Author Archives: Carrie Roberts

Update from Carrie

Hi All, I just wanted to give everyone an update…

Trav is feeling so much better compared to a month ago. He has a little fatigue, anxiety, nausea… But, that is nothing in comparison to the trial. When I mention anxiety, it is because we will find out if this chemo is working in the next week. Yikes !!! Praying hard for that right now.

Dr Hamrick received Trav’s Foundation One tumor test results about a week ago. It wasn’t super exciting. There are a few tumors markers that Dr Hamrick aka Dr Rockstar is going to use to try to locate trials around the country. He truly is awesome and will do anything to fight for Trav.

We were actually really excited because we received a Christmas card from the Hamrick Family and our Docs wife wrote Trav a personal note. She told him how much Dr Hamrick talks about Trav and how much he cares about him.  We can tell that is the case when we are in the office, but it was still so nice to hear.

January is a really busy month for us. Trav is going on the road with our North Western Mutual Representative, Matt Goodwin… and they are letting me tag along:). Travis and Matt deliver an extremely moving and pretty hilarious speech to the NWM reps about how important it is for them to be persistent with their clients and to believe in the work that they do. When life throws a horrible curve ball into a persons life it is important to be prepared. Basically NWM provides life ins, disability ins, financial planning… The reps that work for NWM have really tough jobs. They have to get people to listen to them and deal with things that most people don’t want to deal with. We all have time later to deal with that junk, right?

Travis was an ins major at UGA and it still took Matt Goodwin 5 months in 2005 to get Travis to sit down and listen to him. It actually took him years to get him to buy into disability insurance, which is really important when you own your own company. Anyway, we are really thankful for Matt Goodwin. He was persistent and we appreciate that now. Not to mention the fact that everything that he promised us about his company has come to be true.

Trav and Matt are speaking at NWM Annual meetings. Last week they were in Raleigh speaking in front of a few hundred NWM reps. This week they will be in Tampa speaking in front of a similar size group and the following week will be in front of a pretty big audience in Chicago. I think about 1,500. I could never in a million years do this, but I’m always proud when I watch. They get a ton of laughs during their speech (Trav honestly abused poor Matt over the years because he always saw Matt as someone that he didn’t have time for, UNTIL he was diagnosed with cancer. Matt gets to put some pretty good jabs in on Trav during the speech. It is really funny.) and then when they get to the “cancer story” section there is not a dry eye. They do the speech on stage together and go back and forth with their story. The reps that are watching are used to hearing the same old motivational sales speech so this real life story really means a lot. We are so thankful that Travis is healthy enough to share. It is exhausting yet therapeutic to share his story.

Lastly, I have mentioned my support group CC Wives in the past but I will remind you of who they are. There are 6 ladies whose husbands have or had Cholangiocarcinoma. We are all in our 30′ or 40’s, and we created a group on Facebook. One of the wives lost her husband a few days before Christmas and that was just horrible and sickening for all of us.

Another one of the wives, Dorien, had a really cool idea. She asked all of her Cholangio family to share our personal stories and she is allowing us to be guest writers on her blog. We can tell our stories in our own way. That way her blog readers are able to hear other voices of those who have the same cancer. Great idea! Today she featured the newest member of our group of 6, Becky. Becky’s husband was just diagnosed in November but his Cholangio is really messing with him. Cholangio can present itself in many ways. This blog post gives us a glimpse into a day in her life. Please take a moment to read it if you can.

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Thank you to anyone who is reading our blog. We love you all and appreciate that you are still following our story. We will not quit praying for our miracle and we thank you all for praying too!!! This week you can specifically pray that this chemo is working. We will let you know! Through it all, God is Good!

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Faith To Trust

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This blog post is sort of a response to a post that my friend and fellow Cholangio wife wrote on her blog a few days ago. Her name is Dorien. She is in her young 40’s and her husband Kyle has Cholangio. They have 4 children. She wrote a nitty gritty down and dirty gutsy post about the feelings that we go through when walking this Cholangio walk. It was awesome and I totally felt everything that she wrote about.

Well, here’s the thing. As I’m reading the post out loud to Travis and my cousin Ali, we found ourselves having a good laugh. Even though the post was tough, we were laughing. In the post she wrote about our family. She said something like… The Roberts have more faith in their pinky fingers than we have in our whole bodies.

Yes, we laughed because it seemed so crazy to us that people on the outside think that of us. I replied to her and said that I was glad that we were their “faith” friends:).

The problem is that I actually don’t know what that means. The word FAITH has plagued me for months now. Faith in what? I hear it all of the time dealing with Travs cancer. People tell us that we have to have faith. People tell us that we need to have faith so that God is able to provide a miracle? We need to have enough faith… Enough belief… We need to say the right words… We need to confess the words that we speak that might show doubt???

Mercy me people it’s a whole lot of pressure. And I love the people who tell me these things. I truly appreciate that they want what is best for us. I’m not mocking or trying to start a debate. Please keep praying for us and loving us. I just want to share my feelings. We don’t believe these things. We don’t believe that God needs us to help Him provide a miracle. We just don’t!

Anyway, I was expressing some frustration on the topic with the ladies in my Bible study just a few weeks ago and something amazing happened. In a 20 minute conversation with the ladies whom I love so much I was given freedom from that word FAITH.

Don’t gasp! Don’t think that I have fallen off the deep end! I have not lost my faith in what I believe is important.

You see, I have faith in God. I have faith in Jesus. Believe me I have faith that the Holy Spirit lives inside of me because I could not go through this without that inner Spirit. I have faith that the Holy Spirit lives inside of Travis. People don’t make the changes that he has made so quickly and so consistently on their own. Did you see the photo above? This is the new Trav reading to his sons class:). This is the kind of stuff that he does all of the time now. Some people may think I sound crazy, but I have faith that a man named Jesus walked this earth and lived a perfect life. I have faith that He performed miracles. (In fact I just finished studying the book of John and the book is all about miracles. Many miracles that He performed despite the lack of faith in the humans that were around Him. If you don’t believe me just look at His Lazarus miracle. He performed the miracle of raising Lazarus from the dead even though, Mary who was requesting the miracle did not have faith.) I have faith that Jesus died on the cross for our sins and that He rose from the dead. I have faith in what I believe is important.

In that one conversation with the ladies I realized that I could be free from that word FAITH when it comes to Travis and Cholangio. I’m sorry, it scares me. It’s been over 7 months and when people tell us that if we lack faith we could basically be blocking Gods power it’s scary.

It is scary because we are human. And doubt creeps in all of the time.

We go to horrible doctors appointments where we can’t leave without them telling us that there is no medical chance of beating CC.

It is scary because I have become friends with other young women like myself whose husbands have CC and we are no better than them. They love their husbands just as much as I love mine. Their children need their dads just as much as my kids need Trav.

It is scary because right before we started this journey we lost our friend Pete Adler to a heart attack. In a moment he was gone. He never had the time that we have right now. He didn’t get to say goodbye to his wife and two daughters. He did not have the chance to write letters to his grand babies that he loved beyond words. He was gone in a minute without time to have the faith to save himself. Our family is no better than the Adler family.

So yes, doubt creeps in. I can’t help it. We can’t help it. But as I keep mentioning the ladies. The ladies that I studied John with… They gave me my word. My word that I can cling to. My word that never makes me feel guilty. It’s TRUST! I can Trust that God is going to walk us through this journey no matter where this journey takes us. I can Trust that He loves us and that He wants what is best for us. I can Trust that He will carry me through when I am too tired to walk on my own. I can Trust that He said that in this world there will be struggles (see photos below – those pics are from the week we were waiting to see if Trav had cancer. We are both Googling. Pits in our stomachs. Googling! We had no clue what was about to come) I can Trust that this world is temporary and that He has so much more for us. I can trust that He is a God of miracles. (I am reading 90 minutes in Heaven to Travis which is so good, and it has a modern day miracle in the book. I know they happen.) I can trust that He can heal Travis, or Kyle, or Gordon, or Linh, or Mike(My Cholangio friends Hubbies). He can. I can pray for that and I can trust that my faith in Him is enough. Whatever I have to offer. I trust that it is enough.

I bet that sounds crazy to some, but not to me.

I wrote the verse, “Trust in The Lord with all of your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all of your ways acknowledge Him and He will direct your path”, in my last post. That’s the verse that gets me through.

Outside of prayer that’s all that I can do.

Just Trust!

The days will be hard.

The days will be good.

There will be struggles.

We don’t know where this journey will lead us.

But, now I know that I can have FAITH in what is important and I can TRUST that He will take care of the rest!

Dorien’s blog: http://thisiswhativegotfortoday.blogspot.com
The post that I referenced is called Decisions Decisions

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PART ONE & PART TWO

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PART ONE
We are sitting on the plane. Waiting to take off for Houston, Texas. Feeling excited, nervous, numb, sad, blessed… The list goes on.

Excited… We are able to travel to MDA for medical treatment.

Nervous… The news that we are going for is nerve wracking. Travis has been sick for 2 weeks now. We know that the chemo is causing the sickness, but we want to know if they can provide some relief for these symptoms because they are really bad:(! They have definitely changed Travs quality of life for the first time since he was diagnosed . Then we have nerves about the CA19-9. What will it look like? Will it have gone down?

Numb… It’s really hard to feel the raw emotions of cancer 24/7 so yes, numb. It’s a place you have to go sometimes to get through the day. Whenever my brain starts going crazy I stop it in its tracks with, “Trust the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will direct your path.” I let those words from the Bible take over my worry and then I’ve gotta say I can feel a little numb because I give my worries away!!! Yes, they come back. They’re not over forever, but it gets me through many hard times. Thank you God.

Sad… We are leaving our babies again. This time two of our little ones are sick, the boys! Pippi is not sick, but she has had such a hard time lately watching her daddy. Now she is having separation issues. Her sweet teacher, Ms Kimberlee has to pull her from my arms as she is screaming in carpool line at drop off. Today I had to force her out of my arms while she was screaming and drive away knowing that I wouldn’t see her for 3 days. Of course I cried. How could I not? My wonderful mom and dad and my angel cousin Ali will be with our babies while we are gone. The babes will be fine. They will be loved. But, we were still so sad to leave a screaming girl and two sick boys:(. Esp to deal with Cancer!

Blessed… What can I say? How can I list everything? We have family and friends who have reached out and cared for us more than I ever would have imagined. If your reading this… You are one of them. Just caring about our story is amazing! On top of that…

We have offers from everywhere to bring us meals. I want to say that after the holidays I will most likely have my sister start a meal calendar again. Watch for an email or FB msg or blog post in Jan. We received meals for almost 4 months when Trav was diagnosed and it was a HUGE help.

Last night we received a beautiful basket of sweets from an old friend Ashley Woodlief who totally surprised us. Thank you so much!

Then this morning we got a knock on the door from my friend Lori from Trey’s K-5 class who had goody bags for the kids for while we are away. What a sweet surprise!

I personally have the sweetest Bible study group who is always there for me and my family.

We can’t say enough about our kids teachers. Trey’s K-5 teacher, Mrs Decker was put into our lives by God as well as the entire group of kids and parents in the class. They surround us with Gods love and grace at all times. Then I mentioned Pippi having recent troubles going to school, but thanks to the love of Ms Sue and Ms Kimberlee they watch her like a hawk throughout the day and make sure she doesn’t have problems while she is away from mommy and daddy:). Thank you to our teachers who are so very important.

We received a meal last week from my friend Meredith that made our night easy and delish!!!

My sister left her 3 kids with her hubby in Chatt, TN just to come spend a sister day with me last week. She always has the right things to say:).

Also, this Sunday Travis and I stood before the church with our 3 babes and dedicated them to The Lord and committed to raising them in a Christian home. This is something that I have been waiting to do for 6 years and now that Trav and I are in one accord this is something that we were able to do!

After the dedication my best friend (the main writer of this blog) Kristina Gansser fixed a beautiful lunch for a few friends and family members who helped celebrate the day. Just FYI, her food and presentation for a party are top notch just like her writing:). One talented gal!

Another huge blessing for me is that I along with 4 other ladies have helped start a small Facebook support group for ladies whose husbands have Cholangio. We call ourselves CC Wives and joke that we wish we were MLB players wives or something. But we aren’t:(! We were instant friends because of our intense and horrible bond. We are blessed to have one another.

So BLESSED we are! Trav continues to have wonderful friends constantly checking up on him and caring for him. Even though it has been really tough lately Trav still amazes me with his attitude. I recently had a friend who told me that I had such a positive spirit and that it must be so helpful for Trav. I had to quickly explain that it was quite the opposite. Travs positive spirit and willingness to fight is what keeps me going. He is so strong. I don’t think that I could ever deal with things as well as he has.

PART TWO
We have had a horrible day. Our flight went fine, but from there it went down hill.
We had decided just to Priceline a hotel room when we got to Houston. Trav does this all of the time when he travels. Well, as a note, never do that in Houston. The entire city was booked. We looked and looked and looked for a hotel. We checked every website, made phone calls, and walked into many hotels. NOTHING!!!!
While this was going on we were supposed to be meeting one of the couples that’s in my CC Wives support group. We all live in different areas of the country so Heather and I were so excited that we would be at MDA at the same time so we (including our hubs) can share and support one another face to face.
Well as we are in the process of combing the city for a hotel and trying to work out a time to meet our new friends Trav started getting really sick. REALLY SICK!!! Opening the car door and throwing up kind of sick.
Unfortunately we had to cancel our dinner with our new friends. I was so sad:(.
We called my mom about the hotel and she got on her computer and praise God, she found us a funny little hotel that is nice and clean and close to the hospital. We are singing her praises tonight. It really is a funny little place, but it is a place:). YAY for that!!!
Trav is still sick, but at least we have a place for him to lay his head.
We are praying that tomorrow will be a better day with positive news and answers to these awful side effects.

This post was kind of all over, but it’s very much our life right now.
Love to all of our wonderful friends and family and to all of you who pray without even knowing us! Love love love to you all!
We will post an MD Anderson update tomorrow!


In The Trial

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Trav made it into the trial!
YAY!!!!
Here he is with his meds… All in this little bag !!!

The CA19-9 marker is up quite a bit as expected.
The cancer has grown, BUT has not spread anywhere new and the lymphnodes look about the same as they did before his chemo break. The news is not amazing and it is not devastating. I call that a win in Cholangio World:)!

The doctors here are awesome and even though it is difficult to be here, we feel so blessed that we are. We are so grateful to our rockstar Dr Hamrick at Kaiser and to his team for fighting for us to get into this trial and for cheering us on along the way.

With that being said, we are so ready to go home to see our babies!!! Thank you all for the prayers and support. A big thank you to my mom and dad for keeping our oldest guy all week and to my angel cousin Ali who kept our two little ones. It’s an amazing relief when you know that your children are being loved and taken care of.

We feel like God has His hands on our journey and we are trusting Him all of the way. Our prayer now is that these trial drugs will attack the cancer in Travs body. That he will be able to handle these drugs as he did the others with little to no side effects. Also, that we know how to deal with any fear that is creeping into the minds of our older kiddos. This is uncharted territory so we pray that God leads us in our words and actions as parents.

We truly love those of you who are reading this and supporting us. God has shown us His love through all of you !!!

Carrie


Quick Update

Hi Friends –

I just wanted to let y’all know that we still have not received the CA19-9 marker.  

UGH! UGH! UGH! 

We normally get it the same day that Trav gets his labs done which was Wednesday this time.  Our chemo nurse told us that the labs were running behind this week so we don’t think that the delay means anything.  Just that we have to wait longer!  

Trav is doing great again after chemo.  He just keeps pushing himself! 

Keep Praying and Cheering for Trav!

Through it all! God is Good!


The New Normal

Hi Friends.

It has been some time since we have given an update.  I think that is because we have fallen into our “New Normal”.

I remember when Trav was first diagnosed and I was reading Cholangiocarcinoma.org the seasoned vets on the discussion boards said that life would get back to normal in time. They said that we would learn to LIVE with the cancer.  I COULD NOT believe that two months ago.

I remember the first day that we heard the word Cholangiocarcinoma.

We came home from an unexpectedly horrible doctors appointment where the PA who we never met gave Trav that horrible diagnosis.  Travis went downstairs to see Trey (our almost 6 year old) where he was watching a cartoon.  Trav held Trey on the couch and we heard Trav crying a cry that would certainly frighten a little boy.  It wasn’t crying.  It was pain filled weeping.  I remember thinking that Travis would not be able to be with our kids again without crying in that way.  I thought that our kids memories of their dad would be filled with tears and pain.

I REALLY DID think that was how our life was going to be from then on.

The funny thing is that Trey was with my mom this weekend and she said that he was talking to her about crying.  She asked him if he had ever seen his mommy or daddy cry.  She said that he thought for a bit and then said, “actually, I have not”.

Actually he has, but apparently it did not scar him or even stick with him for that matter.

I also remember going to Whole Foods with my best friend Kristina (our beautiful blog writer) the day that we went to Emory (another horrible doctors appointment).  We were standing at the check out when the clerk asked how we were doing.  We both looked at each other and I felt like I wanted to tell him about Trav’s cancer.  I thought that I would always want to tell everyone about Trav’s cancer. It was SO BIG to me that everyone should know.  Well, it is really big and I do want people who are in our lives on a regular basis to know.  It is such a huge part of us, but I don’t want to tell the guy at Whole Foods anymore.

Your welcome guy at Whole Foods!

Many of you can probably relate to the fact that nothing forces you into reality like “starting school”.  Oh, so much to do and so many things to remember at the beginning of the year.  All of the orientations and class meetings can be a shock to the system after the summer break. But, it is so nice for us to get that routine back and feel like we are semi “Normal”.

Chemo weeks are always a little harder than the off weeks.  Trav starts to get a little grumpy the Tuesday before his Thursday chemo.  He really doesn’t like chemo day.  Even though he is grateful for it… he still doesn’t like it.  He is such a trouper, making friends with the other patients and making the nurses laugh.  After 8 chemo treatments he has learned that it is best to come straight home from chemo and go to bed.  He does get really tired from the treatment, but if he gets some good sleep right away he feels so much better.

I had a rough couple of days this week.  It is impossible not to think about all of the “what if’s” of this ugly disease.  Trav actually says that it makes him feel good when I am sad because it makes him feel loved:).  I get that!  How hurtful would it be if you were diagnosed with an incurable disease, the docs were telling you that you were going to die, and your spouse didn’t seem to care.  It’s not an easy road and as Dr Hamrick tells us over and over “this is a marathon and not a sprint”.  Some days are just tougher than others.

For the most part we are plugging away in our “New Normal”.   We hang out a lot as a HAPPY family.  Trav spends a good amount of time out on the golf course:).   I spend a lot of time at Whole Foods… This leads to a little rant, sorry!

Seriously, I am going insane with the diet aspect of cancer. I am trying to feed a guy who lived on Mc Donalds cheese burgers and Diet Cokes before he was diagnosed. I have guilt over how he eats.  How does one have guilt over how another person eats?  I don’t know???… but I do.  We certainly have not been consistent with anything except juicing and green smoothies (which I am very proud of him for drinking).  I honestly don’t know what to do or what I am doing right or wrong, but I do know that we are spending a fortune.  So there!  That has to count for something:)!  Right?  I used to buy clothes for my daughter and now I buy beets and kale…almost as fun:)!  Don’t get me wrong here.  I don’t try to force Trav to eat healthy. 50% of the time he feels like he really wants to eat healthy and 50% of the time he doesn’t care and just wants to enjoy life.   I want to do what he wants to do and I get so confused.  It is very difficult because most doctors do not put ANY stock in changing your diet, but if you read the books that I have read and do the research that I have done you will think differently.  UGH! ARGH! I could go on… But I won’t!

We are living life with all of the good and the bad that comes along with Cholangio.  Today we are waiting for an updated CA19-9 which should be available sometime while we are at chemo.  We are praying for a big drop of course.  Our last number was 3940.

I really want to thank everyone for remaining faithful in your prayers.  We never feel like we have been forgotten.  Even after almost 5 months the support from our friends and family is overwhelming.  All of the notes and texts and meals and hugs help us get through our days like you can not imagine.

We will update with the new CA19-9 when we get it.  I hope to be delivering great news soon!

Love to you all!


The New CA 19-9

Hi All – 

Just a quick note to let you know that the CA19-9 is in and it is down again.  This week we are at 5,100.  It’s pretty unbelievable that we have gone from 161,000 to 5,100.  During our last apt with Dr Hamrick he reminded us that he was going to be happy if he could keep the number stable.  It has decreased 95%!!!!  Thank you God!  We are so very grateful!!!  

I have had quite a few people ask about the last video and I promise that it is coming soon along with another beautiful post from our dear friend, but she has been overwhelmingly busy lately and is now on a well deserved VACA!!!!  

We will be heading to MD Anderson in a few weeks.  We do not anticipate any changes in the current treatment.  Trav just wants to remain in the forefront of their minds for any future trials.  We are also interested in their reactions to his great progress.  Please continue to pray for complete healing in the lymph nodes.  Those lymph nodes need to be clear and stable for 4-6 months before Trav can be considered for a liver surgery.  

Thank you all so much for the continued prayers! 

Love to you all!

Carrie 

 


The News Continues

We have more great news!!!!

CA19-9 (tumor marker checked through blood test) results are in…

This time it went from 57,000 to…

19,500

In three chemo treatments the tumor marker has gone from 161,000 to 19,500!!!

Thank you God!!!

The CT scan is scheduled for July 16th.  Please pray that those lymph nodes are clean and clear.  That would be an amazing miracle, and that is what we are praying for.

We are going to travel to MD Anderson for an appointment in early August.  We absolutely love our doctors here in Atlanta, but we want the doctors at the number one cancer hospital in the US to remember Trav.  Just in case anything new comes along:).

Thank you so much for all of the prayers and praises as we celebrate the good test results.


Celebrate

We are so excited right now!!! Remember that CA19-9 number??? It’s the tumor marker that tells us if the cancer is responding to the chemo.

We just met with Dr Hamrick! He gave us great news!

Test Results

Starting Number 161,000

Last Test 135,000

Today’s Test 57,000

ARE YOU KIDDING?? It’s dropped 78,000. Travis asked if that means the tumors are shrinking and he said ABSOLUTELY!!! We don’t know how much BUT they ARE shrinking:).

WOO HOO!!!

Thank you God!!!

Bring on the miracle:)!!!

Celebrate!!!


Family History

I have to admit that I think I have been in denial this week…I guess that is what you would call it. For the first time I have gone a few hours multiple times and have not thought about the fact that Trav has cancer. Sort of a weird feeling…My sister came to visit Thursday and we took our boys to Monkey Joes. On the way home she asked how Trav was doing. It took me a second to remember why she was asking. In fact I did not think about the cancer while we were at Monkey Joes at all. Isn’t that nice? Just fun times with my sister, my sweet nephew, and my two boys!

It is interesting how each week, each day, is so different.

In order to share what I want to today, I have to go back a little. Travis was a Risk Management Insurance major at UGA. Thank goodness for that because he has always known the importance of insurance. Life has smacked us in the face lately. It has been really hard, but I am so happy about a few things that we have done to prepare for the worst. I can’t imagine the stress that we would be feeling if we had not planned ahead.

So, there is a man that we know named Matt Goodwin. We met him about 8 years ago when we bought Northwestern Mutual Insurance through him. We have grown to be friends over the years. He has no clue that I am sharing this (until he reads the blog ☺). About 5 years ago, after Trey was born Matt told us that we should buy a life insurance policy on Trey. I was honestly horrified. Why would I put a life insurance policy on my baby??? I couldn’t think of anything more horrible. The last thing that a new mom wants to think about is something bad happening to her new baby. I would not want to benefit if something bad happened to my child!!! He explained that it would be a policy that accrued money and would be a savings plan for Trey at the same time as being a life insurance policy. At that time, THAT was what sold me. A savings plan???… SURE!

BUT…today I am so grateful that we did this for our kids and NOT because it is a savings plan. With these policies, if GOD FORBID one of my kids gets sick at any point in their life, and I mean sick enough that they are no longer eligible for life insurance, they will have these policies. Not only will they have the policies that we purchased for them, but they will also have the opportunity to increase the policies without additional medical questioning later in life. We can pass these on to them when they are responsible adults. They can leave them as is or add to them. Of course we all hope that our children will always be healthy enough to get life insurance. We all pray for the health of our children constantly, but as I am learning, you just never know. I think that it is a really great gift to give your children if you can. It is a guarantee to protect their families in the future.

That is just food for thought, but it sets up the story that comes next.

So, anyone who has a 3rd child probably knows that you start slacking when it comes to that 3rd baby. Fewer pictures, fewer new clothes, fewer rules. I mean, sometimes you completely forget about them. Haha! Our 3rd baby, Jake, looks just like Trav. That’s what everyone says anyway. He is our only dark-eyed baby. He is laid back and so adorable. Just a total chilled out little guy!!!

Poor Jakey just turned two, and guess what I had NOT set up for him yet. His life insurance policy! Of course I thought about it 100 times. I intended to do it from the time he was born, but it was not at the forefront of my mind, like, EVER!

Recently, we have had some meetings with Matt Goodwin, and I mentioned to him that we better get Jake’s policy set up. Matt came over one day. We sat at my dining room table as we have many times. We went over the same form that he and I had gone over for Trey and then for Piper. Everything, the same! We went over the many medical questions that Northwestern Mutual requires for underwriting. Does he have any heart problems? Has he had any surgeries? Mental issues? Learning issues? Permanent prescription drugs? With each child I remember thinking how thankful I am that my babies are healthy as Matt reads the LONG list of possible medical issues. To each question, I answer “NO” he does not have that. All of my babies have been healthy. Know this, I am so grateful for that, and my heart just breaks for our friends who have children who are not healthy. I have so much love, respect, and sympathy for those parents. With Trey, Piper and Jake, EACH ONE HAS BEEN THE SAME!!! HEALTHY! HEALTHY! HEALTHY!

Wait!

We get to the end of the form!!! Something is different???!!!

FAMILY MEDICAL HISTORY…

My heart sinks. Matt looks at me with a sad face because Travis is his friend. This news about Trav’s cancer was a big blow for Matt. They have a special relationship filled with respect. We both know that Trey was underwritten with a healthy daddy. Piper was underwritten with a healthy daddy. If I would have applied for Jake’s policy 1 year ago, he would have been underwritten with a healthy daddy. Does it really matter for Jake’s policy? Not really. Does it matter for my heart? Yep, Big Time!

In that moment, I realized that from now on when I am sitting in the doctor’s office, and I am filling out those forms for my kids, I will have to put Dad has Cancer under the Family Medical History section!

Trey, Piper, and Jake’s Dad at 38 years old has cancer. Cholangiocarcinoma. Incurable Cancer. Even if Travis is 100% healed by the grace and mercy of Jesus Christ, I will still need to write cancer on my kids’ medical charts.

This one stings! I don’t want my babies to grow up with this on their medical charts. I don’t want to write it on their forms. I don’t want to explain what kind of cancer Travis has to every new doctor that we see in the years to come. Seriously, you DO NOT want to see the faces of the doctors when we say Cholangiocarcinoma.

I don’t want to hear my kids say, “My dad has cancer.” I don’t want them to feel this pain. But, it is here! Their Dad Has Cancer! YUCK!!! That sounds dumb to just say “yuck,” as if that touches on the horribleness. I don’t really know how to express the feelings though. It is just hard sometimes. Writing it was an unsettling experience. A sad moment.

As I said earlier, every day is different. Actually, every hour or minute can be different. I will end by sharing that we were on the boat a bunch this weekend. Trey and Pippi both went out on this inflatable ski trainer that goes behind the boat. It was a beautiful weekend at the lake. The kids were as proud as they could be about the ski trainer. ☺ Trav and I were as proud as we could be watching them stand on this little inflatable raft. We were laughing and smiling and loving our family time and our time with friends. This is what we love to do more than anything. We are so grateful for the good days. We spend very little time focusing on the scary stuff. The scary thoughts come! We cry and then we thank God for the good and we move on.

Thank you God that Trav feels as good as he does. Thank you God that it looks like his cancer is responding to the chemo. Thank you God that we are such a strong family. Thank you God for putting Trav and I together long ago so we had time to grow into this team. Thank you God for our friends and support group.

We will never be able to thank everyone enough or express how you all make us feel. Love to you all! Carrie