The results from Luke's recent scans were not what we hoped for. There is still evidence of cancer in Luke's body. The spot on his sacrum remains, and a few other small spots have popped up on the scans as well. This is very troubling, because the Docs have already thrown their best punches. Luke has had four surgeries, 50+ days of focused radiation, and 18 months of chemotherapy treatments, and yet the cancer persists. His Doc is "virtually certain" that this cancer will eventually take Luke's life.
This is not a huge surprise. From the beginning, Luke's prognosis has been very guarded, because this type of cancer is very aggressive and it had already spread throughout Luke's body. Most kids with similar diagnoses do not survive past five years. At the same time, we are just heartbroken for our son, for our family, and for our friends. Luke is a talented and clever young man who seeks to honor God with his life, and his influence on others is tremendous. We expect that to continue, and yet there just aren't words to describe how we are feeling as we face the thought of losing him.
So...what now? Please keep praying. I guess maybe we should pray even harder, if that's possible?!? Long odds do not bother God. He is not surprised by this. He is not scrambling for a backup plan. He is trustworthy, and He is in complete control. Luke's Doc has no timeline for what will happen next, and Luke's overall health is pretty good right now. The amount of cancer in his body is very small right now, and he has been off chemo for a few weeks, so he doesn't really have too many symptoms these days. He has spent the weekend with his friends, laughing and playing video games and telling stories just like any 16 year old kid would do. He said it's the "best weekend after bad news" he could have imagined. Luke told me this morning that he doesn't want people to avoid him or be awkward around him. He wants everyone to feel free to approach him and talk and ask questions or whatever. Please let me know if you want to come hang out with Luke. He would love that!!
There is a clinical trial at DeVos that Luke has decided to participate in which has some promise. His Doc doubts that it would cure Luke's cancer, but the meds involved are ones that Luke has not had yet, and they've had success in stopping or slowing the growth of Luke's type of cancer with this treatment regimen. They are going to biopsy his tumor on Wednesday, so they can study the cancer and determine its exact markers, and then develop a treatment plan specifically tailored to Luke's specific cancer. We will pray boldly that the next time they scan Luke his Doc will be amazed and speechless because of the miraculous disappearance of any signs of cancer from Luke's body. We also need prayer for peace, patience, healing, and trust in God for our entire family. We are truly exhausted, and we need God to sustain us.
Our prayer, as always, remains the same. We can't stop, WON'T stop praying for God to heal our boy. WILL. NOT. STOP. PRAYING. (James 5:14-16)
James & Lu
(for Sam, Jay, & Luke)