Back to the grind. Our dear son Luke has been in Grand Rapids every day this week. He had chemo and radiation on Monday, and then only radiation for the rest of the week. Plus physical therapy. And schoolwork. We continue to seek the Lord and His people for strength. So many of you continue to offer help, and to ask how you can best serve our family. Here's an update:
1) Just three more radiation treatments to go! Luke's throat has been sore, and swallowing has been difficult. Pray that it quickly returns to normal after radiation is over.
2) The docs will scan Luke again in late April. We are praying for no evidence of cancer remaining in Luke's chest. Zero tumors, zero cancer.
3) Luke would like to be walking on his prosthetic with a cane by June 1st. Pray for perseverance, and for him to feel well enough to continue with the needed physical therapy.
4) Jay is entering the last month of his senior year at Mason High School. Pray for his last weeks of school and baseball to be amazing.
5) Please pray for rest for our entire family.
1) The meals have been a life saver. Most of our May meal slots are open. You can sign up here.
2) Luke will be home a bit more, with radiation ending. Please contact me if you'd like to come for a visit.
3) Laura and I are looking to get away for a night or two, now that Luke will be home a little bit more. Please contact me if you'd like to come hang out with the Granger boys for a night.
We press on, eyes forward. The chemo continues, the challenges are many but our prayer remains the same. We can't stop, WON'T stop praying for God to heal our boy. (James 5:14-16)
James & Lu
(for Sam, Jay, & Luke)
In this blog post I was planning to post all of the pictures of friends wearing yellow for Luke, but I'm only able to include a few because there are just far to many. Instead, I've compiled some fun statistics on the "Luke is halfway through his chemo so wear yellow to encourage him" Sunday. Here they are:
•Number of photos posted: 139
•Number of people in photos: 397
•Number of babies in photos: 36
•Number of dogs in photos: 5
•First photo: Rio Vale
•Last photo: Susie Disselkoen
•Celebrity submission: Jordan Spieth
•Youngest person pictured: Oliver Kelsey (4 days old)
•Oldest person pictured: No comment
•Most distant photo submissions: Singapore (two of these!), Capetown, Spain, and Ecuador
We also had three yellow mugs, two yellow flowers, a bunch of Kroger workers in yellow shirts, a yellow house, an earring, a sock, a truck, a duck, and Sara Kells' weird photo. We received submissions from Cleveland, Vermont, New Jersey, Cincinnati, Nashville, Indy, Virginia, New Orleans, Wisconsin, Boston, Missouri, Chicago, Colorado, West Virginia, Florida, Texas, Oklahoma, and New York.
Thank you. Seriously. We are blessed. Luke is encouraged, and he needs it. This is another full week of radiation and chemotherapy. Long days, tired body. We continue to pray for zero tumors in Luke's chest by the end of April, once he's completed radiation.
Can't stop, WON'T stop praying for God to heal our boy. (James 5:14-16)
James & Lu
(for Sam, Jay & Luke)
The Masters golf tournament is my favorite sporting event. Tonight the Golf Channel aired a one hour documentary called "'86," the story of Jack Nicklaus winning the Masters in 1986 at the age of 46. I remember watching that tournament, and I've seen replays and highlights throughout the years, but the documentary told stories I'd never heard before.
The Pastor of the church that Jack Nicklaus' wife Barbara attended had a son named Craig Smith who was diagnosed with Ewing's sarcoma at age 11. Jack Nicklaus formed a friendship with the boy. Craig loved to watch Jack play golf on TV, and he told Jack that he always wore his lucky yellow shirt when he was watching. Jack Nicklaus began wearing a yellow shirt or sweather every Sunday final round as a way of saying "hi" to his buddy Craig Smith. After Craig passed away in 1971 at the age of 13, Nicklaus didn't wear yellow as often. On the morning of the final round for the 1986 Masters, he was reminded of his old friend Craig and wore a yellow shirt so he would remember to keep Craig in his thoughts during the day. I never knew that.
Luke has reached the mid point of his cancer treatments. He has completed 44 rounds of chemo, out of 87 total. He has also completed 14 radiation treatments on the tumor in his lung, our of 28 total. Halfway there. Such a long ordeal. So many people praying for Luke. Our specific prayer is that, by God's mercy, at the end of April when radiation is complete there will be no sign of cancer anywhere in Luke's chest. Zero tumors. That's our prayer.
Luke's favorite color has always been yellow, which is also a color frequently associated with cancer awareness. Many of you have already worn yellow shirts and scarves and pants and buttons as a way of saying "hi" to Luke, and to remember to pray for him. As we cross the midpoint in Luke's treatment, Luke is tired, and can feel defeated. Because he needs encouragement, I want to encourage everyone to again wear something yellow this Sunday, April 10th. If you get a chance, snap a selfie and send it to me or to Laura, or post it in the Facebook comments under this blog post. As always, your prayers and encouragement mean everything in the midst of this difficult battle.
Our prayer remains the same. We can't stop, WON'T stop praying for God to heal our boy.
James & Lu
(for Sam, Jay & Luke)