I wrote a couple of times about Disney in the past. But it was a different kind of Disney…not one anyone would ever want to visit.

But this time is different.

This time I write about the real Disney…the Disney where everyone has a magical day.

This is the Disney of laughter, joy and happiness.  This is the Disney where childrens’ giggles drown out grief… if even only for a moment.

Despite Carrie’s grief.  Despite an extremely tough 60 days. Despite it being hard to get out of bed some days…let alone make it through the day without tears…along with her brother Joe (Unk) and parents (Mimi and Papa) she packed up her’s and Travis’ three precious babies and set off…for Disney World.


Because that is exactly what Travis would have wanted…

Travis was the king of fun.  He loved to have fun.  He made a game of everything.  He loved amusement parks and he loved rides…especially roller coasters.

And so what better way to grieve him?  To celebrate him?

Than to bring his kids to Disney World. 

Some moments have been tough…like walking up to the Dueling Dragons in Universal…a ride he rode more than 20 times in a single visit just eleven years earlier.  Tears came. But they were warm tears.  Warm tears filled with happy memories.  And as those warm tears flowed, Carrie, her brother and father boldly walked right up to that roller coaster and rode it.  Twice.

To honor Trav.

The grief is encompassing at times but life is going on.  Sometimes the thought of that…the thought of life going on without Travis is insufferable.  But the truth is…it simply is.

And so Carrie is doing her best to honor her true love.  To raise his children in a way that would make him proud. To ensure that, despite their grief, they have fun.

Because that’s what Travis would have wanted.

One of my favorite “Travis stories” was told to me by Joe not too long ago.  In the last week of his life, Joe came to visit Trav in ICU before he was brought home for hospice. It was a devastating time for all.  Everyone was hoping he could hold on a little longer to make it to the trial.  The realization had sunk in that was not going to happen.  The room was solemn.  The only sound was the machines forcing the oxygen into Travis’ lungs to extend his life just a bit longer. Joe sat at Trav’s bedside choking back tears.  As he watched his brother-in-law…his best friend…labor for breaths in the quietness of the room he swallowed the lump in his throat and managed to get out…

Trav.  Is there anything you want me to tell the kids?

Trav’s eyes opened.  He gathered his thoughts, and his breaths, and between those labored breaths he said…

Tell them they would have had more fun with me…

Well Trav. I think they’re doing the best they can to give that statement a run for its money. Hope you are proud.





A Divine Appointment

I think it is time to introduce myself. My name is Kristina.  I am Carrie’s best friend.  Travis was like a brother to me. I have written this blog as a way to honor my friend and his family.  Today I asked Carrie if I could write something personal and she said that would be perfect.  So here I go…

I’m not a hokey person.  I don’t buy into things very easily.  In fact.  I am a pretty skeptical and somewhat critical person by nature.  It has always been a struggle in my faith.  I like to find the hole in the argument.  The lapse in the reasoning.  The weakness in the debate.

It was the thing I  had most in common with Travis.

That’s probably a surprise to most of you who have followed the blog and don’t know me.  I probably have come across as someone with either strong faith or someone who believes everything she hears. Perhaps even a bit Pollyanna and naive.  Nothing can be further from the truth.

That’s just how much I believed in the message of Trav’s healing. 

I believed when the “Black Angel” spoke to us.  When Travis got an email with the same message a week later.  And when, just a few days later, he asked God “what should I read today?”, opened the Bible, and came to the same story yet again, that God had truly spoken to us.

That we had…a divine appointment.

But I was wrong.

Travis died.

Just twelve and a half short months later he was gone and my faith was in a shambles. Not so much my faith in God but my faith in hearing from Him. Of discerning His voice.

How did I get it so wrong?!? 

It’s been five months.  Five months and two days to be exact.

For Carrie the first three months were a fog to say the least.  It took everything within her to just put one foot in front of the other.  To put on a brave face for her children and be the mom Travis would have wanted her to be.  To honor his memory in every way she knew how.  The last two months she has begun to emerge from the fog.  She is smiling more and hearing her laughter warms her family’s and friends’ hearts.  She never misses an opportunity to talk about Travis and often apologizes for doing so which is silly because the people she is with love to do it as much as she does. She has begun to make every decision in light of “how would Travis handle this” or “what would Travis want me to do”.  She has met challenges head on.  Made hard decisions. Handled tough confrontations. And has navigated the waters of being a widow and single mom with the grace, perseverance, and perhaps even a bit of tenacity that shouts “I am Travis Roberts’ wife and he taught me well.” All in an effort to honor him and preserve his legacy…particularly the witness of his faith walk the last 15 months of his life.

And while juggling all of this.  She has done whatever she could to nurse my fragile faith back to health.

What an amazing woman… What an amazing friend…

Until today, since Travis died, I have gone to church one time. It was a disaster. I sobbed from the entrance of the church parking lot until some point along the route home with little reprieve.  While church, of course, conjures up all sorts of memories about Trav I think it was more my disappointment in God that brought on the tears.

(Gasp!  Did she just say that…)

Yes.  I said it.  Disappointment is just one feeling I have been trying to work through in the past five months.  I don’t know if I have been disappointed in God for allowing me to fall for that message hook, line and sinker or in myself for not being skeptical for the first time in my life.  If I am honest…it is probably a little bit of both.

I have been angry, hurt, confused, embarrassed and have even felt a bit betrayed.

So I guess God decided it was time for a divine appointment.

To be honest, I am not sure why we ended up going to church today.  We didn’t really discuss it.  We didn’t have a reason to go “today”.  We just got up and my husband said “how long until we have to leave for church.” And I didn’t argue.

On the way to church I quietly breathed a silent prayer that said something like “I can’t believe I am doing this.  It would be nice if You would speak to one of us so this isn’t a huge waste of time.”

We made it to church, said hello to some friends, walked the kids to their classrooms and found a seat in the monstrosity that is North Point Community Church’s auditorium.

I marveled at myself…

“huh…no tears…not one…isn’t that interesting?!?”

The music started and, other than the guy in front of me glancing back every few minutes to  remind me how painfully off key I tend to sing, it seemed like a regular Sunday morning.

And then the last song came on.  Oceans.

I should have known right then and there that, unbeknownst to me, God had scheduled a divine appointment...

The tears began.  But this time they were different.  They were’t feelings of anguish or betrayal. Instead, they seemed to be almost stripping away those feelings.  Stripping them away until there was nothing left….

Nothing but vulnerability.

And at that point.  For the first time in five months.  I was ready.  Ready for my divine appointment.

Being an Andy Stanley fan, and knowing how much Travis loved Andy, imagine my disappointment when another pastor took the stage.   I remember thinking, “God…I’m not going to get anything out of this…” and feeling frustrated.

Little did I know…

As Joel Thomas took the stage we quickly learned that Andy was supposed to preach that day.  However, his mother fell ill and so he asked Joel to fill in just 12 hours earlier.  And so Joel began to preach.  His message?

How to survive the first Christmas without a loved one.

I told you though.  I am not hokey.  I am naturally skeptical.  And so as quickly as I thought, “OMG!  this is just for us…” I dismissed it and thought “well that’s a neat coincidence.”

I made a mental note to ensure that Carrie listened to the sermon online.

And then Joel got personal.

He talked about losing his father to cancer his senior year in high school.  He talked about being taught by some individuals that, if you pray in Jesus’ name, your prayers would be answered.  He talked about always believing whole heartedly, even in the end, that his dad would beat it.  That God would miraculously heal him.  His dad beat everything…he was his hero.

He talked about feeling angry…even betrayed…when his dad died.

There have been 23 Sundays since Travis died.  I have been to church on two of them.  The first one, i can barely remember who preached (I am pretty sure it was Andy) let alone the message or topic. The second was today.  The day of this “unplanned” message.

Everything in me told me to be skeptical.  To not “fall for it” again.  To not believe that He was talking to me.

But there was this Whisper that told me otherwise. The Whisper told me that there was a reason I was there on THIS Sunday and not Sunday #22.

Since Trav died I have been ignoring that Whisper.  Pushing It out of my mind when It tries to capture my thoughts.  When It calls me.  I have dismissed anything that could possibly be God as a coincidence.

But this time…was different.  Instead of trying to decipher if I was right or wrong…if this was Him or not…I just felt…comforted.  I felt Him tell me,

“It’s ok. I’m here.  I still love you.  I DO care….”

I still don’t understand how I got the message about Trav’s healing so wrong.  Why God allowed those messages to come to us in the way they did, and in the timing they did, when they clearly were not true.

I doubt I ever will.

It is the first thing I plan to ask Him…at my last…

divine appointment.



I started this post six times now. I can’t ever seem to finish it.

Two days after Travis passed…as I was keeping an eye on Carrie as she rested, waiting for her to wake up because I wanted her to know she was not alone…I wrote…

and I couldn’t finish it.

After the amazing funeral which felt more like a party then a funeral…

I wrote…and I couldn’t finish it.

One week after his death…to the day…

I wrote…and I couldn’t finish it.

And then two weeks…

and I couldn’t finish it.

And then Fourth of July came, which I had been dreading since the day he died because that was our annual tradition our families spent together.

I wrote…and I couldn’t finish it.

Three days later… It was the one month anniversary…

One month…really?!?

And I just. Couldn’t. Finish. It.

I have so much to say. So much to write.

To talk about his final hours…to describe his funeral to those who could not attend…

But I just can’t seem to finish it…

And then today I realized, while watching the video, that once again Trav managed to beat me at something.

He was able to finish.

Trav’s faith journey over the past year was not smooth sailing. While faith in Jesus came easy to Travis the day-to-day journey of walking out that faith did not.

Some people are blessed to have a blind faith…a childlike faith. A faith that allows them to accept things simply because the Bible instructs them to or they feel God has told them too.

Travis was not that person.

He challenged things. He never accepted things at face value. He questioned everything. He had a philosophical mind that allowed him to always see both sides.

It’s simply who he was.

But he never wanted that to be a burden to others. He fought through it with a few friends and mentors asking as many questions as he could and pouring over the Scriptures but never let on to others..  He wondered if it was “too late” for him. Had he been given too many chances and simply “missed the boat”?  He wondered if he was really saved. With all the mistakes he had made despite being taught the truth his whole life…could it be as simple as turning from that?

And yet…all the while…he showed no external signs of this internal struggle to others.  He encouraged them in their faith.  He invited them to church.  He pushed them to find their way back to God…

Many feel blindsided by Travis’ death. Count me among them. Just slightly over a month ago, I thought for sure we would spend our annual Fourth of July trip at the NIH in Washington D.C.

Instead we were, once again, at the lake.  But this time…it was without Travis.

How could this be? I knew he would beat this cancer. I just knew it. After all. This sickness was not unto death.

This is the part where I am supposed to back pedal. I am supposed to explain God and what He really meant when we received the messages from Him that I wrote about in the Black Angel post. I’m supposed to give you the “Christian” explanation that “Travis really isn’t dead” and “because he knows Jesus this sickness was not unto death because there is no eternal death for him.”

But I won’t.

Travis never made excuses and so, to honor him, I won’t either.

The truth is…I thought with every ounce of my being that Travis would be healed in this life. Not because he deserved it. Not because he believed in God. But because I truly felt that God sent us a message, on two separate occasions, that he would be healed…in this lifetime.

I have no excuses or reasons or wonderful “Christian” things to say to explain why he wasn’t healed now that things did not turn out as I so desperately believed, and wrote in the blog, they would.

This is the point where I expected my faith to fall apart.

But I have a problem. On the Fourth of July last year Travis looked me in the eye and said, “don’t you dare. If I die don’t you dare have a crisis of faith.”

And so I can’t.

I still don’t understand and, to be honest, I get pretty angry about it at times. But I have figured something out. Something Travis apparently figured out months before me.

This is hard. Watching Carrie and seeing her anguish is hard, gut wrenching, and knocks the wind out of you.

But I can’t imagine how much worse it would be without Jesus.

In the last few months of his fight Travis stopped fighting his journey.

He rested in knowing that he simply could not know everything.  He accepted that God was bigger than him and he couldn’t have all the answers in this life.

He finished his journey.

And so a challenge.

If you don’t know God personally…seek Him out.

I’m not saying give up everything you do or don’t believe today because Trav would want you to.

He wasn’t that way.

He had a way of understanding others and their struggle to truly believe.  I guess because he had been in that position for so long.

But he would want you to seek.

Open your bible. Show up at church next weekend. Ask tough questions.

Just don’t ignore that quiet nagging.

In his last 48 hours I had the opportunity to ask Travis a question…

“Are you scared?”

Through labored breaths he smiled, shook his head no, and managed to say

No…Want to know a secret?”  “I’m kind of excited.” 

Don’t get me wrong…I wish I could stay…I’m sad…but now that I know that isn’t possible…I’m excited…”


Can you say the same?  Will your words be similar?  Will you have the same excitement and anticipation…

When you finally…finish?


Remembering Trav…

Trav met some amazing people in his journey over the last fourteen months.  Among them are the workers of Northwestern Mutual – Travis’ insurance company.  Northwestern Mutual had Travis speak at their regional conferences on multiple occasions.  As an expression of gratitude, the creative team at Northwestern Mutual provided a gift for the friends and family of Travis.  A gift allowing us to remember him at his best…

Grab a box of Kleenex and…enjoy…

Travis’ Video

In Full Color

It’s been 48 hours.

I expected the pain and sorrow to become more enveloping as the news continued to set in.  And it has.  But there is something I didn’t expect.

I didn’t expect the laughter to come so soon. And it has…

I guess because how do you remember, talk about, and honor someone who lived his life in full color and not have the laughter come?  The laughter is sometimes followed by tears. Sometimes silence.  Sometimes stifled giggles.  But the laughter is coming and, because of who Travis was and how he lived his life in full color, there really can be no other way.

Facebook has literally been taken over by #TravsArmy. Picture after picture of Travis has been posted. Some of the most amazing comments and stories have been shared about him.  The impact Travis’ life has had on so many is sobering.

On Wednesday we will honor him collectively. A celebration of a life lived in full color will be held at Johnson Ferry Baptist Church in Marietta, GA at 11 AM.  There will be a reception immediately following in the Fellowship Hall of Johnson Ferry Baptist and then a processional to Arlington Cemetery. A processional that will make Trav proud and have him smiling down from heaven.  Whether you knew him simply through his blog, or if he was one of your closest friends, please join us in this celebration so we can fill the room with color.

In lieu of flowers please consider a donation to CancerKicks, an organization setup in Travis’ honor for those who are walking the same  journey he was forced to walk.  CancerKicks is dual purpose organization.  First, to provide financial assistance for cancer patients and their families because people fighting cancer are 2.5 times more likely to go bankrupt.  Travis wanted to give the patient and their families the peace of mind they need so they can focus on fighting the cancer – not on paying their bills.  Second, to give critical funding for rare cancer research.  As Travis met with different doctors one thing became clear: Cholangiocarcinoma is deadly because the research going into it is underfunded. If Cholangiocarcinoma, and other rare cancers, had the kind of funding more common cancers have then the cure rates would sky rocket.  Therefore, CancerKicks has an initial goal of donating $1 million to a world-class cancer center. You can make donations online by visiting www.cancerkicks.org.

And finally, as you come to honor Travis we hope you will also honor one last request that he had.

No black at his funeral.

Travis wanted a colorful funeral.  He was known for his flamboyant style and colorful dress and he wanted his funeral to reflect that.  So please attend in the brightest attire you can to celebrate a life taken far to early but one that was lived…

in full color.



Travis passed peacefully at 7 AM from the arms of the love of his life into the arms of his Savior. Funeral details to come.


There is peace flowing through the Roberts’ household.  A peace that surpasses all understanding.  Even the understanding of those of us who know Christ’s peace.

On Wednesday morning Travis went to the emergency room.  He just couldn’t breathe.  Well…he could breathe. But his breaths couldn’t seem to get enough oxygen in them.  Despite having been on oxygen for the last two weeks.

Travis was transferred to a room in ICU.  His lungs were filling with fluid and blocking his ability to absorb oxygen.  There were two possibilities…pneumonia or cancer.  The hope and prayer was for pneumonia.  24 hours of treatment would determine if it was.

It was not.

CT scans and XRays did not show tumors so there was hope that it was not cancer.  But as it turns out it is cancer in his lymphatic system.  Not his lymph nodes…but his lymphatic system. Those small lymphatic vessels that run through his lung tissue are filling up with fluid being produced by the cancer cells and blocking the absorption of oxygen.

But ask Trav how he is feeling and the answer is always the same…

I feel good!

What an amazing man.

Travis gets to come home today and be with his family…surrounded by love. Hospice has been set up and Travis has everything he needs to be comfortable.

And I can tell you this…

He is so peaceful.

Carrie is so thankful for everyone’s support and love and she asks for your continued patience and forgiveness if she is slow to respond to texts, calls, and emails.  Please respect this precious time for the Roberts as they ask people not to visit.

And so the prayer request is this.

Pray for peace and comfort for the whole family and for all of #TravsArmy.

Trav has touched so many.  Changed so many in the past fifteen months.  There are so many stories that will come out in the next several weeks of the impact Travis has had. But there are some who will have questions…doubts…confusion over the ending of this story.  Trav would want you to pray for those and that his story would not add to their confusion or doubts but only help walk them through them.  Because the peace that Trav has, the unexplainable peace that he is experiencing, tells him this.

This is not the end of the story.  It’s only the beginning of the next chapter.



The clock is ticking. With each minute that passes another cancer cell grows… And another… And another… And another…

The sickness has set in. The symptoms are here. The fight has kicked into high gear. There are good days and there are bad days. But through it all… Travis fights.

It’s humbling to watch him fight. To see him lose a battle and continue on.

That’s what heroes do.

The week before last Travis lost several battles in a row. His surgery wound opened. Blood clots set in. He was removed from a trial. And, worst of all, a rare and freak contamination of his cells. The cells that were supposed to be his lifeline .

And yet… Travis fights. No thought of giving up. With a bold faith in the Almighty and the love and support of his soulmate and caretaker…Travis fights.

Because that’s what heroes do.

Four weeks from now Travis is scheduled for the MAGE trial.

Four weeks is a long time. A long time for any fight let alone one with a body that has been ravaged by cancer.

His odds are not good. But that’s how Travis likes it. That’s when he thrives. After all, Travis has faced odds like these his entire life both personally and professionally…and he always comes out on top.

That’s what heroes do.

So for the next five weeks, as Travis fights, there are two small requests.

First, give him the time and space to fight this battle. This request is hard for Travis. It almost goes against his nature. The Roberts’ home has always been the “gathering hole”.  They have the most loving, caring, and giving friends they could ever hope for and their friendships are deep. But, for now, Travis’ focus needs to be on healing and Carrie needs to be there for him as she always is.

Returning phone calls and text messages are low on the priority list for now so please do not begrudge them if yours has gone unanswered.  And please do not be hurt when Travis does not accept visitors. He is busy fighting.

Second, your prayers are coveted by Carrie and Travis.  That’s how you can fight along with them. Carrie once said she doesn’t look for the “big miracle” anymore because she sees so many miracles every day.  Those miracles are a direct result of your prayers.  So please keep praying. Pray for the miracle.  Pray for his healing.  Pray he has the strength and health required for the trial at the end of the four weeks.  Pray, pray, pray… Fight with them through your prayers.

The next four weeks will likely drag for Carrie and Travis. Travis will be fighting every step of the way as the minutes, hours, days drag on.

After all… that’s what heroes do.

The Ride

What a ride this has been. Last Friday the doctors asked if we could get to the hospital in DC from Atlanta THAT day.  That day is a lot to ask, but Travis made it happen and I followed close behind. 

As the days went on we learned about blood clots, fluid around the heart and infection of the incision.  We then learned that Travis’s body would not be ready to start the Mage trial as planned so they switched him over to the TIL trial. They said that we could start it in a few weeks, IF all of the ailments listed above look okay. 

So we adjusted mentally to the TIL and were ready for them to give us the news about when we should return for the trial.  The doctors came in and you know what we heard.

Your cells are contaminated.  All of them. 

The surgery that Travis is recovering from was a waste. 

Then the news that Travis was probably a carrier of the contamination?  A rare fungus.  WHAT???!!!

This news came on Tuesday. Now it is Friday. Results are in.

Travis Does Not Have Aspergillosis. 

The tests came back with no growth. Nothing. No bacteria. No virus. Most importantly… NO FUNGUS!!! 

The team of doctors and nurses around here are so excited.  Of course, they have fallen in love with Travis.  The nurses told us that everyone deflated on Tuesday when the Aspergillosis news hit the floor.  So as you can imagine, the news that Travis is clear of fungus has spread. We have had quite a few excited visitors come to the room just to give Trav a high five.

So what does this mean? Unfortunately, the T Cell trial is off the table for now.  I will share that the lab had saved a section of the tumors in the freezer.  They are still frozen.  Our doctor has told us to assume that they will be contaminated as well since all of the other samples were spoiled.  

The next thought is to go for the Mage trial.  This is the trial that is done by using white blood cells from a huge blood draw.

Travis was actually supposed to start Mage yesterday.  The Mage trial is new and the government regulations state that there is to be a two week space between each participant in the trial. The slot that Travis was supposed to have this week is now just an empty slot. The next slot is taken. That means that Travis will not be able to start Mage for about 5-6 weeks. The perks are that his incision will have time to heal and he will have more time on blood thinners. Also, this is a dosage trial so if Travis is forced to wait through one other participant he will get a higher dosage of cells which could be a good thing.

The negative is 5-6 more weeks without treatment. 

What a ride.  Ups Downs Tosses and Turns.  We have ridden this ride like it is our job and well it pretty much has been.

No matter what… Our faith has not been shaken. Our faith is NOT contingent upon our experiences, no matter how ugly.

We do not know the plan and we can not try to guess. But this we know, we experience God on a daily basis. When we were talking today we both said that we would not trade our lives in for anything. We never wonder where God is in all of this because we constantly experience the peace that ONLY comes from God above.

So no matter what our situation is… even through tears and heart ache as it was on Tuesday, we will thank God for giving us THIS day.

Giving us this RIDE!


We spend our lives trying to prepare ourselves for different events.  Tests…graduations…college…weddings…kids…a management position…a new job. Life seems to always be about preparing for the next thing. But there are some things you can never prepare for. There are some journeys that offer no map…no directions…no GPS.  You simply put one foot in front of the other and hope you are going in the direction God has prepared.

This week was a week for which Travis and Carrie were not prepared.  There was no map on how to navigate. No directions.  No GPS.

Because the echocardiogram came back so strong their spirits were up.  They needed something positive after all the blows they had received and they had gotten that positive news with the echo results. They were reminded that God was in control and things were looking up.

It was determined that the blood clot in his lung had broken off from the one in his leg.  That alone could have been an instantaneous death…but it wasn’t.  It went to his lung where it showed up on a CT scan.  Clearly God’s hand has been upon Travis. Clearly God was with them.

They had tried their hardest to convince the doctors to let them stay and have Travis start the trial in a week. After all, the last time they went home Travis ended up with a blood clot and an incision that seemed to leak fluid endlessly.  Going home was not appealing. But it was to no avail.  Travis needed to go home and recover before they began the trial and return in two weeks.

But, despite that, overall things were good.

And then the doctor walked in. He walked in without a map, without directions, and without a GPS to help them navigate the news he had to share.

They were not prepared.

The lab had called.  Travis’ cells were contaminated. 

All. Of. Them.

The lab called and informed the doctor that his patient…Travis…had Aspergillosis.

Aspergillosis.  A fungus.  A fungus that is found in Georgia, among other places, that you get by breathing in.  It infects approximately 1 in 100,000 people, typically those with a compromised immune system.

It chose Travis.

“Travis…it is insurmountable to get you into a trial. You are actually no longer eligible for any trial. There is nothing more we can do for youI’m sorry.”  

How do you navigate this news? Where are the directions on handling this?  How do you prepare?

Carrie and Travis choked out sobs of desperation.  They cried more tears than they knew they had. They held each other.

And then.  One by one.  They called their loved ones.  They choked out the words and cried all over again with each call they made.

There was no map.  There were no directions.  This was new territory.  Yes…they always wondered if this moment would come and how they would handle it.  But just because you wonder if it will come doesn’t mean you’re prepared to handle it.

The sadness was enveloping. It was almost suffocating.  Almost. 

But there was still a peace.  Because they know…this life is so short…so temporary…and that there is a bigger picture that matters.

The day drudged on.  The thought of having to make it through the night there ,with no hope or purpose for being there, seemed overwhelming but so did packing up to leave.

They made some more phone calls…they wept some more…they did their best to prepare.

And then the infectious disease doctors walked in.

They knew that these doctors were coming but they thought that they were there to discuss treatment of the fungus.

But, that was not the case. 

The infectious disease doctors introduced themselves and got to the point…

Mr. Roberts, we don’t think you have Aspergillosis. 

Unbeknownst to Travis and Carrie, when their trial doctor left that morning after giving them the news, he didn’t stop fighting for them.  He spoke with infectious disease who would be visiting Travis that afternoon, and he asked them to please prove him wrong.  Help him determine that Travis did not have a fungal infection.

And they went to work.

They poured over his CT scan from last week.  They looked at his medical records.  They studied the puss coming from the incision.

The CT scan showed two spots on his lungs that could be Aspergillosis.  But this was an airborne disease that had presented in his liver.  For it to have made it to his liver it should be pretty apparent in his lungs.

When they examined the puss from his incision, it showed no sign of the fungus.

Thorough physical exams were given by both infectious disease and the pulmonary doctors.  They both thought that it was very unlikely that Travis had this fungus.  These visits were actually humorous for Travis and Carrie.  Some of the questions that they asked were… Do you live on a farm?  Do you work outside?  Do you do a lot of yard work?  Are you around chickens or birds? The thought of Travis in any situation like this is pretty funny.  He really isn’t Mr. Outdoors.

But, most importantly, people breathe Aspergillosis on a regular basis. It is just in the air.  However, healthy people can easily fight it off.  Sick people can’t.  People with compromised immune systems can’t.  Travis has had countless blood tests over the past year and not once has it shown a weakened immune system.  Not once.  His blood test results have never been anything but perfect and his white cell blood count has always been within normal range…even with the infection in his incision.

The fungus is on the cells.  No doubt.  The only question is…how did it get there?

There are two answers…both are far fetched and both have equal chance of being true.  Either Travis has Aspergillosis or the sample got contaminated.  The lab has only had one other contamination in the past ten years.  It just doesn’t happen.  But…someone with Travis’ white blood count doesn’t contract Aspergillosis.  It just doesn’t happen.

Yesterday Travis had a lungoscopy.  They inserted a tube through his nose and down into his lungs and sprayed saline into the lungs.  He says it felt like he was drowning.  He was supposed to be knocked out, but his cough woke him during the procedure and they could not get him back out.   They pulled the fluid back out of his lungs and sent it to the labs for multiple tests.  They will watch that fluid in the lab to determine if he has the fungus.

They also did a special blood draw that was sent to the labs for testing.  The infectious disease explained that there is no way to determine 100% whether Travis has the fungus or not, but these tests will give them a very good idea.

To recap, the CT scans appear to be clear of Aspergillosis, any slides that have been tested from the surgery are clear, but most importantly the experts who have given Travis physical exams do not think that he is a candidate for Aspergillosis.  The tests that were done yesterday and the day before take around 72 hours to come back with findings of the fungus, but we have been told that they are already coming back clean from a bacterial or viral infections.

After all of this, if the fungus grows on Travis’s tests, there is nothing more the NIH can do for him… for now.  The fungal infection would take months if not years to clear from Travis’s body and that is time that he does not have.   If it doesn’t, and they all agree that he is not the carrier of the Aspergillosis, then he will be making new trial plans with the doctors.

How do you prepare for that?

The next few days will be emotional as they anxiously await the news.  Any time spent is nerve wracking.  After all, the cholangio is still growing inside of his body as these things are being sorted out.  The Roberts are not sure when they will be sent home, because Travis is still healing from the lungoscopy. But whether they are in the hospital or at home they are waiting to hear what the next few weeks will hold.  There is no planning for it.  There are no directions for it.  Regardless of what the news is…there just is no way to be…


Travis wanted to add Carrie’s quote… Through it all,  God is Good!




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