Lot's going on with Luke. He is back at school full time, and marching with the band at home football games. He has a new prosthetic leg, and continues to work hard on his mobility with his Physical Therapist. He has been receiving some different chemo drugs, ones that won't inflame his lung any further. The steroid he has been taking has eliminated his cough, but also caused him to be moody and sweaty all the time. And...he will begin another round of radiation on Monday, which will hopefully eliminate the final traces of his cancer from his body.
Lot's going on with Luke!
1) Luke will be weaned off the steroid over the next month. Pray that the moodiness and other side effects to go away, and for the inflammation in his lung to be completely healed.
2) No side effects from the radiation to his sacrum. The spot is pretty small, so they'll be able to focus pretty well and we're praying there won't be residual damage.
3) No evidence of cancer in his body once the radiation treatments are complete.
4) No return of cancer to his body ever. None. Ever.
5) Acceleration of progress in terms of movement on his new leg.
6) Rest, grace, and patience for our entire family. It's so hard, we are so tired.
1) Speedway gas cards. We will be driving to and from Grand Rapids every day after school for 28 consecutive weekdays. Luke also requested Fazoli's and Jersey Giant cards so we can grab dinner for him on our way home each night.
2) You can sign up here to bring us a meal.
3) If you'd like to ride with us to and from Grand Rapids, please contact me (not Laura!) directly with any dates you might be available. No guarantees! We'll be leaving Lansing each weekday between September 19th and October 26th at around 3:30 and back home at around 6:30.
4) Luke might need some tutoring help on the weekends. He is taking Spanish, Algebra, and U.S. History.
Luke's radiation Doctor is optimistic. The cancer in Luke's lungs responded very well to radiation, and typically that means there should be a good response elsewhere since it's the same type of cancer. If the radiation works and the tumor is gone, Luke would continue with preventative chemo every Thursday for a few months and then (hopefully!) reach the end of his treatments. Luke's condition is guarded, but we are hopeful and praying intently for God to use these treatments to heal him completely.
We are so grateful to all of you, for caring about Luke and praying so tirelessly for our family. Our prayer remains the same. We can't stop, WON'T stop praying for God to heal our boy.
James & Lu
(for Sam, Jay, and Luke)
We are so grateful to the many people who came out to celebrate Luke's 16th birthday. The entire evening was a sorely needed opportunity for all of us to connect, to laugh, to just breathe. It was truly a gift. Your generosity made a huge impact on the P.O.R.T (Pediatric Oncology Resource Team) folks over at DeVos. Last week we delivered over $4,000 in cash and gift cards, and over 1,000 individual gift items to help kids and families who are struggling through life with cancer. They were absolutely blown away. Thank you.
For those who were unable to attend, click here (click the settings icon in lower right corner to slow down the slideshow!) for a quick snapshot of those who attended. We've also included some of our favorite photos below.
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)
Today we met with Luke's Doctor to discuss the results of his recent scans. She told me in the hallway that "this will be a good report," and it was. Luke's June scan showed some new activity in his sacrum bone, so the fear was that 12 weeks later we might see growth and progression. Instead, the spot on Luke's sacrum is a bit smaller and dimmer than it was in June. His condition is stable, with some improvement. Luke Doctor was very encouraged by this, and would like to now address that spot in his sacrum with some radiation as well. The spot on Luke's sacrum is the only cancer that is showing up anywhere in his entire body on the scans. That's an amazing miracle! The tumors in his lungs and liver are no longer visible. There is no new growth anywhere. We are praying that God will use these upcoming treatments to completely wipe the cancer from Luke's body, never to return.
There was one issue of concern from this round of scans. The PET scan showed some irritation in one of his lungs, caused by his recent radiation treatments. Luke has struggled recently with a nagging cough, and we now know why. Luke's Doctor prescribed him a steroid to help heal his lung, and wants to try some different chemo drugs that don't affect the lungs. He will still have outpatient treatments once a week on Thursdays and will have the radiation simultaneously for a few weeks as well.
We are grateful for the hopeful news, and at the same time it can be difficult because we don't want to build up hope and then have things turn against us. We are SO thankful and relieved, and yet still fearful and troubled by the unknown. We would love to have more certainty an firm end date to all this treatment, but...we don't. We are trusting God. It's very hard.
I included a photo of Luke and his close friends Brittany and Lauren, two of the many people who pray faithfully for Luke and are such an encouragement to our family. We are incredibly thankful and humbled to know that so many people care about Luke and intercede on his behalf. 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)