.

   Proverbs 17:22a
[2]   John 14:14    
[3]   James 4:3
[4]   Psalm 126:5
[5]   John 3:16
[6]   Proverbs 3:5&6 and Proverbs 18:21a
[7]   Mark 16:17&18
[8]    Matthew 6:6
[9]    I Corinthians 5:4
[10]  Mark 12:11:22-24
[11]  Matthew 21:18-22
[12]  Matthew 8:3
[13]  Matthew 10:6-8
[14]  Psalm 107:20
[15]  I Peter 2:24 and Isaiah 53:5b
[16]  John 9:1-3
[17]  James 1:6
[18]  John 11:4
[19]  Hebrews 11:1 & 6
[20]  Proverbs 3:7
[21]  Acts 6:8


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