Wednesday, February 10, 2016

PET scan followed by a CT

After a late bedtime last night (12pm), Hank awoke around 6:45 wide eyed and ready for the day. We knew the doctors were pushing for clumping all his scans into one long session, but the MRI machine was in full swing, so we were only able to get Hank on the list for a PET and CT scan. The PET scan was the doctors' main concern in imaging what was going on in Hank's body, so we were thankful there was an available slot earlier in the day. Hank had been cut off from fluids and food at midnight and kids just don't really understand fasting. The PET scan would determine whether there were cancel cells present in the rest of his body, so we anxiously awaited the results once Hank returned to his room. 
Hank did so much better coming off the anesthesia today. As he groggily lay in his recovery bed, Taylor and I asked if he was ready to eat lunch. No response. "Hank are you ready to play the Kindle?" No response. "Hank, do you want to go see bubba?" Hank sleepily nodded his head yes and moaned an answer. Later when we recollected this story in front of Corin, he smiled so proudly that his little brother loved him more than the Kindle. :) Then Corin climbed in to the hospital bed next to Hank and let him pick a show to watch as they snuggled and played their kindles. 
Around 2:30, we went down to a "playroom" where there were crafts and games, toys and new friends. Corin and his Grandpapa played air hockey, while Hank decorated a wooden bear. After a while, Hank and Taylor wandered back toward the room to eat "lunch", since Hank had only a 1/4 can of sprite in his tummy for the day. Shortly after I joined them and then the doctors came in the room. Our oncologist, Dr. L, told us the PET scan showed that the cancer was mostly confined to the nose area, (PRAISE the Lord!) with the exception of a faint reading showing in the lymph nodes. (Bt no other areas were showing any signs of cancer cells! yay) He told us that the panel of tumor specialists would be reviewing all Hank's tests/labs/images this evening and would create a plan of treatment based on a couple different outcomes that they think the pathology report will produce. They planned to go ahead and proceed with preparations and more tests as they awaited the pathology results. 
Tomorrow Hank will have bone marrow samples drawn, a port implanted in his chest, and potentially a biopsy on his upper lymph nodes. The panel of tumor specialists were uncertain on this, and upon the physical examination of Hank, they couldn't find any irregularities in the nodes... so this is something I think they will decide when they get him in the room tomorrow. If they do take a biopsy, it will be an incision biopsy, just as with the lip. The doctors hope to get these procedures done in the morning, clumping them together while Hank is sedated once again. 
Hank will potentially start Chemotherapy later this week... Thursday? We are really just taking things one day at a time around here. Granted each day brings something new, but we feel blessed to be in such good care. All the nurses have been extremely loving and sensitive to our needs. The doctors are eager to answer any questions they can, and the staff is helpful in our learning to navigate the hospital. We are indescribably thankful to all our prayer warriors. 
As I reflected on the past week, an image of a two lane road appeared in my mind. The sun beating down on the blacktop road, a gravel shoulder, and green fields beyond the gravel. We are driving toward what appears to be the end of the roadway... but it is merely a mirage created by the sun blaring down upon the road's surface. We continue driving forward, the mirage always staying before us at a distance. Constantly thinking we will surely run out of road, but the road continues to stretch on before us... always bursting forth from the sun-soaked mirage. 
It was such a sweet image of God's Son... always going before us, never giving us the burden of seeing our road's length, but placing nearsighted portions of this journey at our feet. Never more than we can handle, but portions that are constantly bathed in the Light of His perfect Son. There is a shoulder for us to stop if needed and take a rest as we gaze at the beautiful creation all around. The greenery, the Life, that we are blessed with. I know that we are on a long stretch of road, but that Mirage, that Hope of an end, helps to make it easier to keep driving. Knowing we can pullover and take in the view helps too... for looking at our view today, I know we are blessed and well cared for. Thank you Lord. In the midst of this broken and painful world, your Hope/Mirage will sustain us. 


  1. you may not remember me; i was a believer that was in Korea with you at the same time. My wife and I (and our three little ones) have been and will continue to pray for you and your little man. thank you for your steadfastness and witness to Christ in the midst of suffering. Blessings in Christ. Josh

  2. Hank - I know it does not mean much to you right now, but it would be a big help to Mrs. Lutz and me, if you let us be on your team during this journey - Even though uninvited, we have joined the many who are praying tirelessly on your behalf, but going forward we would ask your permission to continue - Your mom has been kind enough to keep us updated during the beginning and we are so grateful for the updates - Just like a soldier before a battle or a ballplayer before a game you need to get prepared - And like a ballplayer you have teammates, Mrs. Lutz and I would like to be some of your teammates


  3. One of Brad's high school classmates, Steph Spangler had a rare type of cancer in her sinus that only 25 had been diagnosed with and none survived. She is living proof that prayer and the great doctors in Indy can heal. Praying for your family during this difficult time. Kathy Bussa Watts, (HS friend of Brad)