There are all different kinds of people in the world. And these different people handle things in different ways. There are people who are joyous and there are people who are miserable. There are people who are hilarious and there are people with no sense of humor. There are people who are smart and there are people who…well…aren’t.
There are people who have no pain threshold and who cannot handle being sick and there are people who can take whatever you throw at them in regards to sickness and pain.
And then there is Travis.
Travis has been this way for as long as I have known him. He works through the pain. The sickness. I would say that he ignores it but that would require an acknowledgement of it being there in the first place.
He handled kidney stones on his wedding day and did nothing more than joke his way through it.
He broke his arm last summer. The doctor told him it would probably require surgery and he could hope for limited use within a month.
He was wakeboarding three weeks later.
Pain and sickness don’t keep Travis down.
Travis has never faced chemo before.
Travis began chemo on Thursday. He started the day with some blood work and then met with his rockstar, Dr. Hamrick. Dr. Hamrick feels it is unnecessary to put Travis through the Y-90 radiation until they see that the chemotherapy is working on the lymph nodes. His explanation made sense so they will be holding off on doing that.
From there, they headed to chemotherapy. The hardest part of chemotherapy was the I.V. It’s amazing that this seemingly indestructible man can be brought to his knees by a small needle. Travis has said, “I have no problem or fear of you cutting off 80% of my liver. But can you do it without needles?” And he means every word of it…notice the napkin covering the I.V. in the picture…
But once the I.V. was in place, all was back to normal, and the chemo began. The first three hours of chemo was him getting no chemo. They gave him bags and bags of anti-nausea medicine and fluids. In fact, during his five hour ordeal, really only two hours were spent actually getting chemotherapy. The bag of Gemcitabine came first and then the Cisplatin. And then he was done. “The first two days should be the worst and then you should start feeling better. See you in two weeks.”
So those first two days…
By the time he got home he could tell his body was…off. Nothing major but his legs were…shaky. Trey’s graduation from preschool was that night so they headed off.
As he sat through the graduation he could almost feel the chemo filtering through his body. His legs were definitely getting weaker and he just felt…off. He proudly watched his son “graduate” preschool and then headed home with his father-in-law. He figured some sleep would help. He was in bed by 9:00 pm and he slept.
And woke up twelve hours later. Feeling…
He got his tub time…walked around the house a few times…and finally decided, “this is ridiculous.”
He headed to work.
And, once there…he put in almost a full day of work.
When asked how he feels he likens it to “growing pains”. Some pain behind the knees…a jolt here or there…but, otherwise, fine. He sometimes gets a sharp pain in his liver but he imagines it is the chemo attacking his liver. He is definitely fatigued and sleeps more than he ever has.
But. All in all. He feels…fine.
He was up bright and early Saturday morning.
He had a commitment to keep. He was walking a 5K.
His good friend, Bryan
Jones, has a son with cystic fibrosis and today was the annual Great Strides walk to raise awareness and funds for cystic fibrosis.
Today, just 36 hours out from receiving chemotherapy, Travis “walked it out” with Team Bryce Bryce Baby to support his friend.
Will it always be this good? We can hope. But it is unlikely. The first chemotherapy session can be “easy”. Although, I am not sure they meant this easy. But, as the chemo builds in his system each time, it will become more difficult. The fatigue will become worse and other side effects may arise.
But not this time.
As I write this post, I am doing so from bed. I got hit with a stomach virus on Tuesday that, literally, knocked me on my rear end. I was doing better yesterday until I decide it was ok to eat something. Three bites of a burger and some tater tots and I was right back where it started…up all night long doing things I won’t publicly post about. I, too, was supposed to walk in the Great Strides walk. I was in bed. A few minutes ago Travis text me. It said…
“How u feeling. Bet I feel better than u 😎”
Touché Travis. Touché. To which I simply ask…
Chemo? What chemo?