There's a lot going on for Luke this week. Tomorrow morning we return to Grand Rapids for another round of chemo, which should end in time for him to be home on Tuesday night. Luke then has his Solo and Ensemble rehearsal on Wednesday night. On Thursday he has physical therapy...he has been working on developing strength and he is learning the new stride with his prosthetic leg. The big day will be Saturday, when Luke performs his Solo and Ensemble pieces in front of the judges.
Of course, all of this could change if low blood counts force another delay in Luke's chemo. As always, we are prepared to adjust and shuffle so Luke can continue his treatments. Here are a few specific prayer requests:
1) For Luke to experience God's peace. He can often feel overwhelmed, and we want him to have the freedom to rest when he needs to and to progress at his own pace with school and physical therapy.
2) For Laura (and me, for that matter) to find rest and health. Our lives are so random and chaotic, it's difficult to find any rhythm, and we both can get exhausted. We've gotten so much help, which has honestly been life saving for us. We are so grateful. We need God's help.
3) For Luke's recital. He is so talented, and eager to do well, and we are praying for him to feel healthy as he performs on his flute and his piano.
We are also looking for some recommendations for someone who can come and add some railings to the stairways outside of our house. Right now it is very difficult for Luke to navigate stairs when there is no railing, and we want to get that corrected soon.
Luke's Doctors are encouraged by his progress. We pray for this trajectory to continue until Luke is completely cancer free. He has a long way to go. It's so hard, but we are grateful to God for His mercies so far. Our prayer remains simple. We can't stop, WON'T stop praying for God to heal our boy. (James 5:14-16)
James & Lu,
(for Sam, Jay & Luke)
The past two weeks have been relatively uneventful for Luke. He was scheduled for a lengthy round of chemotherapy last week, but his blood counts had not yet recovered enough for him to resume treatments. This is a very common occurrence for chemo patients. So, last Monday Luke was given blood and injections to help improve his blood counts, and he happily spent the remainder of the week at home. When they tested his blood later in the week his levels had returned to normal. He is scheduled to be admitted to the clinic for five days of inpatient treatment beginning on Tuesday. In addition, tomorrow (Monday) Luke will receive his prosthetic leg, He is excited about this, and also preparing himself mentally for the physical therapy grind that he is facing. He will begin his P.T. while he's in the hospital this week.
A few specific prayers:
1) Physical and emotional strength for Luke during this lengthy run of chemo.
2) Endurance as Luke learns a new way to walk. This is a hard process.
3) Luke is participating in a Solo & Ensemble competition in early February, and has been practicing his flute and piano to prepare for this event.
Our family continues to be so thankful for the consistent prayers and support we're receiving from so many people. One of the cool connections we've made is with Thomas, who founded a ministry called "Faith in Deeds" that aims to disciple orphans in a very poor community in India. Thomas himself has an amazing story (you can read about it here) and has faced a ton of adversity, and he's been an encouragement to Luke. I've attached a picture of the greeting he sent Luke from the FID children's home over the weekend.
Can't stop, WON'T stop praying for God to heal our boy. (James 5:14-16)
James & Lu,
(for Sam, Jay & Luke)
In the past week there have been two encouraging developments regarding Luke's condition. Today Luke had a PET scan, to compare with the one he had in late August in order to evaluate the effectiveness of the chemotherapy treatments he has received. We spoke with his Doctor this afternoon, and she was "very pleased" with the results, and she also said that there was "more work to be done." Today's scan showed no new cancerous growths in Luke's body, as well as significant shrinkage in several of the lesions that had been present on the first scan. There are also several spots that are clearly visible on the first scan that cannot be seen at all on the scan they did today. We are so thankful for this progress, and praying earnestly that God's mercies will be great in healing Luke's body completely from this cancer.
The other bit of encouraging news is that Luke is moving forward with the process of being fitted for his prosthetic leg. Last Thursday he walked on his prototype for the first time. It was the first time we'd seen Luke stand up straight since his surgery in early September. He's getting tall! His team is hoping that he'll have his own leg and begin physical therapy to learn his new stride by the end of January. Luke has a great deal of hard work ahead, but recently he has been feeling strong enough physically to be able to handle the challenge.
A few specific prayer requests:
1) Luke would very much like to participate playing his flute and piano in the Solo and Ensemble District competition on February 3,4 & 6. Pray for his chemo schedule to be clear on those dates, and for his new leg to be ready so he can walk into the auditorium with his head held high. He does not want to be there in a wheelchair!
2) There is one spot on the PET scan that is presenting differently than the others, and Luke's Doctor is going to order a different scan next week so they can pinpoint exactly what it is. His Doctor is not overly concerned about it at this time, and she thinks the chemo will be able to address it, but she wants to take a closer look to make sure no additional course of action is needed.
3) This has been a tough couple of weeks for Laura, as she remembers her mom passing away just two years ago in December. Laura is such a fiercely devoted mom to all of our boys. Pray for Laura to be able to pursue physical, emotional and spiritual health as we endure the long grind that Luke's treatment involves.
Most of all, as always, we can't stop, WON'T stop praying, for God to heal our boy. (James 5:14-16)
James & Lu
(for Sam, Jay & Luke)