(note: Laura and I have been friends with Matt and Stacy Santen since High School. On Wednesday, as we were responding to Luke's health issues, I sent texts to Matt and Laura sent emails to Stacy with prayer concerns. Matt compiled those into the following update from West Virginia, which was edited with more details)
We continue to need your prayers. The pain in Luke’s stomach turned out to be much more serious than anyone had previously thought. Early Thursday morning he had another surgery to relieve an obstruction in his bowel, which was being caused by a tumor the size of a walnut. This appears to be the cancer spreading more rapidly that expected. The surgery was a success. The doctors examined the remainder of his intestinal tract, and found it to be healthy and without tumors. Luke's stomach pain is gone, and he is recovering. He is miserable because he has a tube running through his nose and down his throat, and he just wants to go home. We all just want to go home. Ugh.
This has been a difficult setback for all of us, and yet the oncology team remains very optimistic that the chemotherapy regiment will cause the cancer to run and hide. We have always known that the cancer inside of Luke is aggressive, but to see it up close is so scary. Our emotions range from anger to frustration to hope to confusion. We ask that you would pray without ceasing for Luke, specifically:
1) His digestive system to activate so he can have the tube out of his nose tonight!
2) Healing from the bowel surgery so he can begin chemotherapy right away. The goal is Wednesday.
3) His leg is healing REALLY well. Bless God for no infection there. Thankful :)
4) For Jay and Sam, who are away from their parents and very concerned for their brother.
5) For Laura and I. We just love Luke so much, and our hearts ache to see him in pain.
6) Ultimately, for the cancer to GO AWAY, and STAY AWAY from our son's body.
7) Thankful for my Mom & Dad, and for Jackie, Mark, Bruce & Sue, Blake, Eric & Joanie, Marcie, and countless others who have prayed for us and served us so well over the past few days. Bless God for providing comfort through His people.
We are so proud of Luke. He is a tough minded young man with a deep faith in Jesus. We are learning from his example as we watch him suffer through one trial after another.
Can't stop praying, WON'T stop praying, for God to heal our boy. (James 5:14-16)
James & Lu
(for Sam, Jay & Luke)