Cancer Kicks.

ImageIf you know Travis you know his style. And you know he is known for his style. His clothes are as wild as his personality and his shoes…as loud. Kind of like these little gems. His recent purchase. His new “cancer kicks”.

And you love him for it. Love him to the point that you take the fashion RISK of buying them in his honor. Wearing them in his honor. Friends like Steve Matheson and Charlie Cogen (aka The Chuckster) buy crazy shoes like this and send Travis pictures of them wearing them…just to make him feel better. Just to make him smile. Because that’s how much Travis is loved.

IMG_0139Loved by his precious wife, who is walking this journey along side him…in her own new pair of “cancer kicks.”

So Travis just wants to say thanks. Thanks for all the love. The support. And introduce you to his new “cancer kicking” shoes. He bought them for this trip. For this FIGHT. And he is ready to fight. He now has…a plan.

God has been so faithful in answering our prayers. Perhaps not always in the way we would want but His ways are so much greater than ours. So even when we may not agree I guess we just have to trust. After yesterday’s post, Disneyland for Dead People, our dear friend Kelly emailed me and said:

I am a faith person – I will believe to the point of people thinking I am an idiot!!! But I tell u this, I DO believe he will be healed!!! Having the lab tech read the results wrong isn’t much of a miracle….and I know God is gonna give us all a KABOOM miracle that forces the blind to see!!!! Not unto death….I believe it!

Guess I’ve got a lot to learn about being a faith person. Anybody else?

Yesterday, Carrie and Travis received confirmation that it is, in fact, Cholangiocarcinoma. They met with an expert, Dr. Shroff, (and I mean expert) in Cholangiocarcinoma. Cholangiocarcinoma and Pancreatic Cancer are the only things she works on. They could not have been in better hands so there is no more questioning if this is what Travis has.

And yet. Travis and Carrie feel peace. Prayer Answered.

Yesterday, Dr. Shroff sat and discussed treatment options with them in depth. There are so many treatment options. More than Travis and Carrie first realized. More than our “Google research” ever showed. Despite that, her suggestion aligned with the original suggestion that Dr. Hamrick, aka Dr. Rockstar, gave initially. She feels the best course of treatment, initially, would be to attack this cancer with two chemotherapies at once – Gemcitabine and Cysplatnum. Travis will be given chemo every two weeks for six hours. After two months they will reassess and determine their next course of action. Their next line of defense. It could be some kind of localized radiation such as Y-90 or Proton Therapy or another type of chemo treatment.

So the treatment course is clear. There is no worry about making the “wrong decision”. There really is no decision to make. Prayer Answered.

Dr. Shroff felt strongly about using the Gemcitabine and Cysplatnum together. She explained that their studies have shown that the Gemcitabine is far more effective when it is used in combination with Cysplatnum. So are you ready for the exciting part?

They have only been using this combination for THREE years. So who knows if the scary stats on the Internet are even close to being accurate anymore! There seems to be advancements in treatment pointing to possible…survivors????? For the first time ever. MD Anderson is giving them options, and, there’s a little bit of tangible hope. Prayer Answered.

And…the treatment prescribed.  Can be done in Atlanta.  Home.  Travis getting treatment and sleeping in his own bed.  With his family.

Prayer Answered.

Additionally, Carrie and Travis found out that MD Anderson would push for him to have Foundation 1 testing. Foundation 1 testing is an expensive, genetic testing that will show doctors which chemotherapy treatments your body is susceptible to. Scientists look at your DNA and look at where the gene is mutated and that tells them which specific chemo can attack it best. Sadly, many patients don’t get this. Either their doctor does not push for it, their insurance company won’t pay for it, or they cannot afford it. Your body can literally reject the chemotherapy and it will not fight the cancer. This test helps avoid that. What’s more is that Dr. Shroff stated that, because Travis’ cancer is so rare the Foundation will want it. So…if they can’t get it covered by insurance the Foundation will likely eat the cost.

Prayer Answered.

But what about all those scary statistics? What about those percentages? Don’t get me wrong. Cholangio is still a scary thing. And the percentages and numbers and expectancy doesn’t change. But. Dr. Shroff doesn’t see Travis as a number. Dr. Shroff sees him as an individual. And within just 30 minutes of meeting with Travis she was able to see him for who he is…a fighter. And SHE SAID….”I think you are an outlier.” Just. Like. Dr. Hamrick.

Prayer Answered.

The only way cholangiocarcinoma is ever cured is with surgery. But stage four patients are not eligible for surgery. Ever. Since first finding this out and seeing the stats between those who had surgery, and those who did not, Travis has been searching for a surgeon who would roll the dice on him. Who would take a chance. Because he knows that is his only chance. Yesterday…he found that surgeon. A conference call with a Piedmont Hospital suregeon at 5:00 gave Travis his first hope for surgery.

Prayer Answered.

But. Currently, Travis’ tumor is so large it is crossing between his right and left lobe in the liver. No surgeon in the world will touch that. He basically wouldn’t have a liver left if they did. So. We have to pray for the impossible. Pray that Travis’ body not only takes the chemotherapy but that it shrinks the tumor. This is a long shot for two reasons. First, cholangiocarcinoma does not usually respond to chemotherapy – which is why it is a “bad one”. Second, on the patients who do respond it typically does not shrink the tumor. It simply eats up the cancer but leaves the tumor “carcus” behind. We need it to get out of the left lobe. We need it to shrink. And then. Despite the odds. Despite the “rules”. The surgeon will consider surgery.

Today, when Travis went back to get the I.V. for his CT scan, the nurse looked at him and bluntly said,” Do you believe in God?”

Travis responded, “Yes. Yes I do.”

“Well keep believing honey…cause I see miracles walk out of here every day.”

I don’t know about you but I see God working in the Roberts life. He is answering prayers. Holding them in His mighty hand. Giving them peace.

Standing with God, Travis and Carrie are ready to take on this beast. In their new “cancer kicks”.

23 responses to “Cancer Kicks.

  • Brooke Bourgeois

    I LOVE the HOPE interwoven throughout this story and implicit in their trip to MD Anderson. With everyone’s faith, prayers and these wonderful doctors who do not just see Travis as a number, a miracle will happen. Although I still understand the severity of the diagnosis, this post helped to lift some heaviness off of my heart. I hope that Carrie and Travis feel the same about these recent developments.
    Keep the posts coming, you are an amazing writer. Thank you.
    Brooke Bourgeois

  • Nancy and Rene

    Have called many friends and added your name to their prayer lists. We are routing for you all the way. Nancy and Rene

  • Kelli

    Just want you to know that I am thinking of you and your precious family and praying for you everyday!!! God is good and he will heal!!

  • Christy McHan

    Wonderful news. This will be a long journey, but I believe that it can be fought.

  • charlie Rizzo

    Through God all things are possible. I’ve not met Travis but have met Carrie and children. Travis, God knows His plan for you and your not through-you will take care of Carrie and rear these little people-then and only then is your time to go home. Keep the faith.

  • Gino Molinet

    God is awesome!!!! We love you and are excited about the enormous possibilities…… I will be getting new “Cancer Kicks” soon…

    Love you always


  • Marisol

    I always said from the beginning that I felt deep in my heart that everything is going to be ok. I don’t know why, but that was my gut feeling when I heard the news. Thinking of you all every day. Thanks for keeping everyone updated through the blog, Christina. There are so many people out there who care so much about the Roberts’ and it is wonderful to be able to be informed of everything that is happening.

  • Gina Briscoe

    I am believing for you that Travis will beat this thing. I know God is in the business of miracles that bring Him glory and this certainly would. A healing with no other explanation than God!!!! I know the plans I have for you. Plans for a future and a hope. (Paraphrase of Jer. 29:11). We are all praying for you guys!!!!
    Gina Briscoe (Jan’s Mom)

  • John Pettit

    I find myself hourly taking a peek at concretefaith hoping to see if the next entry is up. At last Ali pulled this one up tonight and began reading. I was mearly tearing until she got to, “Well keep believing honey…cause I see miracles walk out of here every day” then I totally lost it. Travis, you are the miracle she will be talking about to the next wave of scared, dejected, hopless people come through MD Anderson. Love you, Bro. John

  • Tracy Hackling

    I wrote to you earlier about my father’s bile duct cancer. Dr Jeffrey Hoadley, M.D., F.A.C.S. is the dr who operated on my father, and performed the whipple. He had done several and he and his colleagues were knowledgeable about the procedure. He is at St Joseph’s in Atlanta. Just incase you wanted a consultation. He also performed a gal bladder operation on my brother, an intestinal resection on my mother and his partner performed an apendectomy on me. Needless to say, we have confidence in this practice. I think about you all, and say a prayer daily for your family. Peace be with you. Tracy Hackling

  • Kelly Loew

    Adam and I LONG for these posts every day….we read them slowly, word for word….sometimes we go back to old posts and read….we want to know EVERYTHING! Kristina, thank you for your constant diligence in blogging!

    Lee & Care, we feel such hope after reading this latest post! We now have specific things to pray for and specific goals and timelines….we love you both so much!!! You were both there for Greg when he was in his accident nearly 20 years ago….we watched God work a miracle in my brother then….a living, breathing miracle!! And now, I know in my heart, we will see God’s miraculous love heal Lee’s body and boggle minds in the medical community!!

  • Anonymous

    Praying for you Carrie and Travis!

  • Jason Ashworth

    Travis it’s been a while ! We played baseball together.We were on the Indians and your Dad was our coach. God is not done with you yet !Travis I’m a walking miracle. On August 12th 1994. God got a hold of me . I was in a severe car accident and my leg was wrapped around a pole and broken completely into. The doctors told me if I ever walked again I would walk with a limp or not walk at all. Two weeks later I was laying on the couch in my den at home. I began to pray and The Lord told me to get up and walk ! I thought I was going crazy I had never had heard the voice of God before but it was as clear as your reading this now ! I had a cast all the way up my leg and I got up and walked. I had an appointment the next day to go back to the doctor and get it checked. I did not tell the doctor about what happend . He took x-rays , removed my cast and put on another one and sent me home. Yes even I was in somewhat of doubt myself so I just went with it . But God would not let go of me or what he did. So the next day I went back and told the doctor my cast was not write. He left the room,I noticed my chart on the bed next to me . So I began to read it on my chart from the day before I read ” seems to be Heald ??? ” the doctor then returned to the room and asked if I could walk on it. I said sure and I walked down the hall and the doctor turned pale white. At that time he said I’m going to release you as my patient. God was not done with me! I was like you grew up in church. But did not know God. Now I run after him for everything. It has not been an easy road but in the end it’s always rewarding because all the Glory is for the Glory of God . Threw trials and tribulations I grow closer to him each step of the way . It’s called a testimony of who God really is . God always has a purpose and a plan for each and everyone of us . Travis GOD IS NOT DONE WITH YOU YET !!
    Jason Ashworth

    • Travis

      Jason- I am very happy you shared your story. I love to hear the miracles that are out there. The things that I am hearing is crazy how God has worked. I have seen the miracles with me getting sick and how he has arranged everything for me to get the care that I need.

      I sure hope he is not done with me. I pray every day for the miracle. I know he has a plan for me and I am waiting to see what it is. I have given myself to him and am basically a brand new christian and learning every day. I am scared and excited for the journey and I am excited to see how he uses me. Thank you so much for this post. It helps me hearing these things..

  • Donna Keel Smith

    Perfect kicks Travis!!! You fight fight fight – I will keep praying praying praying!! Love and Hugs!

  • Cheryl Harrison

    Praying for you and your family as you fight this courageous fight. “Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit” (Rom. 15:13). Cheryl Harrison

  • Jason Mashburn

    I will proudly wear my “cancer kicks” in your honor!

  • Laurie Sepulveda

    We’re praying for you up here in New Hampshire! I’ve got so much hope for your future Travis! Carrie you’re amazing and God could not have picked a more perfect woman to walk beside Travis through all of this.

  • Kristen Hubert


  • Debbie Welch Douthit

    Travis and Carrie – I love you both and from the moment I met you I felt God created a perfect match when he brought the two of you together and now he is using your love and testimony to bring so many to him. Travis you are a “bigger than life – awesome guy and personality” and God is an all knowing AWESOME God and I know he is with you every step, every second, every moment !!!

  • Debbie Welch Douthit

    P.S. Travis – I live with one of those miracles….Thomas was given six months….He is now 21….Isn’t it awesome when you actually get to see and be a miracle….and you are one special miracle !!!

  • Elaine Lord

    Great news with finding the perfect doctor. Miracles happen. One happened for Tommy. Thinking of you and your family.

  • One Foot in Front of the Other | Concrete Faith

    […] time one of side effects could be hair loss.  I remember seeing hundreds of pictures of “cancer kicks” on Facebook.  I look forward to seeing all the bald heads in support […]

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