The Dream Team

Tuesday was a good day

Tuesday I met with the dream team.  This is the team that I am hoping God put together to save my life.  At 1:30, I had my first meeting with my interventional radiologist.  He is very young (36) with a young daughter.  For the record young doctors, when you have a rare disease, make me feel better than old doctors.  They just get it.  They are edgy, risky, and understand what it means to not want to leave your children behind.   They are not hardened by failures.  They don’t just phone it in and look at you as a stat.  They see a father.  They understand when you tell them that you would rather die by being overly aggressive in 18 months. By pressing and fighting to get the tumors small enough to just maybe be lucky enough to have a liver resection(instead of dying at 24 months without trying).  They understand that six months is irrelevant in the grand scheme of things.  When you look at what is going on in the world of Cholangiocarcinoma the standard of care for my stage is chemo first then some sort of radiation.  I do not know if I have even heard of doing them at the same time in any of the CC chat rooms.  This Dr. wants me to start chemo Thursday and get set up for y-90 radiation at the same time.  This from what I can tell is NOT the standard.  This is risky.. This will make me very sick…  We are going to meet with Dr Hamrick tomorrow before I start my chemo.  We are going to get his opinion on doing both chemo and radiation at once.  Then we will decide. 

Next we met with a liver transplant/resection doctor.  He is one of a 3 person surgical team in this department at Piedmont.  These guys come highly recommended and they are incredible.  At one time we had 6 people in the room wanting to meet me.  We thought that we might be having a party.  For one thing it is amazing that this surgeon took his time to meet me.  I am not a candidate for surgery at all right now and no other hospital thought there would be any point in having me meet with a surgeon.  This guy truly wants me to get to the point that I can have a surgery.  That means I have to have the cancer out of my lymph nodes.  At that point, one of the guys on the 3 man team will take on my liver.  If they think there is the slightest chance that they can  help me, they will do surgery.  This guy got it!  He got that I want to go out guns blazing.  If I am going to go out… I am going to go out fighting.  His words were, “you are a 38 year old otherwise healthy father of 3. We are going to throw the kitchen sink at you”.  Thank you God!  That is what we have been looking for. 

So even though it is scary to go to the doctors and see the looks on the faces, we did not get that from Piedmont Hospital.  They saw me for who I am and not as a stat.  They were straight up about my challenges, but they told me not to give up hope.   That is what Carrie and I needed to hear. 

The prayer request now is that my cancer will react positively to the chemo that I start tomorrow.  I will be going every other Thursday, and the treatment will last about 5 hours.  I will be learning how my body deals with the chemo as far as side effects.  Then I will be scanned in 2 months to see how the cancer has reacted.  Two months is not long enough to make great progress, so it will be considered progress if the cancer has not grown or spread.  BUT, lets pray for shrinkage and especially that it kills those cells in my lymph nodes.

I want to thank everyone for your love, support and prayers.  We are blown away by the kindness.  I keep asking Carrie, “Where have I been?  I never knew that people were this good”.   So thank you for being there for me.  God has given me the strength that I need to make it through each day, and I thank Him for that every morning and every night.  

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27 responses to “The Dream Team

  • Josh Hilburn

    I’m very proud of you for wanting to fight this and be aggressive Travis. You have a lot to live for and I have a good feeling about the dream team. I thank you for sharing your battle. Ash and I continue to keep you and your family in our thoughts and prayers.

  • charlie Rizzo

    Travis & Carrie: I once asked an Army Chaplain if there was hope. His answer there is always hope and what I am saying is you have a battle on your hands but I sense you are ready for it and determined to win and you will. Remember, the Heavenly team is in your corner, don’t forget that.

  • Judy Edmondson Smith

    Praise the Lord! God is always good. I continue to pray for your family and am expecting a miracle.

  • Donna Keel Smith

    P nut , you continue to fight and we will continue to pray for you, Carrier and the kids!! You are a fighter and look at all the outpouring of love that is pushing you along the way!!! YOU GOT THIS!! Put on your best Cancer Kicks, thank God everday and get in the ring!!

  • Joy Hoffmann

    I am so glad that you have found doctors who are willing to hope with you and fight for you. Praise God!

  • Erin Bankston

    LOVE hearing a post from you yourself every now and again. You can totally do this…you’re such a cool cat and we all can’t wait to see how awesome the outcome will be (no pressure :). Good luck in starting chemo tomorrow!

  • John Pettit

    “We Stand Amazed”

    Your grace is still a mystery, that you would save a wretch like me.
    No love goes deeper, no song sounds sweeter.
    And we confess our wandering eyes have turned to sin a thousand times,
    We sing together, “Your love tastes better.”
    Your death; our bread and wine, your Word our life divine.
    So when you’re not the center of our minds,

    Take us back.

    We will cling to the cross despised and rugged,
    We will stare at the words inscribed above it:
    “This is Christ the King of the Jews”
    He’s the one that sinners call “Beloved”.
    Then we’ll run to the tomb where sin was laid,
    Where the stone on my heart was rolled away.
    Oh, the blessed joy that meets us here!
    When we see the Savior’s face, once again we stand amazed.

    And when the world tempts us to fall, and tells us, “Your not worth it all”,
    We might be shaken, but we’re not forsaken.
    And when the sorrows like billows roll, and drown the music in our souls,
    One hope He leaves us-To see you Jesus!
    Your hands that heal the blind, that placed the stars in line,
    Are reaching out into this heart of mine.
    Your voice that calms the sea, oh, that told the world to be,
    Is whispering a peace inside of me.

    And takes me back.

    We will cling to the cross despised and rugged,
    We will stare at the words inscribed above it:
    “This is Christ the King of the Jews”
    He’s the one that sinners call “Beloved”.
    Then we’ll run to the tomb where sin was laid,
    Where the stone on my heart was rolled away.
    Oh, the blessed joy that meets us here!
    When we see the Savior’s face, once again we stand amazed.

    Amazing grace! You saved our wretched souls.
    Upon these broken instruments, You wrote a song that won’t grow old.
    And amazing love! You set our heart in tune, so we sing only for you.
    And amazing love! You set our heart in tune, so we sing only for you
    Oh, God, we sing only for you.
    Your blood has paid the debt. Your life has conquered death.
    So, when we are enslaved by our regret, when the Devil tempts us to forget,

    Will you take us back?

    We will cling to the cross despised and rugged,
    We will stare at the words inscribed above it:
    “This is Christ the King of the Jews”
    He’s the one that sinners call “Beloved”.
    Then we’ll run to the tomb where sin was laid,
    Where the stone on my heart was rolled away.
    Oh, the blessed joy that meets us here!
    When we see the Savior’s face, once again we stand amazed.

    Travis, this is one of my faves. You and Carrie flood my thoughts, so I pray, and believe.

    In His grip,

    John

  • Jeanne

    I am praying for you and your family in this storm in your lives. You sound like an awesome family and I have hope that you will be healed. God bless you in your fight.

  • Nathan

    Now that is the Travis I know. I knew the day we met that you had a streak of Red Neck in you, ready to fight and not back down. Travis each of us wish we could be there with you, and spiritually we are, because I know that you are being lifted up in prayer 24/7. I love you,MAN!

  • Molly Loehrer Ketcham

    Your words are so full of power and fight and that made me feel the urge to pray even harder. My husband and I know of you through Matt and Kristina and had the great pleasure of meeting you and Carrie once in The Woodlands. You two and your sweet family have been on my mind and in my prayers since Carrie’s first FB post. I love your attitude and determination! It WILL take you far! Blessings upon blessings to you!

  • Cassie Accurso

    Travis and Carrie,

    I just wanted you to know that I think about you and your family every day. I pray that a miracle will happen and God will continue to strengthen you every day.

    Love Always,
    Cassie Accurso

  • Lisa Sager

    Praying for you, Travis! And for your precious family, too. I learned about your diagnosis from Jenni and am impressed with your attitude and determination. I have been praying for you daily and will continue to pray for strength and healing. I can tell God is placing the very best doctors and surgeons in your life and you’ve got an excellent team on your side. Fondly, Lisa Sager

  • Gino Molinet

    Travis love you and always here when you need us. We will keep on praying for you and your family and know that we will also be the support along with everyone in this blog, that will never give up hope. Know that God is and will always be, with you and your family all the way. Miracles happen everyday in our walk of life. We believe you are and will be “The Walking Miracle”

    Love you Always,

    Gino, Margo and Erika Molinet

  • Anita Zimmerman

    Travis, I have never met you and Carrie, but I am beginning to feel like you are friends. I prayed this morning that God will heal you through this aggressive treatment, and that you will live to a ripe old age, serving the Lord with a grateful heart. I heard someone once say, “Lord, don’t let me waste this time of suffering.” I am praying that you and Carrie will be living trophies of His grace and that you will be a shining testimony to the doctors and nurses caring for you. May many of them be drawn to Him because of you.

    Anita from Richmond

  • Kelly (Hubley) Colvert

    Travis, you got this! I can truly say that I understand what you are going through. I was diagnosed in October 2011 with cancer. I went through 6 months of chemo and 35 treatments of radiation. I will continue to pray for you!!

  • steve townley

    Travis, I have already prayed for you this morning, asking God to give you strength to walk this path. As I sit in my chair at this very moment I envision you walking into Piedmont Hospital, a place I have been several times over the years, and know that God walks with you as you begin chemo. How like God it is to use something that is basically poison to kill the sickness and save us for His Glory. I will call on God’s name each time I think of you in these days.

  • Anonymous

    Good morning Travis and Carrie,
    Just got the news. Robbie(Hemma/Superintendent) and I have all of you wrapped in prayer. Be encouraged. God’s grace is sufficient. You have been surrounded by so much love and faith.
    You both are an awesome testimony. We love you!

  • Judy Eubanks

    PRAYING!!!

  • Anonymous

    Keep the strong faith! My dad did chemo and radiation at the same time and it worked! Love and prayers everyday to you and your beautiful family!!

  • Mark P. Henderson

    Travis, stay strong in the Lord. He cured me of Lymphosarcoma when I was twenty and I had Chemo and Radiation almost simultaneously. That was 39 years ago. I believe it was entirely because of the power of the love and prayers of others and God’s Word in my life. His scriptures are a great source of strength and encouragement. Here is a verse someone sent me the others day because I am going in for a heart procedure.

    I pray to God so that you have health and prompt recovery,I understand you were affected of health,just trust in the lord as he said in Jeremiah 33:6, Nevertheless, I will bring health and healing to it; I will heal my people and will let them enjoy abundant peace and security.

    I will stay in touch and in prayer.

    Mark Henderson

  • Arianna Gray

    You guys are never far from my heart. I’m praying many times a day. I am asking God to guide you, to give you strength and more specifically to bring you to the right person/team to restore your hope and your health. This post feels much like an answered prayer! With love and continued prayers,
    Arianna

  • Anonymous

    We love you and are with you in prayer. God wants you well.

  • Kay Pigg

    Travis and Carrie, we are praying for you everyday along with our prayers for Steve. I wrote you about our friend who about 3 months ago found out he has the same cancer as you and is going through treatment also. Did you ever contact them? I think you would both help each other. Just know you are in our prayers and please contact me if you need Steve’s contact again. Kay

    • Travis

      Carrie probably got it but can you forward the contact info to me? We have been lots of messages and it may have been missed. Thank you so much for reaching out. I would love to talk to him. Also my cell is 404-867-4705. He can call at any time.

      Thanks Travis roberts

      Sent from my iPhone

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