It’s a new year.

Upon getting his stapes removed and making the 3 week mark of required rest, Luke immediately donned his favorite apparel – skis. He took EB out, either downhill or cross-country skiing, for 6 days straight. Granted, at nearly 4 years old, EB is not known for overly long ski sessions, but it was a great effort and lots of fun. She also made the perfect pacer for Luke in his early days of release.

After a quiet Christmas, we made our way north to Butte, MT to do our traditional parental circuit. This involves visiting three households and making sure everyone gets well-appointed time with the grandchild. It was very nice to see everyone and catch up, as brief as it was.

On December 29th, Luke began his first round of chemo since the original combined dose of radiation & chemo. This entailed twice the dose that he took before, daily for 5 days. He seemed relatively unaffected, but for one nauseous morning and a little fatigue – both likely due to over-exhaustion from late nights over the new year, hanging out with family, and generally over-doing it. In the future, we’ll likely stick closer to home during these weeks.

During our Montana visit Luke noticed cool temps at home, it’s not often that Tetonia is considerably colder than Butte. Unfortunately for us, this meant coming home Friday night to a frozen pipe and water pump. Luckily, I grew up without running water (or electricity), so I was relatively unfazed and immediately began melting snow, after retrieving the six gallons of water I have stored in the basement for just such emergencies. It also provided a great learning opportunity for EB to understand what it means to live without running water, and how to melt snow – which she did with gusto. With 48 hours of warmth on the subject pipe and some youtube-gained insight into jumpstarting our specific pump, Luke heroically made the cool, clear waters run through the faucet again late Sunday afternoon — Hallelujah.

Doctors will prescribe the next chemo dosage based on a physical assessment of this last experience and his blood counts. I imagine they want to push the envelope, to give him the highest possible dosage without tipping the side-effect scales too far… So far he feels really good – especially all things considered. We are so grateful – every day.

He’ll go back for blood work and the new chemo dosage amount this week. January 27th will be the next MRI.

It’s officially been 6 weeks since his second surgery. Luke is shining. He’s back to work, back to skiing, and generally just back to it. We are reveling in the normalcy of it. It obviously feels good. There are moments of fatigue, but mostly we are just thankful that he’s doing so well. It gives us great hope for the future.

We can’t thank you all enough for your support on all fronts over the last 6 months. Everyone’s been amazing in helping to carry us through this journey, as smoothly as possible, on the rockiest of roads. We hope to be out of the roughest patch for some time and, while I’ve been learning what a crooked road life can be, we’re hopeful that our path straightens out on a good, long course. Your support has meant and continues to mean so much – it’s clearly helped us across the board. Thank You!

Here’s hoping for the best for everyone in 2015!