The past few weeks have been challenging. The most recent round of chemo has hit Luke with more side effects than usual. He has had nausea, dizziness, fatigue, and random pains. Luke missed an entire week of school, which made him anxious about falling behind. In addition, one of Luke's friends from the clinic at DeVos has taken a turn for the worse, which has been hard on our family emotionally.
A few of the moms we've gotten to know at DeVos have created their own word for the fear and nervousness they face every time their child faces diagnostic scans. They call it "scanxiety." We can relate. Luke has CT and PET scans coming up next week, to determine how effective his treatment has been in eliminating the cancer from his body. We have been praying, fretting, hoping, and not sleeping very much, trying to believe truth about God and His grace in our lives.
This journey feels a lot like one of those stairways where every time you go up one floor there's a landing. You climb for a while, you reach a plateau, and then you climb some more. For Luke, the first plateau he needed to reach was to stop the advance of the cancer in his body. When he was first diagnosed, the cancer was fast growing, so treatment was aggressive. After multiple surgeries and several months of chemotherapy, the cancer stopped growing. There has been no new cancer growth in Luke's body for over a year. We keep climbing. The second plateau is our friend "NED," which stands for "No Evidence of Disease." Luke has endured two rounds of radiation and continues to receive chemotherapy, all toward the goal of "No Evidence of Disease." We're hoping and praying that, after 18 months of treatment, the scans next week will show no visible cancer in Luke's body.
We know that being "NED" is not the top of the staircase. Just because you cannot SEE the cancer doesn't mean it's gone. A cancer patient has to be "NED" for five full years before Doctors will pronounce him or her cancer free. They call this "remission." That would be the next plateau. Then, at the top of the staircase, is a cancer free life. We know that's years into the future for Luke. We also know that you can't become cancer free without being in remission, and you can't be in remission without being "NED."
Please consider praying for Luke and for our family this week. Pray for patience and rest. Pray for God's peace in the midst of "scanxiety." Most of all, please pray for all of the cancer to be gone from Luke's body. Zero cancer. That's the goal. Thank you so much for your continuous prayers and encouragement.
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)