One year ago today I woke up with two voicemails on my phone from the MSU Sports Medicine Clinic, urging me to call them as soon as possible. Not good, I thought, Luke probably has a broken foot or a torn achilles. His foot pain had been getting worse all summer, but in spite of multiple visits to various doctors we had no idea what was wrong. I went and found Laura, because I wanted her to know what was going on, and called the number from the message. Immediately we knew this was something far more serious. There was an awkward pause from the woman on the phone, and she went to get the Doctor right away. Never good. Then the Doctor was describing a large tumor in Luke's leg, 10 inches in length, encapsulating the bone and all of the blood vessels and muscles in Luke's calf. Probably cancer. No way of knowing until you get a biopsy. Call DeVos Children's Hospital and set up an appointment immediately.
Humanly speaking, it's been a terrible year. Terrible. Four surgeries. Ten months of chemotherapy. Six weeks of radiation. Countless trips to the hospital, blood draws, scans, visits to the ER, hair loss, medications, and all kinds of other unimaginable things. Luke's body is tired and his soul is weary. All very, very terrible.
Biblically speaking, our hope is in Jesus (I Peter 1:3) because our times are in His hands. (Psalm 31:15) One of the ways we have experienced God's hope through the love of His people. If the number of people praying makes any difference, Luke is going to be fine. Thousands of people are thinking about Luke and asking God to intervene for him. That brings up tremendous hope. So many people have come to visit Luke or have provided food or rides or gift cards or whatever else we might need. That brings us tremendous hope. We are very thankful.
Luke's diagnosis was very serious, but he is not terminally ill. His surgeries removed most of the visible cancer in his body. They've attacked the rest with chemo and radiation treatments, and the scans have been mostly encouraging, showing decrease in both the size of the tumors and the activity level of the cancer. It's very scary and hard, but hope remains.
Here are a few updates / specific ways you can be praying:
1) Tomorrow is Luke's 16th birthday. We're expecting over 300 people for the celebration on Thursday, including Brian Regan!
2) The picture I included is from last summer, before Luke was diagnosed. It captures Luke and Laura perfectly. Please pray for Laura...it is so difficult for a mom to watch her son struggle.
3) Luke will be in the marching band this fall. The first home football game is on August 26th!
4) Luke will be full time back at school this fall, beginning on august 29th!
5) Luke is soon going be upgraded to a new prosthetic leg, one with more technology and power. Pray for quick learning and perseverance as Luke works to figure out his new leg.
6) They will scan Luke again on August 29th. Pray for the cancer to be completely gone from Luke's body. No new cancer, no tumors, everything gone. Pray also for peace for our family as we await the results.
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)