The Ride

What a ride this has been. Last Friday the doctors asked if we could get to the hospital in DC from Atlanta THAT day.  That day is a lot to ask, but Travis made it happen and I followed close behind. 

As the days went on we learned about blood clots, fluid around the heart and infection of the incision.  We then learned that Travis’s body would not be ready to start the Mage trial as planned so they switched him over to the TIL trial. They said that we could start it in a few weeks, IF all of the ailments listed above look okay. 

So we adjusted mentally to the TIL and were ready for them to give us the news about when we should return for the trial.  The doctors came in and you know what we heard.

Your cells are contaminated.  All of them. 

The surgery that Travis is recovering from was a waste. 

Then the news that Travis was probably a carrier of the contamination?  A rare fungus.  WHAT???!!!

This news came on Tuesday. Now it is Friday. Results are in.

Travis Does Not Have Aspergillosis. 

The tests came back with no growth. Nothing. No bacteria. No virus. Most importantly… NO FUNGUS!!! 

The team of doctors and nurses around here are so excited.  Of course, they have fallen in love with Travis.  The nurses told us that everyone deflated on Tuesday when the Aspergillosis news hit the floor.  So as you can imagine, the news that Travis is clear of fungus has spread. We have had quite a few excited visitors come to the room just to give Trav a high five.

So what does this mean? Unfortunately, the T Cell trial is off the table for now.  I will share that the lab had saved a section of the tumors in the freezer.  They are still frozen.  Our doctor has told us to assume that they will be contaminated as well since all of the other samples were spoiled.  

The next thought is to go for the Mage trial.  This is the trial that is done by using white blood cells from a huge blood draw.

Travis was actually supposed to start Mage yesterday.  The Mage trial is new and the government regulations state that there is to be a two week space between each participant in the trial. The slot that Travis was supposed to have this week is now just an empty slot. The next slot is taken. That means that Travis will not be able to start Mage for about 5-6 weeks. The perks are that his incision will have time to heal and he will have more time on blood thinners. Also, this is a dosage trial so if Travis is forced to wait through one other participant he will get a higher dosage of cells which could be a good thing.

The negative is 5-6 more weeks without treatment. 

What a ride.  Ups Downs Tosses and Turns.  We have ridden this ride like it is our job and well it pretty much has been.

No matter what… Our faith has not been shaken. Our faith is NOT contingent upon our experiences, no matter how ugly.

We do not know the plan and we can not try to guess. But this we know, we experience God on a daily basis. When we were talking today we both said that we would not trade our lives in for anything. We never wonder where God is in all of this because we constantly experience the peace that ONLY comes from God above.

So no matter what our situation is… even through tears and heart ache as it was on Tuesday, we will thank God for giving us THIS day.

Giving us this RIDE!

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4 responses to “The Ride

  • Anonymous

    You guys are hanging on for dear life…and you are doing an amazing job!!! Keep the faith and know that God is right beside you….along with a lot of other CC patients, friends, and family!!! May God keep you all in the palm of his hands!!!

  • Anonymous

    Hang on!!!! We are all praying for you p-nut!!
    Love you, Donna

  • Dawn Taylor

    I have been following your journey and “The Ride” post reminded me of a poem that has always been very special to me throughout my experience with cancer – It’s called “The Road of Life”…….and I wanted to share. KEEP PEDALING!!! ~ Dawn Taylor

    The Road of Life
    At first, I saw God as my observer,
    my judge,
    keeping track of the things I did wrong,
    so as to know whether I merited heaven
    or hell when I die.
    He was out there sort of like a president.
    I recognized His picture when I saw it,
    but I really didn’t know Him.

    But later on
    when I met Christ,
    it seemed as though life was rather like a bike ride,
    but it was a tandem bike,
    and I noticed that Christ
    was in the back helping me pedal.

    I don’t know just when it was
    that He suggested we change places,
    but life has not been the same since.

    When I had control,
    I knew the way.
    It was rather boring,
    but predictable . . .
    It was the shortest distance between two points.

    But when He took the lead,
    He knew delightful long cuts,
    up mountains,
    and through rocky places
    at breakneck speeds,
    it was all I could do to hang on!
    Even though it looked like madness,
    He said, “Pedal!”

    I worried and was anxious
    and asked,
    “Where are you taking me?”
    He laughed and didn’t answer,
    and I started to learn to trust.

    I forgot my boring life
    and entered into the adventure.
    And when I’d say, “I’m scared,”
    He’d lean back and touch my hand.

    He took me to people with gifts that I needed,
    gifts of healing,
    acceptance
    and joy.
    They gave me gifts to take on my journey,
    my Lord’s and mine.

    And we were off again.
    He said, “Give the gifts away;
    they’re extra baggage, too much weight.”
    So I did,
    to the people we met,
    and I found that in giving I received,
    and still our burden was light.

    I did not trust Him,
    at first,
    in control of my life.
    I thought He’d wreck it;
    but He knows bike secrets,
    knows how to make it bend to take sharp corners,
    knows how to jump to clear high rocks,
    knows how to fly to shorten scary passages.

    And I am learning to shut up
    and pedal
    in the strangest places,
    and I’m beginning to enjoy the view
    and the cool breeze on my face
    with my delightful constant companion, Jesus Christ.

    And when I’m sure I just can’t do anymore,
    He just smiles and says . . . “Pedal.”

    — author unknown

  • Jordan Mansell

    Hi Travis, my name is Jordan Mansell
    And I’m a friend of Carol Almeter. Your
    Story is unbelievable. You and yor beautiful wife are such superheroes.
    God Has a plan Jeremiah 29:11. His arm is not to short. You are going to
    Get better!! Your Healed in Jesus Name! He healed all our diseases on that cross.1 Peter 2:24
    His arm is not to short. Isaiah 59:1
    His word says., call upon me and I will answer him.psalm 91:15 John 14:14
    You may Ask anything in my name and I will do it.

    John 10:27 My sheep recognize my voice. You are in my prayers

    God bless you all day long!!
    Ms Jordan Mansell

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