As Carrie Says…

Carrie has a new saying.  She even added it to her automatic email signature.

Through it all…God is good. 

Wow.  That’s faith.

To look at your dying husband.  The father of your children and realize the likely outcome….

And to still say…

Through it all…God is good. 

That’s faith.

Today we got some answers. Which just led to more questions. Questions we don’t know the answers to. But we know one thing for sure.

As Carrie says…

Through it all…God is good.

Travis’ CT scan results were not good.  In fact….they were down right bad.  The scan showed that his lymph nodes have not changed and his main tumor in the liver has not changed.  But. Two of his smaller liver tumors have grown together to form one large tumor approximately 3 cm.  Additionally, a new 1.2 cm tumor has appeared out of nowhere in his liver.

And yet.  As Carrie says…

Through it all…God is good.

In less than two months, this cancer has taken over the current chemotherapy and laughed at it.  It neutralized it and started running rampant within Travis’ liver.

The longer Travis has this cancer. The more we realize he hasn’t, he couldn’t have, had it very long.

This thing is a beast that moves…fast.

And yet. As Carrie says…

Through it all…God is good.

It’s time to change the plan of attack.  This offense is no longer an offense and in a few short weeks it stopped playing defense as well.  So we move on.  We fight in a new way.

Typically, the next weapon in the small arsenal against Cholangiocarcinoma is a regimen called Folfiri with Avastin.  It’s not a pretty one.  It would require a port which, admittedly, Travis has said he simply cannot handle the thought of.   But.  He would get the port and every other week he would get chemotherapy.  Only he wouldn’t be spending a day getting chemotherapy.  He would spend two.  He would have a “doggy bag” of chemotherapy to take with him and walk around with for two days.  Here is a guy who in the past month, rightfully, was getting grouchy days before having to go to chemotherapy.  The thought of the I.V.  The thought of sitting there for hours.  The thought of this now being his life…forever.  It was beginning to wear on Trav.  So can you imagine the impact of the thought of a two day treatment? Carrying around your “chemo bag”?

The other option was the possibility of a medical trial that has started since their last visit to MD Anderson.  This trial is a chemotherapy that you take every day by simply swallowing a pill.

However…after talking to the PA on the phone this morning they felt like the trial was…unlikely.

Travis hit rock bottom when he realized what could be ahead of him.  Can you imagine that low? Can you imagine that feeling?   Travis and Carrie headed to  Kaiser  for the CT scan.   They sat in the waiting room.  Feeling Low.  Feeling like they just got punched.

And yet. As Carrie says…

Through it all…God is good.

They sat there for about 30 minutes.

Thirty. Depressing. Minutes.

And then the phone rang….

And just like that.  Travis was in the medical trial.

I am still baffled as I write those words.  I have researched medical trials.  I was at the Emory appointment when the Emory medical trial was discussed.  It doesn’t just…happen.

There is an application. A BIG application. Forms. A waiting period.

You don’t just find out in thirty minutes that “you’re in”. 

And yet. As Carrie says…

Through it all…God is good.

So Travis is going to be part of a Phase 1 medical trial.  As he says.  He is a lab rat.  Phase 1 typically means that they have seen some success in the real lab rats and are ready to try it out on people.  Phase 1 is typically used to determine what dosage a body can handle.  Typically…phase 1 isn’t the phase you “want” to be in.  You want them to have figured out the dosage.  You want to have seen some success in patients.  You want some data.  But with Cholangiocarcinoma…what are the alternatives?

This trial is a bit unique because they will actually be documenting success rates.  Typically they don’t in Phase 1 trials.  They only document dosages.  But it is unique because they have already seen success with this chemo in other cancers…pancreatic, colon, etc.  It is just the first time they are trying it on Cholangiocarcinoma.  And Dr. Shroff seems excited about it.  The trial has had two other patients since it started.  One has seen success.  The other…none.

Travis and Carrie look at it as a fifty-fifty shot of this being effective on him.  If you think about it.

Those are the best odds he has had since this all began!

And yet. As Carrie says…

Through it all…God is good.

There are still some hurdles that have to be overcome…

Kaiser has to approve Travis entering the trial so that insurance covers it.  Dr. Hamrick does not feel it will be a problem but cannot make any commitments either.

While Dr. Shroff, the doctor heading up the trial in Houston, says she cannot think of a reason Travis would not be admitted to the trial, there is still the formality of going through the application process and getting officially approved.  They will hopefully be going to MD Anderson in mid October to start the trial.

They have to wait until mid October because of possibly, the biggest hurdle of all….

After the CT scan results were back, and they discussed them, Travis asked Dr. Hamrick a simple question. 

“If we do nothing how much time do I have?”

At the rate your cancer grows….less than six months. 

I have heard this, read this via text, and written it in this blog dozens of times today.  It still takes my breath away.

For Travis to start this trial he has to FIRST be completely off chemotherapy for one month.  We have seen what this cancer is capable of in a month.  Then…it takes one to two months to find out if this chemotherapy is effective.

Do the math…

And yet…

As Carrie says…

Through it all…God is good.

5 responses to “As Carrie Says…

  • Felicia Conwell

    Travis, Carrie is right, through it all God is not only good, He is still in control. I said this before and I’ll say it again, “It ain’t over until God says it’s over.” So Travis, you keep fighting, Carrie you keep praying. As I type this message this song came to me, “As you walk through this storm hold your head up high and don’t be afraid of the dark. At the end of that road is a golden sky and a sweet genital sound from above. Know that you’ll never walk along.” God is with you and so are my prayers. I’m here for you call me anytime.

  • Anonymous

    Can I get their address? You can send it I am friends of both lee’s and carrie’s from church……thank you!

  • Lynne Gann

    Amen & Amen – through it all God is good! I love that. Disease, death, loss, financial hardships, mental illness, ups, downs – it is all good because God is good! “Even in the darkness the light shines for the righteous!!!” Psalm 112:4

    The key is the righteous. We win no matter what happens on this earth. Praying for God’s glory to be magnified throughout this story!! 🙂

  • Sarah Kirkland

    I love that you are standing firm in your faith knowing, trusting and living that GOD IS GOOD. In the lowest of lows and in the highest of highs HE IS GOOD. He is our rock! Keep finding your strength for each minute thorough HIM.

    Travis, while I do not know you well, I have loved getting to know you through all the posts. You are such a leader, a fighter, a do it all, get it done guy. You enjoy life, you enjoy your friends and you make things happen. This has been your biggest fight and challenge – but you are equipped for the battle with the biggest fans beside you to cheer you one.

    Praying for you, your family, the doctors and everyone involved for strength, perseverance and healing!

  • Darlene Cokley

    Listen to Carrie. God won’t put no more on you then you can handle. This is your test. Carrie and you so far has a testimonial, keep putting God first and you will get through this. Keep fighting tiger……..

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