Travis doesn’t feel pain.
At least…not like you and I feel pain. He can’t relate to people who stay home sick. Sickness has never slowed him down. If he breaks his arm…he simply uses his other arm to wakeboard. If he is passing a kidney stone…he shows up for the tennis match anyway. When he had foot surgery on both feet he played golf two days later…bleeding through his shoes. Most things that would bring others to their knees…Travis tends to walk right through.
It’s almost as if…he’s not human.
In the post, Chemo? What Chemo?, I wrote about being sick in bed for three days and Travis texting me, 48 hours out from his first chemo, to see if I was ok. So I have witnessed, first hand, how this guy handles sickness and pain and have thought…
this guy’s not human.
So imagine my surprise. My shock. My fear. When I get the text last night that Travis is having unimaginable pain. Unmanageable pain. Unbearable pain.
Travis’ scalp has been…”sensitive” since this past chemo session. My hunch is that Trav’s “sensitive” would equate to a trip to the ER if it were me but that is how he described it…”sensitive”. But last night there was something different. Something worse. It wasn’t his scalp. It was his brain.
Three times. Three separate times. Pain. Sharp pain. Sudden, sharp, radiating pain sheering through his brain in jolts as if he is being struck with a cattle prod. Three times…evenly spaced throughout the evening…they hit.
Pain that made him scream out.
Pain that took his breath away.
Pain that literally took him to his knees and showed that he is human after all.
Can you imagine what it is like, when you have cancer, and face a new pain? Can you imagine what your mind does to you? It’s simply my friend who has cancer and, yet, any time I feel something weird inside or my kids complain of something weird…suddenly…I give pause. A second thought. A “what if” flashes through my mind. If I am like that…what is the person who has cancer cells inside his body like when there is a new pain? Can you imagine what his mind does to him? Especially a person who does not usually experience pain and suddenly has insurmountable pain. What goes through his head? What goes through his wife’s head?
Did it spread?
Is it in the brain now?
If it’s in the brain…there are only weeks left.
Today was better. It was back to being…”sensitive”. And Travis got to speak to his doctor who believes last night was a side effect of the chemotherapy. A side effect that doesn’t usually come until you are on chemo for several months or even years. But Travis is a freak. He’s back to being non-human. He doesn’t get those pesky side effects like fatigue or nausea or hair loss. He get’s lightening bolts through his brain.
Perhaps the three jolts last night were a fluke. A response to a very long and strenuous weekend. Perhaps this is something that will occur every night the way fevers and sicknesses get worse at night. I hope not. I pray not. I don’t want my friend to go through this unimaginable pain. I don’t want to face that my dear friend…
is human after all.
Interview 2 of 6
Tonight we have part two of the six part interview series. If you did not get a chance to see Part One, or would like a refresher, I encourage you to watch it first. In tonight’s short, four minute clip Steve gets Travis to open out about first finding out that “something” is going on and what that was like. In a way, perhaps, this was the first time that Travis realized he was human after all….