Happy 18th birthday to my kind-hearted, optimistic, appreciative, thoughtful, forgiving, remarkable little boy. He truly never fails to find the bright side.
It’s hard to believe that he’s 18, not only in the regular sense of "omg my baby is 18" or "wow, I'm now the parent of 3 official adults," but also in the sense of "I can't believe he gets to turn 18." Of course I know it would be much harder to believe if he wasn't here to turn 18, and I think about kids who didn't get to be just about every age every day.
Luke's first MRI was 4.5 years ago, and we first heard the word sarcoma in reference to our little guy the next morning. Shortly after that, we learned he had stage 4 fusion positive alveolar rhabdomyosarcoma. I was looking over some of his scholarship applications with him last week and read this in one of his essays: "In a study I read just after learning that I had metastatic disease, I discovered that there is a 3 year survival rate of 5% for patients with my risk factors and mean overall survival of 22 months." We are so very fortunate. (He is and always has been a knowledge seeker. As much as I would have loved to have sheltered him, it would have been worse for him to have been kept in the dark.)
His only want for his birthday was good food, both homemade and hopefully at a restaurant or two sometime soon. We were looking at places with individual greenhouses, but it's just too cold for that this week. For dinner tonight, I made a mushroom and leek galette (a Cook's Illustrated recipe that he loves) and his favorite healthy-ish carrot cake for dessert. We're open to suggestions for places that are yummy and feel extra safe indoors!