Family History

I have to admit that I think I have been in denial this week…I guess that is what you would call it. For the first time I have gone a few hours multiple times and have not thought about the fact that Trav has cancer. Sort of a weird feeling…My sister came to visit Thursday and we took our boys to Monkey Joes. On the way home she asked how Trav was doing. It took me a second to remember why she was asking. In fact I did not think about the cancer while we were at Monkey Joes at all. Isn’t that nice? Just fun times with my sister, my sweet nephew, and my two boys!

It is interesting how each week, each day, is so different.

In order to share what I want to today, I have to go back a little. Travis was a Risk Management Insurance major at UGA. Thank goodness for that because he has always known the importance of insurance. Life has smacked us in the face lately. It has been really hard, but I am so happy about a few things that we have done to prepare for the worst. I can’t imagine the stress that we would be feeling if we had not planned ahead.

So, there is a man that we know named Matt Goodwin. We met him about 8 years ago when we bought Northwestern Mutual Insurance through him. We have grown to be friends over the years. He has no clue that I am sharing this (until he reads the blog ☺). About 5 years ago, after Trey was born Matt told us that we should buy a life insurance policy on Trey. I was honestly horrified. Why would I put a life insurance policy on my baby??? I couldn’t think of anything more horrible. The last thing that a new mom wants to think about is something bad happening to her new baby. I would not want to benefit if something bad happened to my child!!! He explained that it would be a policy that accrued money and would be a savings plan for Trey at the same time as being a life insurance policy. At that time, THAT was what sold me. A savings plan???… SURE!

BUT…today I am so grateful that we did this for our kids and NOT because it is a savings plan. With these policies, if GOD FORBID one of my kids gets sick at any point in their life, and I mean sick enough that they are no longer eligible for life insurance, they will have these policies. Not only will they have the policies that we purchased for them, but they will also have the opportunity to increase the policies without additional medical questioning later in life. We can pass these on to them when they are responsible adults. They can leave them as is or add to them. Of course we all hope that our children will always be healthy enough to get life insurance. We all pray for the health of our children constantly, but as I am learning, you just never know. I think that it is a really great gift to give your children if you can. It is a guarantee to protect their families in the future.

That is just food for thought, but it sets up the story that comes next.

So, anyone who has a 3rd child probably knows that you start slacking when it comes to that 3rd baby. Fewer pictures, fewer new clothes, fewer rules. I mean, sometimes you completely forget about them. Haha! Our 3rd baby, Jake, looks just like Trav. That’s what everyone says anyway. He is our only dark-eyed baby. He is laid back and so adorable. Just a total chilled out little guy!!!

Poor Jakey just turned two, and guess what I had NOT set up for him yet. His life insurance policy! Of course I thought about it 100 times. I intended to do it from the time he was born, but it was not at the forefront of my mind, like, EVER!

Recently, we have had some meetings with Matt Goodwin, and I mentioned to him that we better get Jake’s policy set up. Matt came over one day. We sat at my dining room table as we have many times. We went over the same form that he and I had gone over for Trey and then for Piper. Everything, the same! We went over the many medical questions that Northwestern Mutual requires for underwriting. Does he have any heart problems? Has he had any surgeries? Mental issues? Learning issues? Permanent prescription drugs? With each child I remember thinking how thankful I am that my babies are healthy as Matt reads the LONG list of possible medical issues. To each question, I answer “NO” he does not have that. All of my babies have been healthy. Know this, I am so grateful for that, and my heart just breaks for our friends who have children who are not healthy. I have so much love, respect, and sympathy for those parents. With Trey, Piper and Jake, EACH ONE HAS BEEN THE SAME!!! HEALTHY! HEALTHY! HEALTHY!


We get to the end of the form!!! Something is different???!!!


My heart sinks. Matt looks at me with a sad face because Travis is his friend. This news about Trav’s cancer was a big blow for Matt. They have a special relationship filled with respect. We both know that Trey was underwritten with a healthy daddy. Piper was underwritten with a healthy daddy. If I would have applied for Jake’s policy 1 year ago, he would have been underwritten with a healthy daddy. Does it really matter for Jake’s policy? Not really. Does it matter for my heart? Yep, Big Time!

In that moment, I realized that from now on when I am sitting in the doctor’s office, and I am filling out those forms for my kids, I will have to put Dad has Cancer under the Family Medical History section!

Trey, Piper, and Jake’s Dad at 38 years old has cancer. Cholangiocarcinoma. Incurable Cancer. Even if Travis is 100% healed by the grace and mercy of Jesus Christ, I will still need to write cancer on my kids’ medical charts.

This one stings! I don’t want my babies to grow up with this on their medical charts. I don’t want to write it on their forms. I don’t want to explain what kind of cancer Travis has to every new doctor that we see in the years to come. Seriously, you DO NOT want to see the faces of the doctors when we say Cholangiocarcinoma.

I don’t want to hear my kids say, “My dad has cancer.” I don’t want them to feel this pain. But, it is here! Their Dad Has Cancer! YUCK!!! That sounds dumb to just say “yuck,” as if that touches on the horribleness. I don’t really know how to express the feelings though. It is just hard sometimes. Writing it was an unsettling experience. A sad moment.

As I said earlier, every day is different. Actually, every hour or minute can be different. I will end by sharing that we were on the boat a bunch this weekend. Trey and Pippi both went out on this inflatable ski trainer that goes behind the boat. It was a beautiful weekend at the lake. The kids were as proud as they could be about the ski trainer. ☺ Trav and I were as proud as we could be watching them stand on this little inflatable raft. We were laughing and smiling and loving our family time and our time with friends. This is what we love to do more than anything. We are so grateful for the good days. We spend very little time focusing on the scary stuff. The scary thoughts come! We cry and then we thank God for the good and we move on.

Thank you God that Trav feels as good as he does. Thank you God that it looks like his cancer is responding to the chemo. Thank you God that we are such a strong family. Thank you God for putting Trav and I together long ago so we had time to grow into this team. Thank you God for our friends and support group.

We will never be able to thank everyone enough or express how you all make us feel. Love to you all! Carrie

4 responses to “Family History

  • John Pettit

    Your post is so powerful, Car. I mean, these posts empower us-the folks that are lifting you guys up. They give us energy. Thank you for your honesty and your perspective. Praying. John

  • Georgia

    Thanks, Carrie, for Sharing and allowing us to read on your journey. Love and prayers with all of you! Love, Georgia

  • Donna

    Carrie, I pray for so many more days of joy and good times with family and friends!! You and P-nut know that I pray everyday for all of you and your post I believe, have brought us all closer in faith!! Love and Hugs to all of you! Love Donna

  • charlie Rizzo

    Carrie: Fight only one battle at a time. Deal with the known and one that will be won. Prayer and trust in our Lord is the armor you wear and if there are battles to be fought, then address them. Keep your courage and remember the word Hope. With you and Travis and the children in prayer. Mr. Charlie

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