Happy 17th birthday to my baby boy. This kid has been through so much, and he is, in his own words, "basically always happy." Luke, you amaze me every day with your strength, smarts, smile, positive outlook, inquisitive mind, kind heart and so much more. I know you don't think you're particularly brave or strong but you really are. I'm so blessed to be your mom and I'm beyond grateful that you get to turn 17. [...]
Luke and I celebrated our birthdays (Feb 8 and 12) early last night with Paul at Luke's current favorite restaurant Lula Cafe. Luke wanted to be able to fully enjoy his birthday meal before getting braces today, and he sure did! I love enjoying food with that kid (and just watching him enjoy food). [...]
6 days until our ride, 5 days until Luke gets to turn 17. One last push to see if anyone wants to ride with us at Cycle for Survival Chicago - registration closes tonight. I'll still be pushing for donations, but this is the last time I'll be bugging you to sign up :). Here's the link to sign up or donate. The pw to join the team is luke.[...]
I had planned to post the video of Luke's teacher's fabulous speech for his Titan Pride Award. I'll post it soon, but it doesn't feel right to post it right now. If you're in the Luke Strikes Back facebook group, you've probably already seen the video as well as this post. [...]
Luke won a Titan Pride Award at school this morning. It was a very special morning -- more on that in another post.
There’s a special fundraising challenge happening now, and I could win a $10,000 donation if a lot of people donate to my Cycle for Survival ride between now and Feb 5. Any amount makes a difference - even $5! Multiple donations from the same donor (during this time frame) will only count once. Thanks in advance for your support in the fight against rare cancers.[...]
My little guy finished finals on Thursday and rocked his first semester of junior year! I dropped him off at O’Hare early Friday morning for his first solo flight to see his friend Jean and Uncle Mike and Patti in Florida. Paul was supposed to go with him, but he was hit with SSNHL (sudden sensorineural hearing loss) in one ear and didn’t want to mess with the timing of the injections that might help save his hearing. Called the airline to see if I could go with Luke instead - sure ma’am, that will be $387. Rats! That’s more than Paul and Luke’s flights combined, so Luke went on his own and has been having a great time. I'm so happy he got to go, but I'm really looking forward to seeing him tonight! [...]
Luke hit another milestone on Friday with his port removal surgery. His port served him very well for 3 years, 4 months and 17 days. I like to think it helped other kids too, because he was always quick to offer to let nurses in training practice on him. The procedure went well, and he’s been pretty comfortable aside from some side effects from the anesthesia. [...]
Luke had his end of treatment CT (chest, abdomen and pelvis) and MRI (left foot) on Saturday. I'm very thankful and very relieved to report that they were clear! We typically get results on the next business day, but didn't hear anything until late afternoon on Tuesday. My mind was all over the place coming up with good, bad and neutral reasons for the delay. It turned out all I needed to do to get the phone call to come was to get into the shower that afternoon. [...]
Luke will have his last maintenance chemo infusion this afternoon. His end of treatment scans are scheduled for Saturday.
We are so very lucky, so very grateful that he's made it this far. So many others with his diagnosis haven't. So many others got just a fraction of the time that Luke has gotten. I fell down a rabbit hole reading my old posts the other day. He's come so far.[...]
Aside from a stress fracture in his right tibia, Luke is doing really well. Pain in his tibia right near one of his radiation sites struck fear in my heart, but an MRI showed “just” a stress fracture and ruled out anything more sinister. He hasn't run in about 5 weeks, and it'll probably be about another 5 until he's cleared to run again.[...]