Monday, September 15, 2008

8 down 4 to go

Lara and i made it back to Indiana on Wednesday night the day before chemo. It was a refreshing trip and we can't wait to return to the Grand Canyon again. We arrived back to Crawfordsville to encounter the toughest chemo yet. I would rather not go into detail but it was no fun and I really can't wait to hit the finish line now. If I said I cruised through this round I would be lying. 4 more remaining.
However, I am almost back to 100% and I finally ate a bunch of thai food today and I will be going for a long motorcycle ride with my Uncle Warren tomorrow. We are official Honda Goldwing riders. I may be the youngest Goldwing rider around. I challenge a younger rider to come forward.
I can't say how much the encouraging words on this blog help me out when I feel sick. It really feels as if I am running in a long marathon and you are all cheering me on from the sidelines. We are almost there.
Next Monday I have a PET scan to determine the progress of the treatment. I can almost guarantee that the mass is almost gone because I am working out like normal and running much more with better breath support than ever. I am also considering taking on bicycling as a sport. I have recently been inspired by Lance Armstrong. I have started to shop for a bicycle to take long rides on.
Once we get the results of the PET scan I will blog the info here.
After my Goldwing ride tomorrow Lara and I will be going camping for a couple days at a campground. We want to take in a little more nature before it gets too cold and winter arrives. Thanks again for the encouraging words.......8 down 4 to go! We are almost there!


Jared said...

That's wonderful, Luke! Glad to hear that God is blessing you in this recovery!

Mazakai said...

It gets harder before it gets better, right? But you're one of the strongest people I've known (as much as we can know you through a blog :P), so I know you can do it. You have a ton of support.

I want to ride a motorcycle someday. Have fun! Camping should be great, too. You should make s'mores.

Bike riding should be a good challenge, too. My step-dad loves to do it, and from what I hear, Gary Fisher is a good brand? Haha, but good luck!

Best wishes. :)

Mark Kohl said...

Wow, your journey is so inspiring to me, what you are going through and how you are handling your illness is truely amazing! I am so proud of you for who you are and for what you are going through! Keep living strong and keep fighting the fight! Only four more left now...YOU CAN DO THIS!
Love you, Mark "Your favorite cousin" Kohl

Mark Kohl said...

It is so ironic that you have used the analogy of running a Marathon in your last posting! I have been training to run a marathon of my own for YOU on October 12th... in Chicago! Your name will be on my race day shirt as I will take the challenge to run 26.2 miles for my soon to be cancer FREE cousin that is just an awesome human being! Love you Luke, and I am going to get to the finish line for you on the 12th of October... even if I have to crawl to the finish line!
You will be sprinting to your finish line in just four short treatments away! You rock!

CK from MI said...

Do you realize, that since you talked about your Goldwing on Idol, I look at the riders of any touring bikes I see just to see if I can tell how old they are? LOL.

Bicycle riding is great. In my opinion, riding on paths & trails is much better than dealing with idiot drivers & potholes on roads. (Spoken from experience!) If you're going to do that, I'd recommend getting a hybrid bike that's not as streamlined as a road bike yet not as rugged as a mountain bike.

4 more to go, Luke! We're here and we'll be cheering for you at that finish line. So good to hear that your gym workouts are going so well.

Have fun camping, and we'll send up extra prayers on Monday for your PET scan.

- CK

Mary Jo Solomon-Meyer said...

So good to hear you are getting through. Sorry it's been tough. This really is a sort of marathon and we are all cheering you on. But once you get to the end we will all be ready to cheer you on through your next race. Can't wait to see what the next race is as I'm sure it will be much more pleasant than this one has been! Hang in there...God's blessings to you and your family.

idolette said...

I was just thinking about you earlier today, and wondering when the next blog would pop up. =] So glad to hear that you're recovering from that last round of chemo! But you're well over the hump now, three-quarters of the way there! Your strength through all of this is truly inspiring.

A few of my uncles have motorcycles and frequently ride them. Make sure you wear that pesky helmet, though. =P

Biking is a lot of fun, I just don't have the patience of it on hot days going all uphill from where I am, hehe!

Keeping you in my thoughts, as always!

Nicki said...

Hey Luke,

My name is Nicki and I'm from the Philippines. I just want you to know that some of us over here are thinking of you and hoping for the best.

It's good to know you're making it through, even if not with complete ease.

You can do it Luke. :)

Hope the PET comes out well.

Lots of love,

Melody said...

Luke, I always pray for you in the mornings when I finish my run. Then I head over here to see how you are doing. I wasconcerned that it's been so quie around here lately. I guess now we know why.

I'm so sorry that this round was difficult, but I've always heard that if it's making you sick, it's making the cancer even I guess it's a good sign, but that's no help I'm sure.

Please let us know if there are any specific things you need us to pray for. Chris Sligh's "Something Beautiful" is playing on my iPod right now. It seems to fit.

Praying for you!

Anonymous said...

Luke and Lara,

Sorry to hear this was a rough round, I'll be praying the next one is better. It however such a blessing to hear you staying active and keeping your faith deeply rooted.

If you and Lara are up for getting together, we'd love to have you out for dinner sometime.

-Audra Abney

Carry said...

Hi Luke, thanks for the blog, sorry that your last treatment was rough, but I'm thankful you know God and that he'll help you through the tough times and be there in the good! We fans keep you in prayer and pray that the scan will be good news for you. Take care Luke. Oh, my husband could start a motorcycle shop here, he has 3 that needs fixing and he's been taking one to work lately when we've had decent weather. God bless.

Anonymous said...

Keep the faith Luke!! I know you will get through this and make a full recovery. I think it is so wonderful how you just keep going and have been inspired to do new and exciting things. Have an wonderful time camping and just take in every moment you can. I will continue the support on my end!!

Your friend - kathypinaz

Anonymous said...

STAND STRONG! You can because He is faithful to give you all that is needed.
We're running w/ you all the way to the finish line.
We love you
Chad & Bambi

Karri said...

I hope you have an awesome time bicycling,camping and riding your motorcycle. I am praying for you as you complete these last few chemo treatments. YOU CAN DO IT!!! God Bless.

Nathan & Nicole said...

hey Luke, this one broke my heart! we love you so much.. you and Lara are always in our thoughts and prayers. p.s. i have been listening to "clocks".. it's AMAZING. love you guys. can't wait to see you again. Brodie is excited too. :)

Anonymous said...

hi luke! I'm so glad to hear that everything is going so well for you!! Good luck with a quick knock down of the remaining treatments that you have to do to..
I do have a question for you though....i was reading what you said your symtoms were before you were officially said that you couldn't breath in deep.. did it just hurt really bad or whycouldn't you? I've just been getting worried the past couple of weeks because i have been really fatigued and i have been having issues in between my clavicles to about my xiphoid process on my sternum. It's just been feeling really weird lately. Everyone says that it's just the weather and my sinuses. Do you have any input or advice for me??

Take care and god bless, Luke!

Luke Menard said...

Hey Deslyn05...
This is Luke and I just read your question to me. I am not a doctor but if you have strange feelings in your chest then you should have it checked out by a doctor. I originally had a very tight chest. It was as if someone was pushing on my chest all the time. It also caused severe coughing and shortness of breath. Not real painful...just uncomfortable and tight. I would not hesitate to get a chest xray and tell the doctor all your symptoms and why you want a chest xray. Hope this helps.

Brian and Carrie Saunders said...

So glad you made it back safely. Sorry you are not feeling so well. I just got off of the phone with my daughter who said you drove by and waved at her. She was so excited. She said they made signs to hold up for you to see for the next time. You taking the time to be so kind and thoughtful is truly a blessing to them. Thank you once again and please know that you are in our prayers each and every night!

Anonymous said...

Hi Luke- My son and I are fans of Chapter 6, and you in particular. We were sorry to hear of all you are going through. I am a nurse, and worked on the oncology floor in a hospital for 5 years, so understand what you're going through-- we will pray for you. I am reminded of a Bible verse-- Jeremiah 29:11- "for I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord, plans for good and not disaster, to give you a future and a hope". I pray that as you make it through the next few treatments that God will show you something good that is in your life each day-- God bless-- Renee Zange (and son, Eric (age 14) too!)

Anonymous said...

Luke, your story is inspiring. It's so refreshing to see others call on strength from God during tough times. I'm praying for you! Hang in there!

Anonymous said...

Luke, been on the road, just got to read this, was afraid the last one had been rough. Let us know for sure the dates as they come up so we can shoot up extra prayer support for you. When I've gone through difficult times in my life it's helped me a lot to know that others were out there, helping to carry my load somewhat, lifting my name up to heaven. You can be assured that so many people have you and those you love, in their prayers, every day. hang in there man. when you're in the middle of the adventure story, and you're not the author of the story, it's not always such a comfortable place to be. But ... I know that the story that Somebody is writing, with you as the main character, is a beautiful story, brother. Take care, enjoy the good things about every day. This too shall pass.
Julie, chicago

annie said...

Luke, Great to hear that you're feeling better.

As for road cycling... I encourage you 100% to pick it up. It's a great way to get out and see the surroundings and to meet new people (kinda like your motorcycle, only quieter :) ). And now with Lance Armstrong coming out of retirement to try the Tour again, this will be an exciting time to get sucked into that vortex.

One tip: proper bike fitting.

Hope you and Lara had a great time camping. You guys are in my prayers.
Stay strong!

Anonymous said...

Aw dear Luke, you're so brave... I truly admire you, and I pray for you daily, from here, from Argentina...

Love you! Stay strong, bro....

Libby, from Buenos Aires.

the camp said... should talk to bryce, we bought rode bikes this summer and he rides all the time. there are plenty of cyclist here in town
we love riding.

i am constantly inspired by your honestly and the way you keep trucking.


Anonymous said...

Luke, I just wanted to let you know that you & Lara are in my thoughts and prayers. You have demonstrated such strength of character throughout this process, and God honors that.

You are inspiring so many with your courage! Stay strong, and keep fighting the good fight! Only 4 more to go! My husband & I are keeping you close in prayer.

Peace & Blessings,
Savannah, GA

melliesmom said...

Luke, thanks for the new blog. I've been looking for it, wondering how things were going. I've never known anyone personally who was going through chemo treatments, but I know it has to be really difficult. I'm praying for you every day.

All of the comments about racing brought this verse to mind: Hebrews 12:1-2: “Let us run with patience the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith.” And ... before too long you can say: "I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith." (2 Timothy 4:7) (=

On a different note, here's the last Mavid compilation. Your picture and blog address are on here. Thought you might want to see it:

Luke, when you're at your lowest, don't ever forget: The God of the mountain is still God in the valley!

Anonymous said...

"almost there!"
what a great word to hear!
Luke,you taught me"help"is being helped.

4to go,:) this is your fight,but I am hoping and longing for the day all 12 finish.

twotwo said...

Dear Luke, Hello again. I'm glad that chemo is over and only 4 more rxs remain. You will get through this. I am praying diligently for your full recovery and through all those treatments that knock you through a loop. yes, next Monday is the PET scan and i pray that mass will be all gone!!!!. Please be very careful on your motorcycle, ok. You are an inspiration to me as you go along on this trial of life. I am praying for Lara and all your family and friends, too. Enjoy your camping trip and remember i am standing with you through everything always. All my Love, Prayers, Support, and Success Continually, Your friend, twotwo

Susan said...

Luke, Your right almost to the finish line. Keep up the good fight. We are right behind you cheering you on. Blessings

Korrin Stanek said...

Hi Luke! I've been thinking a ton about you, Lara, and your are all going through so much, but your positive spirit will definitely help you on your road to remission. This blog has been a great way to keep up with your progress, so kudos to you for doing it. Wishing you all the best,


CK from MI said...

Hi Luke. Hope you & Lara enjoyed your camping trip. The nights are getting rather chilly here and the leaves are beginning to change. I've found that fall & winter are when the skies seem to be the clearest for stargazing.

Is your PET scan tomorrow or next Monday? We'll send up extra prayers that it goes well. Hope you're recovered & are feeling better to gather up the strength to tackle Round 9 this week. Whatever happens, we're with you all the way. Not going anywhere!

- CK

keahgirl8 said...

Keep going, Luke! You're almost there! I'm praying for you. God will see you through, every step of the way. He never leaves your side.

Anonymous said...

Today I ran 20 miles for you as I prepare to run the Chicago Marathon on October 12th.


Thinking about going with this design for my race day shirt!
I hope you have a great week Luke!
Your favorite cousin, Mark

Anonymous said...

I apologize that I haven't posted a comment in awhile..Things have just been crazy but I want you to know I continue to pray for you and your family. You are such an inspiration to all of us. This is not an easy battle, yet you are doing it and you are winning!!!! I am so glad you went to the grand canyon (the pics were beautiful), spent time camping and now motorcycling...nothing can stop you!! Hang in there for these last 4 treatments...remember you have tons of people supporting you and you are almost there. I like the saying "If God brings you to it, he will get you through it"...because he will. Take care of yourself and keep us updated-Sincerely- Myty

Anonymous said...

love you, luke! keep up the good fight and know there are lots of people praying for you!
beth, keith, and zoe

Kaitlin said...

Glad you enjoyed your trip.

Lance Armstrong is very inspiring. My dad is a cyclist and he really enjoys it. He goes all over, sometimes riding 40 miles in a day! He is definitely a fan of Lance.

I hope the mass is almost gone!!

Anonymous said...

Luke, just wanted you to know my prayers and thoughts are with you. Chemo sucks. But the days ahead are going to be so much better when this is behind you. Hang in there.