Monthly Archives: December 2013

Real Life

Years ago a video went viral.  A little boy had a dental treatment and was on his way home.  As he was recovering from the anesthesia he couldn’t understand what was happening to him or why he felt the way he did. He said quite a few comical things until finally he asked his dad…

Is this real life?

With all they have gone through and are going through, that is the Roberts current mantra.

Is this real life?

As Carrie sits in the waiting room this morning.  As Travis is back getting ready to go under anesthesia for his procedure to have the port put in…they are thinking….

Is this real life?

They try their best to have glimpses of real life.  The day after Thanksgiving Christmas tree decorating.  Their annual tradition to go see Santa last night.  “Race car no top”  rides.

But…those glimpses are amid doctor appointments.  Trips to Houston.  Sickness.  Surgeries.  Biopsies.  Chemo treatments.

Is this real life?

Today, Travis is having his port put in and a biopsy done on his liver.  The biopsy will be sent to Foundation One to ensure Travis is getting the best treatments for his genetic makeup.

His genetic makeup?

Is this real life?

It’s hard to keep spirits up…even during this holiday season.  When you are trying to navigate through normalcy for your kids while facing real life.

The new chemo starts on Tuesday.  And while Travis loves to see his chemo nurses…the thought of being on his third treatment regime for a cancer most people can’t pronounce…

Is this real life?

So prayers are needed.  Needed like never before.  First and foremost for Travis’ complete and total healing.  For the God sized miracle we talked about in the last post.  Second, for joy.  Our God is the creator of joy so he can certainly give it in spades to the Roberts.  And, finally, for the Roberts to settle into and be able to handle…

this real life.


God Sized

Sitting around chatting with your friends is one of life’s greatest pleasures. It was during one of these times that Travis said something I’ll never forget. I told him that if he died I would have a crisis of faith. He looked me square in the eye and said, “don’t you dare. Don’t you dare lose faith if I die. I will come back and haunt you if you do.”

It’s just like Travis to add a bit of humor to an important lesson.

But minus the humor, his comment struck me and I have thought about it constantly since then. Wow. Amazing faith. To encourage someone to not allow your untimely and unfair death inhibit their faith in God. No anger. No resentment. Just encouragement.

Last week was my first glimpse at how I would truly handle Travis’ untimely and unfair death should it happen.

I failed. (sorry Trav)

The only word I can use to describe my feelings last week is betrayed.

You see…I have always whole heartedly believed Travis will not die from this. I have believed that he will get the miracle. To a fault. Almost becoming annoyed with the Roberts when they grieve. (Great friend, huh?) But last week was the first time that it hit me. He could actually die?!?

Perhaps it is his personality. That magnetic personality that draws everybody to him.

Maybe it is the fact that he simply does not lose. As Joey says, “winners win.” And Travis is the ultimate winner. He wins at everything in life. Call it luck. Call it perseverance. Call it God. Call it what you want. But Travis always comes out on top.

I don’t really think it’s any of that to be honest. I think it’s because I believe that God spoke to us not once…not twice…but three times this sickness is not unto death. I get irritated when people try to explain that away. “Well he isn’t dying… He knows Jesus… He has eternity. He’ll never face spiritual death now.” Don’t change scripture. That’s not what happens in the story. Lazarus was already saved. Jesus was simply saying that his physical death would not be the end of this sickness. Travis had given his life to Christ before we were given these messages. We didn’t need the message if it was referring to spiritual death. I believe that God spoke to us and told us “this sickness is not unto death.” And I guess I didn’t realize how much I believed it until this weekend. As I walked around feeling betrayed. Betrayed by God as it hit me he could actually die.

I am not naive about what Travis has. Outside of him and his family nobody knows this disease better than I do. Nobody has researched it more. I know there is less than a 1% chance. I know this is considered terminal. I know the doctors are looking to extend his life. Not save it. So it is not naivety that caused me to never face that he could die. Just a promise.

And then it hit me.

He’s not dead yet stupid.

Sometimes a God sized miracle requires a God sized problem. And in true Trav fashion…that’s what we have. A God sized problem. Travis never does anything small.

My job. Your job. Our job is to pray. The rest is up to God.

I’ll be transparent. I don’t really understand the purpose of praying. It seems to me God is going to do what He is going to do and I don’t understand how our prayers are going to change that.

But because I already failed the “faith” test. I figure I better go for the obedience test.

And so I will pray out of simple obedience. Because that’s what God commands us to do.

Travis’ appointment to get the results of his blood test and CT scan from Friday is today at 1 PM central time.

Pray for peace. Pray for wisdom.

Pray for a God sized miracle.

Because, if you are like me, for the first time you realize that is what we are facing.

A God sized problem.


Numb

The past 24 hours have been a blur.  Things have happened so quickly.  It’s been a whirlwind where you can’t catch your breath and you are just left feeling…numb.

The results were not good. The trial does not seem to be working.  It seems all this torture Trav has endured…has been for nothing?!? Can that be so?  Everyone is just feeling…

numb…

His CA19-9 came back at 91,000.  More than doubled in just one month.

Why is this disease so aggressive?

The news came in soon after yesterday’s post but they weren’t ready to share.  It was just too much to absorb.  Too much to deal with.  The emotions. The heartache. The numbness.

An emergency trip to MD Anderson was scheduled and they left last night.  Today, they spent the day at MD Anderson.  They took Travis’ blood, did a CT scan, and gave him fluids for a few hours to combat the dehydration.

They will be in Houston for the weekend and doctor appointments to discuss results will be on Monday.  They fly home Tuesday.

He won’t officially be taken off the trial until the results of the CT scan are back and so he has to suffer through one more weekend of this treatment.  Assuming the CT scan confirms what the CA19-9 is showing the trial will end for Travis.

What was the point of it?  It seemed so “meant to be”? It seemed so “purposed”.  But why? The mind starts asking a million questions…”what ifs”…”how comes”…”why is it so”…until you have to force yourself to a place of just being…numb.

Numbness allows you to get through the day.  It’s what gets one foot in front of the other.  It’s what brings the laughter in the oddest times.  You know that kind of laughter.  The kind that makes you wonder “how can I be laughing right now”?  You’re laughing….because your numb.

Numbness is what will help Carrie get through her 37th birthday tomorrow spending it in Houston…because of cancer.  Numbness is what will help Travis and Carrie cope with missing Trey’s first basketball game on Saturday and Trey and Piper’s Christmas concert on Sunday.

I don’t know if it is a good or bad thing but numbness is not foolproof.  It does not last 24/7.  And so…they will likely slip into the emotions throughout this weekend as they miss their children….face their current reality…prepare for the news on Monday.  Tears will likely be shed.  And then numbness will return along with that laughter at the oddest times.

So pray for them.  Pray for the news on Monday.  Pray that it will be clear what they should do and they don’t have to choose between treatments.  Pray for guidance…mercy…for numbness.  And be patient and forgiving.  Because as much as they love the encouragement…love to hear from everyone…love to know that you are thinking of them.  They may be slow to respond.

You may just catch them in a moment of feeling…numb.


Anticipation

I am the least patient person I know. I don’t like waiting. Period.

It’s a nuisance. My mind races. My thoughts scramble.

I want instant gratification.

Mainly I’m speaking about…

Commercials. I can’t stand sitting through them. TiVo has spoiled me.

The microwave. Waiting one minute to cook my food is just too long.

Sitting at a traffic light. I must be doing something . So I pick up my “smart” phone to pass the time. Because waiting that 45 seconds is just too much.

I’m impatient for stupid things. I have that luxury. I’m not sick.

Carrie and Travis are anxiously anticipating the results to the CA19-9. His blood was drawn yesterday around noon. The results should be back any minute. This will be the first true “apples to apples” comparison Carrie and Travis will have to see how the trial is working.

That’s something to anticipate.

While Carrie and I were checking out at the coffee shop yesterday I noticed a coffee mug. It simply said…

Be Still

Ironically…I said “I need that cup!”

I said that. Not Carrie.

I need to “Be Still” while my popcorn pops…

The commercials end….

The light turns green…

Being the gracious person she is, Carrie just smiled and giggled.

Please join with me in prayer for the CA19-9 results as we wait in

true anticipation .