Thanks to everyone who has been praying for Luke and asking about his condition. As usual, he is tired and has lots of aches, but otherwise he is feeling pretty good. Luke has had a ton of visitors in the past few weeks, which he has loved, and he has been refining his video gaming and card playing skills. Some other updates:
1) Luke's medical team is moving forward with treatment. The trial he is participating in at DeVos has kids from all over the world involved, with the goal of using specific DNA and RNA testing of tumors to produce better outcomes. The first step was the biopsy on Luke's tumor, which was a success. They were able to get clean and usable samples, and determine (as expected) that the tumor is comprised of metastasized alveolar rhabdomyosarcoma, the original type of cancer from Luke's calf. The samples have been sent to a lab in Arizona for specific DNA and RNA testing. The world of pediatric oncology is very small, since it is relatively rare for kids to get cancer, which means that the children's hospitals around the country share all of their information and treatment strategies with one another. Once Luke's tumor markers have been determined, his Doctor will lead a national tumor board discussion to determine the best treatment strategy for his specific tumor. We will find out what that protocol is during the first week of March.
2) In the meantime, Luke is taking oral chemotherapy each night to hopefully reduce or stunt the cancer in his body until the trial begins. Luke is glad this treatment is done at home, and he is thankful the pills are pretty small, but it's still chemo and that makes him feel lousy.
3) Luke has continued with his good work at Mason High School, with the goal of finishing his 2nd trimester classes. He has worked hard, and even though he has missed a ton of time he is on track to complete the work necessary in all of his classes. We are proud of his determination.
4) Laura's friend Rhonda took Luke (see photos!) out for his first driving lessons! Luke's parents are both outstanding drivers, so we expect him to be very successful behind the wheel :)
5) Luke is in the application process to be on Work Crew at TimberWolf Lake for a month this summer. This has been a dream of Luke's for a long time, and it looks like we'll be able to make it happen. He is very excited to be able to serve in community and help a bunch of kids be able to hear the Gospel.
6) Our oldest son Sam wrote a very cool post about his brother Luke. You can read it here.
Would you keep praying for Luke? We are taking it a day at a time. We don't know what the future holds, but we do know Luke is here with us today, and for that we are grateful. He is so great, so funny, such a huge influence on others. Maybe his time here on this earth is short, or maybe it's not, we really don't know. All he can do is honor God and serve others today, knowing that it's up to God to determine the timing and results of everything in his life.
Of course, that's pretty much true for all of us, isn't it.
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)