Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Christmas 2010

Merry Christmas to all our friends and family. Luke and the rest of the family continue to be blessed with good health as we near the most important Birthday party of the year! I just realized I have not posted the results of our last set of scans...I did on Facebook but not on the blog, So for any of you who have not heard, Luke's scans were all good! No signs of cancer and his lungs were even more improved :) He's just a regular little boy now! We have two computers set up right next to one another on Mike's disaster of a desk. Luke is beside me working on his math with his headphones on. He is, of course, reluctant to do his school work...like all my kids...but we have been chugging right along. We are all looking forward to our Christmas break.
All of us gathered around and watched "It's a Wonderful Life" this weekend. Luke was confused near the end when everyone was coming in, bringing money to help George. He asked "Why are they giving him all their money?" I explained that George needed help and people loved him...so they wanted to help him. I said "Did you know the same thing happened when you were sick in the hospital? Our family, friends and even strangers came and brought us money! Money also came in the mail and some people put right into our bank account!" He smiled a sort- of embarrassed smile. He feels so loved.
Our prayer is that each one of you feel that sort of love, undeserved love, that comes only by God's grace. All you have to do is open your heart and receive the gift that He has given us in His Son Jesus Christ. We love you all,

~The Finches

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Praying For Wonderful, Upcoming Scans!

Hello everyone! Just wanted to send out a prayer request for Lukey's up coming scans. Friday morning @ 9am, Luke will have a C.T of his chest,abdomen and pelvis and he will also have his blood work and HVA-VMA test. We are daily in prayer for his healing and feel confident God has a plan for our boy. The kids and I just started studying Jeremiah this morning. A great reminder of how God is in control of our lives. Thank you for praying with us. ~Erica

Jeremiah 29:11 ~For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future

Thursday, September 2, 2010

1 YEAR post Transplant !!!

It's hard to believe it has been exactly one year since the bags of Luke's stem cells were defrosted and then infused into his body. He is one amazing boy with one amazing God of mercy. Lukas enjoyed cupcakes with his friends after soccer practice to celebrate...I think only a couple of them knew it wasn't really his birthday...after all, who would guess by looking at him he was so ill such a short time ago. Well...Mike and I talked last night about the mixed feelings that come to the surface as we remember back and we both agreed it's much more fun to live in the moment, enjoy watching our kids, swim, play soccer, learn and grow. Not to ponder on the past or try to think to far into the future but just love today for what it is...I pray all of you are doing well and I thank you again for your continued prayer for our Lukie boy!

P.S. The last test we were waiting on was all normal :)

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

August C.T. Scan

We received the results of Luke's Friday scans of his chest, abdomen and pelvis. The area in his lungs where he previously had that nasty fungal infection is all good... a little scar tissue but nothing else. Abdomen is just fine. Pelvis is all clear. His blood is looking great and we are still waiting on his UA(really important...can show the first signs of cancer). So the Lord continues to bless us with a healthy son and we are taking full advantage of that. We headed straight to the mall after his appointment and took Luke to the Lego store! I don't think he remembers the last time he had been to the mall. He was having so much fun, and saying "Thank you Mom...thank you Grandma Kay...for taking me to the mall...thank you". We headed straight to Soccer practice after that. Uncle Ken is his coach and cousin Veda is on his team, he loves it. Thank you all so much for your prayers...and thank you Jesus.( I sound just like Luke...I guess we both have a lot to be thankful for ;)

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Crazy but Good

We had a crazy day yesterday. We were heading to the hospital for Lukie's scans and the car wouldn't start :( so we walked over to Grandmas and borrowed her car and made it to the hospital only a little late... where they told us the C.T. Scanner was broken. Sutter Memorial sent us to Sutter General. That hospital is really busy and under construction and I had no idea where I was going...but we made it. We had to go through the whole hospital registration process since we are new to that hospital and wait a long time in radiology... all the while poor Luke is fasting and worrying about having an IV put in. So, our 10 am scan finally happened at about 12:15 pm. He also needed his labs drawn so I asked if they could just take the blood from his IV so he wouldn't have to get poked again. This turned out to be another half an hour of walking around the hospital with a really kind radiology tech. who was trying to figure out how to get his labs drawn. The lab insisted they couldn't do it and wanted to send us to another lab. The whole thing was really weird. I had no idea it would be so difficult ! So a nurse walking down the hall heard the whole discussion with the lab and said..."oh, my goodness, just give me the tubes and I will do it". She met us in the waiting room and drew his blood from the IV and took it out...she didn't have cotton and tape or a band aid though and blood spilled all down Luke's shorts as he cried...Oh my... Well at least we were done.

Luke and I walked out of the hospital to the first restaurant we saw, Round Table, a very nice gentlemen working at round table that made a special pizza for Luke caused me to reflect on the kindness we had received that day. No where in that chaos of day did we come across a rude or mean person, actually it was quite the contrary, everyone was incredibly nice. Even both the ladies at the parking-toll booths were super sweet...one didn't charge me and the other told me how adorable my son was.....Strange.....now that I think about it...our day really wasn't that bad...the Lord blessed us the whole day...funny how he works sometimes ;) Thank you for your continued prayers. ~Erica

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Upcoming Scan and Tests

Just wanted to put in a prayer request for Luke's upcoming scans and tests. He is scheduled for Friday morning at 9:30 for his C.T. scan and blood work/UA. Please say a prayer for our little guy. Right now he's being lathered up with sunscreen as heads back into the pool...what fun. He's becoming quite the good swimmer!! We send our love to all :)

Friday, July 16, 2010

Big Wishes Do Come True !!

Hi everybody ! Luke is doing great and we are all having a fun filled summer, I hope you are too!

*Update* Our last Bone Marrow Transplant check-up went good. Luke was, once again, a professional a getting his blood draw.. (a big sigh for Mommy)....His labs looked great. They said his iron levels might be really high due to the amount of blood transfusions he has had and they may need to "bleed him out" some to take care of that, but that wasn't the case...(another sigh for Mom!)...God is good! His vitamin D levels were another concern, but they were good too! He is now ready to have his immunizations done over again just like a newborn baby. I have been kind of procrastinating making that appointment...after all he's been through the last thing I want to do is give him more shots :(

It's really been amazing to watch him get stronger everyday. The human body is incredible...The Creator designed us with such an intricate design. It's hard to believe how close to death my Lukie was and how God has healed him so completely. I continue to pray...all the time...that his body will never make another neuroblastoma cell again! And I pray the lasting effects of chemotherapy will be non-existent.... I know God can do anything :)

Our little buddy Kenji is on his way to take part in a clinical trial in Tennessee at St.Jude's Hospital. Neuroblastoma cells are in his bone marrow once again. I'm praying this clinical trial might be a medical breakthrough. Kenji is a precious little boy with a head full of curly brown hair. His parents, Dave and Marlene, are amazing, caring people, I hope the very best for them.

Oh, yeah, I almost forgot...how could I forget... the title of today's post "Big Wishes Do Come True"...Luke received his wish from the "Make-A-Wish Foundation"!! A giant ..16' x 32' ...above ground SWIMMING POOL !!! We went swimming in it for the first time today and Luke kept saying "Can you believe it..I can't believe it...we are in my very own pool...at my house..can you believe it...I can't believe it...my dream came true!!" his expressions were really cute. His brothers and sister are pretty happy as well, and I have to say I am enjoying it as much as the kids are... It has been pretty hot around here.

Well...Luke will have his next set of scans the beginning of August. We postponed them a couple weeks because we have some new medical insurance kicking in soon. YAY. Mike enlisted in the NAVY reserves ! A big decision for us to make...it still gives me a little tummy ache thinking about it...but I think it was what the Lord wanted for us. I have to say when Mike got down his uniforms and started trying them on it did make my heart go pitter-pat to see my sailor once again. He is really cute. Well, that's the Finch Family update, please keep us in your prayers, it means a lot to us. Sincerely, Erica

Wednesday, May 12, 2010


The Lord is so Merciful!!! Mike and I took Luke to the Oncologist yesterday and received great news. "Everything looks great" the Dr. said. "There is a small spot still showing up in his lungs from the infection, but it looks exactly the same as his last C.T. scan. This is probably just scar tissue." YAY!

We headed over to the hospital lab for his UA and blood test and Luke wasn't even nervous. I could hardly believe as he sat on my lap for his blood draw, he didn't cry! We all gasped in amazement at this incredible child, holding so still and quiet, he even let out a little chuckle at us. What a great day. :)

Friday, April 30, 2010

Luke was so brave! He knew what he was in for, but he marched himself into that hospital, sat in the chair, held out his arm stiff and with his eyes closed tight he screamed and cried but did NOT move his arm. I figure, if he wants to cry that is okay with me...at least he let the guy put in the IV like he needed to. Peter was with us this time and just before Luke got poked, he whispered in my ear "I don't want to watch this". I didn't even think of Peter being worried, poor guy. Well... we all survived and the boys hopped over all the lines between the tiles on the floor all the way to the parking lot. The following day Luke once again slept through his MIBG scan. We saw Kenji and his Mom and Dad in the waiting room. They will find out next week if he is in fact having a relapse or not. Praying all is okay. We will have a visit to go over Lukas' scans with the Oncologist on May 11th. Luke's energy and stamina are increasing everyday. Today he is at Awanas til 4:30, has a 5:30 baseball game, followed by an awards ceremony at Cornerstone church where he will get up and recite his memory verse(James 2:10). Big day ! Thank you Lord for your healing:)

Thursday, April 22, 2010

April Follow-up Scans

Luke had his C.T. and Bone scan Monday. Thank you for your prayers...God was merciful and gave Luke a fabulous I.V. therapist. He cried but didn't scream...He drank his contrast in a little shot glass this time then chased it with a hefty amount of apple juice. I think that was a great way to get it down, because when it is mixed together it's pretty nasty tasting stuff! Luke fell asleep during his bone scan again...what a trooper! We will go Tuesday to have a nuclear injection then a MIBG scan on Wednesday. Lord..please keep this boy healthy :)

Our Friends who encouraged and comforted us when we found out Luke was going to have a Stem-cell transplant are going through another scary time. Their son Kenji has past the one year mark since his transplant and has just had a scan showing a swollen lymph node and he has an elevated UA. Please remember them in your prayers too.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Lukas had his pic line removed from his arm today !! He was very nervous about removing it. It has become natural for him to have a line in his body and he also knows this means pokes when he goes to doctor appointments and scans. He knows way too much for a six year old. Anyway...he started screaming when the nurse asked him to lay down and didn't stop screaming until she was done. I kinda thought he would be tougher than that thinking of all the pain he has been through. Please pray God will comfort him and spare him from worry and pain as we near the time for the IV's he needs to get for his scans on April 19th, 27th and 28th.

On a brighter note... we went to the "MAKE-A-WISH" wishing place today!! They have a beautiful brand new place near arco arena. When we walked in past the fountain we saw one thousand hanging stars from the high ceiling. Luke will have his very own star up there, forever more. They gave him a special key to keep in his pocket and they spent some time getting to know him. He drew pictures of what his wishes might look like and then unlocked a big door with his key. He entered a glowing blue room (his favorite color). In the center was a wishing well. Luke thought carefully about his wish and dropped it into the well. Suddenly the lights started twinkling and flashing the music started playing and we all danced...

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Everybody yell "OFF ISOLATION ! YAY !"

Thank you for your prayers. Our appointment with the transplant Dr. exceeded or expectations. The drive was nice, the weather was perfect and Luke's doctor said "he is now released from his six month isolation period !" The results are not in from his immune study yet, but Dr. Horn said judging from his last counts, he is good to go play with other kids and be outside without a mask on. Upon receiving results we will know how relaxed we can be. I'm not sure if we will ever be very relaxed about germs. Germ-a-phobia is pretty much part of our life now. We even have one of those hospital hand sanitizer machines at the front door! lol. Anyway...after Luke's appointment he wore his mask through the hospital out to the car and we headed over to a fancy bakery near the hospital where Mike's cousin Lynn works. We told Luke he could take his mask off to eat! He seemed little nervous (or maybe I was) but he quickly felt comfortable when Lynn brought him a big beautiful piece of quiche and a banana cream pie! We stuffed ourselves with yummy treats and headed over to have a tour at the "Mythbusters". Mike worked for the discovery channel show while they filmed in Ione last month and they invited us to stop by. We had a fun tour and got T-shirts !! A lovely day of celebration :) Thank you Jesus for your many blessings :)

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Immune Study 3/10/2010

Hello to all !!

I just realized it has been 3 weeks since my last post. Sorry. Where did the time go? After many calls and a little frustration UCSF finally reviewed Luke's scans and compared them with all his other lung scans and they are still seeing some tiny 3mm nodules. They said it could be argued that it is scar tissue, since they cannot tell the difference (in a C.T. scan) between fungus and scar tissue . In the end, they felt it would be less risky to just continue his oral medication for another three months and scan again to make absolutely sure. Fungus can take a long time to kill completely.

We are headed to San Francisco Wednesday morning (8am appointment ! trying to get over the bridge before the traffic) for Luke's immune study. We are looking for the return of his T-cells and B-cells. I guess they are the last to regenerate after wiping out the bone marrow. The test takes a couple of weeks for results. So we are praying Luke's immune function is fully restored and he will able to play T-Ball soon. Grandpa got him a new glove, bat and ball and he has been practicing a lot.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Still Don't Know ?

We are still awaiting a call from UCSF on Luke's follow-up scan for his lung infection. His Oncologist here in Sacramento said it looks stable meaning no change since his last scan I guess. We were told that there will probably be scar tissue left behind, so hopefully that is what they are seeing. I will let you know when we find out more. We just finished making some beautiful valentine cookies and the kids are having fun passing around their valentine cards. Mommy has already eaten to many cookies and is now trying to talk herself into getting on the treadmill ! Wish me luck. lol

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

February...Wow !!

Time is just flying by isn't it? I got a call during our very big and successful yard sale from my friend Nichole. You might remember back during Luke's transplant we met Nichole and her family at the "family house" in San Francisco. Their daughter Layla was undergoing radiation after having a relapse of neuroblastoma almost a year after her transplant. Upon follow-up scans they discovered Layla's neuroblastoma was spreading to both her liver and lungs. Nichole told me she passed away on Monday at home in her bed... she was six years old. Layla was a beautiful little girl and we will always remember our short time with her. Mike and I are heartbroken for Nichole and Dennis and also for Layla's four year old sister Ruby, two year old brother Eli and baby sister Josefina. Nichole said she can close her eyes and see Layla running in heaven with sparkles all around her...and she knows all her pain is gone. The Lord brings great comfort in his promises.

Luke continues to do really well. We went to Sutter Memorial to have another c.t. scan of his lungs yesterday. Don't have results yet. We will go back to UCSF March 10 to check his immune system. Hopefully he will be off isolation! Please continue to pray for Luke's healing and for our friends Nichole and Dennis.
Thank you for following our journey, it really helps to know all of our friends are going through this with us. I love you all.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Enjoying Home

We are having a great time staying home. Luke is just finishing his third cycle of cis-retionoc acid and it seemed to be a bit easier this time. His lips are chapped pretty bad but not quite bleeding and the rest of his skin is pretty good. I also didn't see too much of a decrease in his appetite.Dr.Yim assured us he would be feeling better now that his is off the fungal medicine. His second follow-up scan is now scheduled for Feb.1 .Praying for clear lungs!!

January 27 Luke will be 6 years old!! Happy Birthday Lukie!!(Mike and I got him a new blue bike for his birthday sshhh... don't tell) He is doing great with his school work lately. We are accomplishing much more now that we have not been traveling as much. He is reading now, writing and doing math. Joe and Luke are science buddies and do experiments together, and Grace is like a little teacher herself. I go upstairs to rotate the laundry and she breezes in and has him finishing his workbook pages by the time I get back (it's more fun than doing her own work). Peter is right there in the middle of it all doing his home work too. He gets very jealous "Mom.. I need help..what do I do?" Busy full days, sending them all outside with every peek of sunshine I see. ~ Love to all Erica

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Friday, January 1, 2010

Goodbye Two Thousand And Nine

"Goodbye Two Thousand and Nine, you were no friend of mine! " My sister Jennifer said that yesterday, I thought it was pretty approiate considering the trials we have had this year. However it is not entirely true. There were many things 2009 brought our family.We have grown in our relationship with God and with each other. We have been tested to the breaking point and we have been strengthened beyond what we knew was possible. We have been deeply hurt and we have seen incredible healing. We feel like we got our master degrees in Cancer treatment this year, and the compassion we have for others going down the path we just traveled and those beyond us is UN-paralleled. We have grown in knowledge about many things and have seen Gods love poured out by many. All in all it has been a pretty special year. Although, I have hope for a different kind of 2010. One that includes no more suffering for Lukas and the complete healing of his body!! And a happy and healthy year for all of you too!!