Whenever Luke checks into the Children's Hospital they attach a wristband that says "fall risk" on it. The whiteboard in his room and the name plate outside of his door will say the same thing. Luke needs to be careful. The combination of Luke missing a leg and the fatigue associated with chemotherapy put Luke at risk for a fall. With his blood counts so often compromised, any bruising or injury resulting from an accident would be a threat to Luke's health.
Two weeks ago, for the first time since his surgery, Luke took a fall. His blood counts were very low from the chemo, and he got dizzy as he was crutching back to his bed and fell forward. It was nothing major, but still very scary. He had a scratch and bruise on his eye, and we just found out from his PET scan on Wednesday that he has a hairline fracture in his wrist. The original XRay had not shown anything, but the PET scan revealed the break. Luke has had difficulty putting weight on his wrist to walk on his crutches, and he has not been able to play his flute or piano. It's a setback, but he is adjusting. He is wearing a brace on his wrist (no cast!), and he has a new attachment on his walker and on his crutches that enable him to move forward with physical therapy.
The primary purpose of the PET scan was to monitor progress with the cancerous tumors in Luke's body. As was true with the January scan, there was no new cancer visible on this PET scan. We are so thankful for God's healing mercies in this, as it shows that for the time being the chemo treatments have halted the cancer that was growing aggressively in Luke's body. At one point early on there were 11 or 12 lesions in Luke's hips, lungs and liver that "lit up" on the PET scans. Spots that "light up" are very likely cancerous. The PET scan on Wednesday showed only three "lit" spots, two in his lungs and one in his hip. The others have dissolved or died. The spot on his liver is no longer visible. Again, we are so thankful for God's healing mercies, and yet we know there is much more healing that needs to happen. The only acceptable number of cancerous spots is zero!
Luke has a longer break before his next chemo treatment begins on March 17th. Once that round of chemo begins Luke will also be undergoing radiation treatments for one of the tumors in his lungs. While chemo addresses any cancer throughout the entire body, radiation enables them to laser focus on a specific tumor. Over a five week period Luke will have around 15 chemotherapy treatments and 25 radiation treatments. The goal, as always, is to completely eradicate the cancer from Luke's body.
Here's how you can pray and help:
1) Pray for minimal side effects from the radiation. Luke will likely experience fatigue, but there are other nasty side effects that are possible (though very uncommon) and we are praying for none of those to appear.
2) Luke, Laura and I would both welcome companions in our daily trips to & from Grand Rapids. Please contact me if you'd like to take a ride with us!
3) Speedway gas cards are a huge blessing. We'll essentially be driving to and from Grand Rapids each day for about 5-6 weeks.
4) Jay starts his senior year on Mason Varsity baseball soon! Pray for him...he is very excited. We also might need help with rides for him to / from practice and games.
5) Our meals are full through March...thank you so much! We will update with the April & May openings soon :)
6) Please pray for continued progress with Luke's physical therapy and prosthetic leg. It's been slow so far, and he would like to be up and around ASAP.
That's a lot! Thank you for reading this. Thank you for caring about Luke. Our prayer remains simple...God heal our boy. We can't stop, WON'T stop praying for God to heal our amazing son Luke! (James 5:14-16)
James & Lu
(for Sam, Jay & Luke)