From the Rat Race to the Waiting Game

This is a weird feeling. I have nothing to do today but clean my house. How does that happen? We have spent the last month in a cancer diagnosis rat race, running to doctor appointments, scans, blood work, and the biopsy; then traveling for more scans, more blood work, more doctor appointments… Now Trav is at work, and I have nothing to do but clean my house. Well, and catch up on bills and laundry and phone calls that have been set aside. But, we don’t have any doctor appointments today.
Trav and I were saying this morning that since we don’t have chemo this week it feels like we are doing nothing. That feels both strange and not good. It gives me too much time to read the message board on and feel slightly envious of the people who caught the disease before it spread out of the liver. Isn’t that crazy to be envious of someone else who has CC? I am actually happy for them, but I’m being honest in saying that my happiness is combined with a bit of envy. Why couldn’t Trav have gotten the kidney stones one year ago when the CT scan may have only shown a tumor in the liver and no enlarged nodes? Why couldn’t we have caught this disease before it left the liver? The whys only waste time, but I can’t keep them from sneaking into my head from time to time. Then I read about other people who were diagnosed because they were becoming jaundice and starting to itch. Their bilirubin numbers were already out of control at their diagnosis, so they have to wear drains and have stints put into their bile ducts. Wow, aren’t we blessed! Trav is symptom-free. Outside of the effects from chemo (so far tiredness and a headache), Travis is feeling good. That is so amazing, and we are beyond grateful.
Sunday night a friend came into town, Jason Mashburn (Mash). We are so happy that he is here. We have all been friends since middle/high school when Mash was Trav’s main partner in crime. Trav broke his anti cancer diet Sunday night so that we could go to the hole in the wall Mexican restaurant that Trav and Mash went to when they were skipping school back in the Wheeler High School days. We even sat at their booth.  Well, at dinner Mash asked about the blog. He was wondering if it would be updated as much now that we don’t have new things going on every day. That is a good question. Probably not. Simply because we don’t have as much to report now that we are in the waiting game.
The first date that we are waiting for is a blood test that Trav will get in about four weeks. This blood test will look at his tumor marker which is called CA19-9. It is the blood marker that points the doctors to his diagnosis of Cholangiocarcinoma. Trav’s CA19-9 level is insane. It is 91,000. Normal levels are between 0-37! You may be wondering if that was a typo that you just read. That is what we asked the doctors. Are you sure it is 91,000? Dr Hamrick assures us that it is nothing to worry about. Everyone has his own starting point, and it doesn’t necessarily mean anything. The only thing that matters is that it goes down. In approximately four weeks, Trav will have his blood drawn, and we will be on our knees praying that his CA19-9 level is lower than 91,000.
The second date that we are waiting for will be in about two months:  the CT scan that tells us if the chemo is helping. When I set the date for the CT scan, I will let everyone know. Like I have said before, two months isn’t really long enough to have amazing results, so stable or slight shrinkage of the cancer will be a win.
So… even if you go days without hearing from us, please don’t stop praying. The waiting days seem harder than the busy days. You all know how that is. It is nice to be busy and productive. Please pray that the meds are hard at work and killing each and every cancer cell. Pray that those lymph nodes respond to the chemo. Pray for our strength and our patience. Pray for our three little ones. Trey and Pippi know that daddy is sick, but of course they don’t understand cancer. Please keep joining us in prayer while we are waiting!!!

31 responses to “From the Rat Race to the Waiting Game

  • Anita Zimmerman

    Be assured, even those of us who don’t know you personally are praying and care. We are looking forward to seeing the results and trusting God for encouraging news!

    Anita, from Richmond

  • Jane Boone

    Carrie, I work for Cindy helping her with the soap making and that is how I came to know about you and Travis and your sweet family. I want you to know you are all in my prayers. For sure waiting is hard!! God be with you!

  • Anonymous

    Hi Carrie, My sister, Andi, sent me your blog which I am very thankful for. Know that you and your family are in my thoughts and prayers everyday! Please let me know if you need anything. We are here for you!
    God brings you to it and God gets you through it.
    Thank you for your updates.
    Erika Olson Smith (now in Chapel Hill, NC)

  • Donna

    Don’t worry our prayer will not stop!! I pray several times everyday and know that you are always on my mind!! Sometimes the wait is the hardest part but I just know that the fight and prayer are working, I feel it! My constant love and faith go out to all of you!!

  • sistermamavg

    You don’t know me, but you may know my daughter — Megan (Gernazian) Bonselaar. Just want you to know that our family and friends are praying, praying, praying for all of you! Fighting for your life and resting in His arms don’t seem to go together, but that’s what we are praying for. Fight & Rest!

  • Dorien

    HI! I’m Dorien (Husband has CC-i am also on the CC board) Just wanted to say that at two months IT IS possible to have great shrinkage! My husband just finished his first “round” of chemo (2 on/1 off week)–had his follow up PET scan and his liver tumor shrunk about 66%!!!! (his cc has also spread out of his liver to lymph and lungs–so i “get” the envious” part). Sending good wishes your way…. If you ever want to follow along–my blog is “” ….Same story, different flavor. 🙂 again, sending good wishes to you all! Dorien

    • Carrie Roberts

      Thank you for reading. I will read your blog soon too, and thank you for the encouraging news about your husbands results.

  • Dorien

    oops shouldve said first round as in 8 weeks TOTAL! 🙂

  • Kay Van Curen

    Carrie, you don’t know me but that doesn’t keep me from praying for you and Travis. I can’t even tell you how I first got your blog but apparently I am supposed to be a prayer partner! I’ve been reading all the blogs and what a testimony you and Travis are to God’s grace and love. I pray for God’s strength to carry you both and for His love to spread all around you through people He draws to you. I pray for God’s wisdom to come through Travis’ doctors. I pray that the Great Physician will completely heal Travis and through it HE will get all the praise and glory. I am a sister in Christ!

    Kay Van Curen

  • Jason Mashburn

    Love you guys!

  • Julie Tibbs

    Sweet Sister! Please know that I pray daily for y’all in my qt and then each time the Lord places you on my heart thru the day! I pray God give you peace when your heart is troubled, I pray He meets you at every worry with a sweet touch of His Spirit and I pray He holds you both close as you walk thru these days and weeks! Loads of hugs and prayers!

    Julie Tibbs

  • charlie Rizzo

    Carrie: Should you need me, let me know-my prayers are daily but if I can be of service, please let me know . Whatever will ease your your trials and tribulation, I will make the effort. I want to help in any way that I can. Mr Charlie CFA. Be strong knowing many, many of us are praying and trusting in our Lord for the miracle I believe will happen.

  • Vicki Gansser

    Carrie, you and Travis and your 3 beautiful children are in my prayers daily. Reading what you and Travis have posted shows your amazing faith and strength. May GOD bless all of you.

    Vicki Gansser

  • stacey gaffney

    Travis and carrie,
    I am praying for you all every day!! I have added Travis’ name to every prayer list I know of!! Thank you for giving us specific items to pray for!! I am sorry I was unable to attend the prayer meeting a few weeks back but rest assured prayers were being lifted up for you all here at my house. So many are flooding God with desperate prayers for your family and we know that God hears every prayer. Stay strong in the peace that only He can give!
    Stacey Gaffney

  • Mable Roberts

    We are praying for all of you. You are also on our prayer list at church.

  • charlie Rizzo

    Carrie: Keep that smile on your face.

  • Trayece Watts

    Carrie, you two are often in my thoughts and always in my prayers. I prayed for you two while I was running yesterday. My shoes aren’t flashy enough to be kicks like you two wear, but i am saving up in the hopes of getting a pair. Praying His peace that passes understanding guards your hearts and minds especially during the waiting.

  • Cholangiocarcinoma | Find Me A Cure

    […] From the Rat Race to the Waiting Game […]

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