Throughout life we are given many reminders. Reminders of the past. Reminders of future promises. Reminders of present circumstances. Reminders are everywhere.
Reminders can be a great thing. When you sit at the beach, and watch the waves roll in and hear the seagulls chirp, you are reminded of God’s greatness. His majesty. He reminds us of His presence through nature.
Reminders can be hard too though.
When Travis got his amazing results back from the CT scan last week I revisited The Cholangiocarcinoma Foundation’s website. With so much promise. With such amazing results. What had I missed? There must have been someone. Someone with stage 4 who had…won.
And then I was reminded….
I was reminded of the statistics. I was reminded of the devastation that Cholangiocarcinoma is. I was reminded of the reality.
And I wept.
I wept for those who have gone through this. For those going through it. And, most of all, I wept for my dear friends.
While the vast majority of Cholangio patients do not respond to treatment the way Travis has…some do. A few.
And I was reminded…
Even those few, who respond well to treatment, even they have a life expectancy of three years or less.
Three years is a miracle.
Trey will be eight. Piper will be six. Jake….three.
Reminders can suck.
Thursday Travis had his sixth chemotherapy treatment and he and Carrie met with his cancer counselor. They ran into Travis’ doctor. And they were bombarded with reminders.
His cancer counselor reminded him that she discusses cancer and diagnosis’s with doctors every day. However, when she says the word “cholangiocarcinoma” to any doctor they typically just shake their head no. She reminded Travis and Carrie to stay grounded…despite his positive results.
His doctor discussed how excited he was about the CT scan and the promise it shows. But he reminded them to be prepared. Be prepared for the CA19-9 to start going up. He reminded them that the CA19-9 always goes up.
After last week’s results were published, many people asked “what’s next?” “Is it time for surgery?” “Where are we?” So allow me to provide you with a reminder. The cancer has to be completely out of Travis’ lymph nodes to consider surgery. Additionally, it has to stay out of the lymph nodes and not spread to anywhere else for about six months before the surgeons will start considering surgery.
A reminder that we still have a long way to go. A reminder that prayer is still very much needed.
Sometimes when you have been living in circumstances for an extended period of time it becomes “the normal”. Everybody I have met. Everybody Travis and Carrie have talked to believe that Travis will beat this. That’s just who he is. Travis beats the odds. But this is just a reminder that Travis is still sick. Very…very sick. And his chances are not good. So it will take a miracle. A God sized miracle to save him. And the Roberts are counting on that miracle. They believe they are living out that miracle.
But remember…all the while…they are bombarded with…reminders.