Breathe Travis. Just Breathe.

Yesterday was a tough day. A day full of emotions. A day where the Roberts had to remind themselves to…

Breathe. Just breathe.

Yesterday was the first opportunity the Roberts had to meet with a specialist in gastrointestinal cancers, specifically Cholangiocarcinoma.

Can you imagine the anticipation? Can you imagine the high hopes? Finally…someone who knows a lot about this horrible disease. Someone who knows more than what the Roberts are finding on Google. Someone to tell them what they are finding on Google is wrong…and to stay off the Internet. Someone to say, “this isn’t nearly as bad as your other doctors have made it out to be. It’s only because it’s rare that it’s so scary.” “We got this.”

Someone who will help Carrie and Travis breathe again.

Their appointment was at noon and the morning had been good. Records picked up. Kids dropped off. Business running smoothly. There was even some laughter. The drive to Emory was pretty to say the least.  The mature trees and full azaleas were bursting with color against quaint cottages and impressive estates.  It was almost…peaceful.

And then the trees cleared. And as Emory appeared ahead, hearts started racing.  Suddenly the peace and tranquility was gone.  Suddenly stomachs were churning.  Suddenly it was getting harder to breathe.

Despite looking “dapper” (the physician assistant’s word…not mine) in his “baby blues” (pants) and polo with sleeves rolled up, Travis was…a wreck.  The wait in the waiting room was three hours.

At least it felt that way to Carrie and Travis.

Finally, Amar’e  Stoudemire, called Travis back.

Ok.  So it wasn’t Amar’e  Stoudemire of the New York Knicks…but he was a dead ringer!

Charm and wit are a big part of Travis’ personality.  It is how he has been able to get away with the things he has gotten away with most of his life.  Make them laugh and he gets whatever it is he wants.

Doing what you know calms you.  It helps you breathe.  Being witty and charming calms Travis.  Only…Amar’e  Stoudemire didn’t exactly find Travis charming. Luckily he was only there for a few minutes.

The doctor and physician assistant came in next and it wasn’t long before all of the oxygen got sucked out of the room.  Nobody could breathe.  Everybody was gasping for air.

It felt that way.

The doctor got right to the point, explained the clinical trial they had going on and asked if Travis had any questions.

Any questions!?!  Apparently, he didn’t know Travis.

Travis went through a litany of questions and as each answer came the Roberts quickly realized this visit was going to be no different from the others.  It wasn’t that the other doctors weren’t familiar cholangiocarcinoma.  It wasn’t that Google was wrong.  The Internet wasn’t this place with only worse case scenarios.  It was that this disease is that bad. 

Breathe.  Just breathe.

How long? That’s what everyone wants to know. How long do they have?  The problem is cancer is different for everyone.  It reacts differently to everyone.  The treatments are different for everyone.  So doctors talk in averages.

“So give me the averages.”

“12-14 months.”

Breathe.

“Can you cure it?”

“No.”

Breathe.

“Can you get it into remission and buy me some time.”

“I don’t think so.  It is unlikely”

Breathe reader.  Just breathe.

Where did all of the oxygen in the room go?  Why were the Roberts struggling to breathe?With tears in his eyes, Travis tried to catch his breath and then did what he does.

He made a joke.

“Well.  I guess that’s Game Over.”

Breathe Carrie. Just breathe.

And then he left.  Most of us, in that situation, would have gone home.  We would have turned off the lights, crawled into bed and cried. But not Travis. Travis got in his truck and drove 7 miles across town, put on a happy face, and walked into a room full of lawyers for a mediation between his company and a general contractor as if he wasn’t just handed a death sentence.  Somehow. Travis figured out how to breathe.

Yesterday was not the day the Roberts were hoping for…praying for. Yesterday did not make things any easier. But the good news is…there is always tomorrow.

They will head to MD Anderson Sunday night for a three day visit.  Their expectations are set.  They know they are not going to suddenly hear about high success rates.  About high survival rates.  They are looking for a plan.  The best plan.  A plan to fight and beat the odds.

There are two HUGE prayers that we ask you get on your knees for over the next 72 hours.  First…pray for a mistake.  Weird?  Our prayer is that the liver biopsy reading was wrong.  A mistake was made.  Is it a long shot? Maybe.  Maybe not.  It happens.  MD Anderson will be reading the slides.  Pray that it is something.  Anything else.  Second…in order for them to find something different they need to get the slides.  The slides are in transit.  They are not there yet.  They need to get there by Tuesday in order to be read in time for Carrie and Travis to discuss treatment options with the doctors at MD Anderson.  Please fervently pray for both of these things.

Every night Travis practices dying.  If you know Travis, when you are finished laughing, you won’t be surprised by this.  To hear him tell it is hilarious despite its morbidity.

“Yeah. I just lay down and close my eyes and think ‘I’m dead’.  It’s not too bad.  I hold my breath and I just practice dying.”

Breathe Travis. Just breathe. 

I lie down and sleep; I wake again, because the Lord sustains me. - Psalm 3:5
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16 responses to “Breathe Travis. Just Breathe.

  • Roberta Culberson

    Another verse to remember: Isaiah 41:10. “So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”

  • Steve Matheson

    The statistics have never meant anyone like Travis, the doctors have never met anyone like Travis, Amare Stoudemire has never met anyone like Travis, and this seemingly unpronounceable cancer has never met anyone like Travis. I have Faith, I know Travis.

  • Daniel & Cheri Urie

    I am Kristina Ganssers step sister. My husband had cancer when I just found out I was pregnant with our first child. Our faith and hope in the Lord was all that got us through. We are so sorry that you and your family are having to go through this but want you to know that we are praying for you.

  • kay P.

    Carrie and Travis…We are following your story and praying for one of God’s miracles. Hope you can connect with Terri and Steve. I think you will be s source of strength for each other.

  • Anita Zimmerman

    Hi Carrie and Travis,

    Less than 1% survival rate may be frightening when viewed through man’s eyes, but, thankfully, %’s are meaningless to God. Travis, you will not die a minute earlier than God has planned for you – and that may be when you are 95.

    A friend of mine was diagnosed with a cancerous brain tumor. The night before her surgery, 100’s of people met in prayer groups, begging the Lord for a miracle. That morning, about an hour before the surgery, her surgeon walked in her room and said, “I never do this, but for some reason, I feel that we need to do one more MRI to make certain of the exact location before I go in.” When the results were read, the doctor was speechless — there was no tumor, anywhere. What a testimony to the doctor and a tribute to the power of God! That was 15 years ago and my friend is still alive and praising the Lord for His goodness.

    “Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.” Isaiah 41:10

    I friend of Jason’s in Richmond, VA

    Anita

  • Lawrence

    Travis and Carrie,
    At times like this it is hard to know what to say. I am happy to hear that you’ve kept the humor that has been such a part of your life. I just want to encourage you to stand. So many times God tells us to just stand. Stand on the promises that He has given us. I know that your strong and are a good father and husband. I know that your good at business, but the beyond all these things your strength is shown in your faith and determination to keep your faith and spirit through this tough time. You are blessed with a wife who is a blessing beyond a helpmate enduring by your side, and kids that even though are growing too fast, are always smiling and full of life. You have a family that are there with you and will encourage you. We also appreciate you for who you are made to be. We will be there to encourage you and to stand with you. I can only empathize what you this is like for you, but I know that our Lord knows. I know that this isn’t what He wants for you. I know that He is there with you no matter what it feels like at these moments. I don’t think that this is the beginning of the end of the game but the beginning of the fight. We are with you. Stay strong and stand.

    • Travis

      Thank you so much. I know you guys have me in your prayers. I believe i can fight this with him and I will. Thanks again.

  • Anonymous

    Your faith is amazing, and your voice is being heard by countless people who need to witness true faith. Your story and the way you are both facing this monster who has invaded your lives are encouragements for all who are praying for you. I pray specifically for everything you ask, but I also pray for our creator to do what we know he can do. He can heal. He can give you a miracle. That is my prayer. I don’t have the privilege to know you but my daughter Erin does. I will continue to follow you and pray.

  • Kris Pettit

    Then the Lord God formed man of the dust from the ground and breathed into his nostrils the BREATH OF LIFE and man became a living being.
    Genesis 2:7

    Breathe on him breath of God, fill him with life anew

  • Jeanne

    I have been praying for all of you and will continue to do so. God is mighty and can do ALL things. Godspeed to all of you in your journey.

  • Jill Lively

    I stumbled across a posting about you and felt called to comment. Miracles are everywhere. I sat at lunch last week and there were three of us! I am a 49-year survivor of childhood leukemia and my odds were very poor, but here I am! The doctors are brilliant but they don’t know everything, but God does. Put your trust in the doctors but keep your faith in Him.

  • John Nordness

    Travis – You and GOD can beat this! Let your faith lead you! We are praying for you!
    John Nordness

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