Friday, December 10, 2010

3 years

3 years ago tomorrow, I wrote this post on our family blog.

3 years! And as of Thursday 118 treatments! My goodness. Time flies when your having fun...haha!

I spent a good while reading through the posts that Christmas and was overwhelmed with emotion. I read through very wet and blurry eyes and have been thinking so much about all that has happened since.

I will never forget that Christmas. I will never forget sitting in the Doctors office and the look on his face as he told us Trav's results. I will never forget how completely and utterly terrified I felt then. I wont soon forget driving Trav home from his first treatment in a complete blizzard. I wont forget waiting...and wondering what kind of reaction he would have to the poison in his body. I'd like to forget the empty feeling I had when I really had time to sit down and think about what we were facing, but still hanging on to those memories too. I wont forget the awful prognosis we received, and thinking "could this be our last family Christmas?"

I also will never forget how taken care of we were that year. Daily we would come home to gifts of kindness on our front door from faceless friends. We were so blessed. (We are still, I know). I wont forget the flowers, gifts for my kids, and cookies (my thighs still haven't forgot those cookies!). I wont forget the words that so many people spoke to us that pulled us out of our funk. I wont forget the strangers who let me know they too, were praying for our family. I wont ever forget how much we learned to lean on one another, and so many of you that Christmas.

That Christmas 3 years ago, was the most awful and most beautiful Christmas to date. And as our 3 year cancerversary (I made that word like?) comes near, I can't help but feel so very thankful for all the time our family has been given.

3 years! 3 Christmases! And gosh darn it, I'm counting on more then that.

My favorite thing about looking back at our life then, is comparing it to now. We have sure learned to adapt! Sometimes it's so easy for even us to forget how sick T is. What a blessing! We have been able to really enjoy the past 3 years. Sure, we would like to take Thursday nights out of the week completely...and when T is really in pain, we are reminded again, and yes those pesky scans come along and give us a swift reminder...but still, life is good!

I just wanted to remind myself how blessed our little family has been and to thank all of you who are still here, and who have been here all along. We are so so so thankful. It's such a beautiful time for us to be reminded of what's important.

I can't imagine anything noteworthy coming up on the old cancer blog before Christmas, so I'm wishing you all a Very Merry one!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Just a little update.

I'm sorry to have neglected this blog since my last post, but I've lacked the energy, desire, and the time. Each time I take a little break from this blog, I get many worried e-mails and phone calls. I'm sorry to make you all worry, but remember: No news is good news. It's when I post a lot that you should worry. ;)

In the last post I mentioned Trav was experiencing some pretty severe pain, and the Doctor couldn't really understand why because the scan results looked normal. (I use the term normal loosely, I should say normal for T.)

For a few weeks T was on some pretty good pain meds that really helped with the pain, but obviously he doesn't want to need them all the time, so he is done taking them now and the pain has subsided. I wouldn't say he feels great, but he feels much better and for that we are both very grateful. He's only had a few really hard nights since he's stopped taking the meds, and I'm hoping they will lessen with time.

I'd say his biggest complaint right now is the chest pain, and night sweats. He had them first when he was diagnosed the first time, and for some reason they are back.

I kinda like telling him he's going through menopause but he doesn't think I'm nearly as funny as I think I am.....weird.

In my last post I wrote that hospice was brought in for Thomas Goodwin, and on Veterans day, he passed away. Take a moment and go here to read his beautiful obituary. I realize more and more how lucky we are that things have gone so well for Trav. We have been blessed beyond measure for how long his treatments have worked. I only wish The Goodwin's could have been as lucky. They are good people and I hope that Debbie can find some comfort in the hard months and years to come.

Thanks for always checking in. Sure appreciate you all!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010


I feel terrible that I have yet to update the blog with the results from the scan. And I can tell I've got some of you worried by the e-mails/texts you've been sending.

But never fear, I've just been extremely busy today and have barely had time to respond to anything.

The scan looked good.
The rib mets even went and shrunk a teensy tiny bit.
But that darn kidney tumor went and grew a teensy tiny bit...
so I guess we're even.

The Dr. was pleased with the results, and happy that the fluid seems to be staying away. There is still a bit in there, but nothing new. And we are happy with the news that things are stable and he can keep on taking his current drug, but also a little perplexed as to why he has been in soooo much pain.

He's missing sleep.
And breathing without aching.
And sneezing without wanting to cry.

The Dr. is going to help us try some new meds to help T manage his pain. Wish him luck!

We both can't express our gratitude for the many calls/texts/e-mails/and cookies from you all every time we go through this. I'm sure it gets old taking such good care of us. Just know it doesn't go unappreciated and we do realize how blessed we are to have you.

After writing this post I clicked a link to a dear cyberfriend, who's husband is also battling RCC. They have had a really rough couple of months and could use some prayers as they have decided it's time for hospice to come in. Send a prayer or 2 to Tom and Debbie Goodwin. I know I will.

I hate stupid cancer.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Back at it.


I loathe logging into this blog, and much prefer ignoring it (and the cancer) completely. We've had a very nice break from weekly treatments, (Trav got 2 weeks off!), weekly x-ray's, and the Doctors office in general.

If you live under a rock and don't already know, we were able to take an amazing trip to Spain where T served his mission, and seriously didn't think about cancer once the whole time we were gone. (Click here for pics of the trip.)

It did wonders for both my soul, and Trav's.

But now we are back in the real world, and all the crap that comes along with it.

Travis did really well on our trip, he had lots of energy, and felt pretty good. But since we've been home things haven't gone as well.

He is in a lot of pain in his rib, and his chest.
Pain to the point of waking up at 3 a.m. because it hurts so bad.
He hasn't really been able to sleep a full night since we've been back, and that is no bueno. (A little Spanish for ya....)

It's hard to get back to normal and have to face it all again. I swear after 3 years of this I'd should be used to it, but I just can't get over how hard it is to watch my husband be in pain.

It hurts my heart.

Anyhow, today he went in for a treatment and talked to the Dr. about his pain. He will have another fun scan on Monday so they can see why he is in so much pain, and so they can figure out how to treat it.

I'm praying, really hard, that they wont find anything new. The chest pain worries me a bit, because his chest usually only hurts on treatment days. But you never know, maybe it's the cold weather, or just overexertion from our trip.

Either way, we will know on Monday. And I'm asking again for prayers sent his way.

He's kind of awesome, so it really is worth your time.
I'll keep you posted.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Sweet releif.

Trav went in yesterday for his chest x-ray.
Wanna know what they found?

No fluid.


He said even the Dr. looked a little shocked.

I have a new found testimony of prayers, and fasting.

Now, don't feel bad if I completely ignore you till our next scan. I'm looking forward to a cancer blogging break.

(BTW, the next scan will be toward the end of October.)

Love to all.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Thursday Night Therepy

I owe a little apology to those of you wondering how Trav's x-ray went on Thursday. He went in before his treatment, and after waiting for an hour and a half, couldn't wait any longer because he had to go get his weekly dose of poison.

He will get it this week some time, and I will keep you posted.

Till then, enjoy this picture of Sienna and Dad snuggling the Thursday night blues away. Yes, they are both out cold, and yes, it's only 7:15 p.m.

I tell you what, that little lady is good for his soul.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

I don't wanna brag, but...

My man has even less pleural fluid then he did 2 weeks ago.

He had an x-ray today to prove it.
I feel happy inside.
If he didn't just come home looking like death (because he just walked in from his treatment), I might jump for joy, or attempt a cartwheel.

Thanks for all your prayers, it seems they did the trick.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

New Blood.

Travis went in yesterday to get his shot and a blood transfusion.
Another day of sitting in the room with people much older then him, and us wondering 'how did we get here?'
And another day for poor T to spend just sitting in the hospital.
2 hours on Thursday.
5.5 hours on Friday.

He's a lucky, lucky man. ;)

Things went well though, and I think his coloring is much improved.
And he went golfing today and felt like a little bit of his power was back, and that my friends,
is very good news.

The anemia is caused by his medicine, not really by lack of something in his diet. The hope is that now he will be boosted up to his normal self, and stay that way. We don't really want him to have to get more transfusions if we can help it.

Thursday he will go in for another x-ray to see if that darned fluid is back, so I will let you all know as things progress.

Thanks for checking in.
It's always appreciated!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Another Thursday Report.

For the love.

I'm sick of this blog.
I mean, I love you all,
but my goal is to not have to write on this blog, for like, a week.
I wont miss it.

Is that too much to ask?

Trav went in for his treatment today, and his blood work looks worse.
He's pretty anemic.
I guess for the past 4 weeks his blood work has looked progressively worse.

The Dr. actually asked if he was feeling really tired, and when Trav said he was doing OK the Doc told him he is "tougher then he thought."

So now Trav is feeling a little bit like he's Superman. I mean, to hear that he is tough from a Doctor is good stuff.

Tomorrow he has to go in and get a blood transfusion and a shot of procrit. They are hoping to get him back to his 'just below normal' self.

He gets to spend 4 hours at the hospital.
Don't be jealous.

We both are really hoping this will help him get some energy back.
And honestly, we are both feeling a little sick of the weekly stress that keeps on coming.
Feeling a little knocked down and just hoping that next week things look a little better.

I want to add that for all the crap I give him, I think he's Superman too. To know that he must be just exhausted each day, and to still work full time, take care of the kids and me, and have such a good attitude about it all makes me love him even more.

He's a good man. And he could use your prayers, and good vibes.
Thanks in advance!

Friday, August 20, 2010

A Little Update:

I'm sick of updating this blog, and longing for the days when we were just hanging out, pretending T wasn't sick, and getting decent scans.

Isn't it just so sad, and slightly pathetic when you long for they days of just plain old stage 4 cancer?

Here's the latest.
Trav went in for his x-ray yesterday, and today we learned that there is no new fluid in his pluera.

But because Trav is a drama queen who is really enjoying all this attention, he had to go and throw another question mark into the mix, and I'm unsure if we should be worried, or not.

He is really anemic.
Which I believe is normal for most cancer patients, but not normal for T.
Usually he is slightly, but right now it sounds pretty bad.

Today they are running some blood work and I think they are hoping to figure out why.
I'm hoping it's just a fluke, and they can give him a shot, and it will be no biggie.

We will see I guess.
I'm hoping the Dr. will call today, but he may not till tomorrow. I will update as soon as I know anything.

He will have another x-ray on his chest in 2 weeks to check his pleura again.

And tonight I will be feeding him steak. ;)

Thanks for everything!

Thursday, August 12, 2010


I can honestly say that the last 2 days have been the longest 2 days of my life.

And can happily tell you that no cancer cells were found in the fluid.
Deep sigh of relief.

Now we wait, and see if it comes back.
Trav will go in next week and check the fluid via chest x-ray.

Our hope is that there wont be any, and it wont come back.
If it does, then he will have a 'procedure' done to hopefully rid him for good.

So again, cross any crossable body parts in the hopes that the darn fluid is gone. for. good.

I also want to say thank you to the many people who have texted, prayed, fasted, called, visited, and e-mailed. It's been humbling and overwhelming. And we have felt so thankful. Last night we had a friend, who had no idea what was going on, feel inspired to come check on the Kidman family. It's a testimony builder for us to have so many of you on our side.

You all are amazing.

I also feel a little embarrassed. It seems we've been really lucky whenever we hit these scary moments, we end up getting fairly decent news. But I worry that many of you are wondering why we freak out, so often. The truth is that we have just been really lucky. The statistics for Trav's cancer, and his stage of cancer, are really-really ugly. The fact that things have gone so well for so long is a miracle. The fact that things haven't progressed or changed is a miracle. We are so thankful for that. But we are also very aware that we need to be prepared for the worst case, because in most cases, it happens sooner rather then later. So we aren't just being dramatic, (I wish we were). It is scary, and awful, and crappy all at the same time. I know that most of you already know that, but just want you to know that all your prayers are for a reason. We have needed them, and appreciated them, and will continue to do so.

We are very blessed, and so thankful to you all.

And I hope this makes sense because I haven't slept in 2 days.
And I'm tired.

Goodnight. ;)

Tuesday, August 10, 2010


Tonight while researching about the surgery Trav may have to face, we also learned how scary pleural effusion is if it has metastasized.

We knew it was scary, but the prognosis is much more then scary.
Like a life expectancy of 6 months scary.

Tomorrow our family, and friends are fasting. If you'd like to join us, we would appreciate it.
We are really praying for good news on Thursday!

Roller Coaster.

The Dr. called today to give us a little update. Our conversation felt a little bit like our life feels right now. Up, down, up, down, up...down.

UP: The pathologist hasn't been able to find any cancer cells.
DOWN: Yet. He is running even more tests. We should know more on Thursday.
UP: The were able to get most of the fluid out, and only a very small amount remains.
DOWN: They are pretty positive that even though they haven't found any cancer cells yet, it is %100 happening because of the cancer, and not because of the radiation. We were really hoping that it was just a fluke side effect of the radiation.
UP: It seems the Dr. was a bit concerned that the fluid was going to change some of the mets to his lungs, but his chest x-ray looks the same.
DOWN: He will now have to get chest x-rays every 2 weeks to see if the fluid is returning.
DOWN: If the fluid comes back he will have to have surgery.
DOWN: Painful surgery.
DOWN: Checking online it seems that best case he will have to stay in the hospital for 4 days.
DOWN: Worst case? Up to 2 weeks.
UP: He may not have to have surgery. If that darn fluid stays away.
UP: You are all praying it will stay away. And crossing toes and fingers. Do it. Now. :)
DOWN: When I asked the Dr. how concerned we should be, he admitted to be concerned himself. I do not like it when the Dr. worries. Like, not at all.

Do you notice more DOWNS then UPS? Me too. I really am praying that Thursday changes all that.

We feel a little deflated tonight. And worried. And bummed.
Can I tell you how much we hate cancer?
It's a lot, like an unmentionable amount.

I feel bad that T is in pain already, and may have to deal with a painful surgery. I feel bad that he has to go through it all. I feel a little bit bad for myself that I can't do anything to help him, and I don't know how to change it. I feel a little selfish because I am pouting about things that may not happen (like that trip we want to book, right now). I feel a little smacked around. Mostly I just miss worrying about things like when we are gonna find time to mow the lawn, what my hair looks like, and what shoes go with what shirt. I miss the small stuff feeling like big stuff.

(Does that make any sense?)

Anyhow, here is a quick video that will make you smile after my whiny post. Your gonna find yourself singing it all night long.

Thanks again for checking in!


Friday, August 6, 2010


This afternoon Travis went in for his thoracentesis.
And we are so glad it is done.
I'm not gonna lie, it was scary.
And really, really gross.

The first doctor came in and did an ultrasound to see how big the 'pockets of fluid' were. Then he proceeded to tell us the possible side effects of the procedure.
Collapsed lungs.
Punctured lungs.
Lots of blood.

Then you sign the paper giving them your ok.

Then the Dr. who actually does the procedure comes in, and repeats possible complications, and does a great job of terrifying you.

I don't think I've ever been so nervous. Seriously, I was nauseously nervous. And have decided I am pretty much a pessimist and just know that the worst case will happen when it comes to T's luck.

But things went really well. They were able to pull almost a sickly 1/2 liter of fluid out of him, and there weren't any complications.

His back is pretty sore now, but i think that will go away quickly, and we are hoping that removing that fluid will help ease a little bit of the pain in his rib. We are wondering if that was putting added pressure there, and hopefully it will help!

They have sent the fluid to the pathologist who will now determine whether the fluid is cancerous, or caused from something else.

We obviously are praying that it's not more cancer. (You are too, right?) And we are crossing our fingers that the radiation he had in May has somehow just caused this fluid to build up. Either way, the pathologist should be able to tell why it's there, what it is, and where it is coming from.

So again, we wait. And again, we ask for your prayers.
Do you get sick of us asking you for favors?
We hope you all know how thankful we are that we have friends we are able to ask, and ask, and ask.

We love ya.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

The skinny.

(That massive stack of papers on the Dr.'s desk is Trav's enormous file).

My goodness it's been a long day. It started off with a phone call that Sienna, who slept at Grandmas with all of her cousins, was throwing up. So I guess when your day starts like that, it can only go up, right?

Anywhoo, we met with the Dr. this afternoon and he shed some light on whats going on inside my mans body.

The doctor said he actually didn't have any growth on the spot on his rib, but the muscles around the rib are really swollen, (which may have been why we read it wrong?) He also said some of the cells around that area are dead, which is actually good news showing us that the radiation at least did something.

He was pleased that his liver is clean. His lung mets are the same, and his remaining kidney is stable, but he also doesn't really like the fluid in his lungs.

Tomorrow he will go in for a thorancentisis, which is basically them sticking a needle in his chest and draining the fluid. They will send it to a pathologist to see exactly what it is, and we will go from there. Darn fluid.

Travis has been doing his treatments a little off protocol. Normally with his drug it is a treatment every single week. But we have kind of pushed for 3 weeks on and 1 week off, mostly because doing this every week for almost 3 years was a lot for T to take. The longer he goes with each treatment the worse he feels, so a week off is like a little slice of heaven. His cankers clear up, and he finds a little energy. Well, because of the pleural effusion, the Dr. has decided he would like Travis to go for 8 straight weeks on, and then get another scan and see whats going on. If the fluid is back, or there are any other changes in his hot spots, we will have to try another treatment option.

It's my opinion that the drug we are using has worked for him thus far, and I'd really like for him to be able to continue. We know the side effects, and it has managed to keep him stable for quite a long time (for kidney cancer, at least).

Trying something new frankly, terrifies me. I remember the wait for his first scan after he started using Torisel (the drug he is using now), and would really not like to have that kind of anxiety again! :) The plus side to a new treatment is that some are given in pill form, which would be awesome for T. No more weekly hour(s) long session at the cancer center would be good for his moral.

So to sum up: (I'm very long winded tonight, yes?) Tomorrow he will get rid of the fluid. It should go smoothly, and not be too scary. That being said we are both a little scared. Cause even thought it should go smoothly, they are sticking a needle in his chest.... You are planning on praying for us, aren't you? ;) Then treatments for 8 weeks, and another scan to see how things look. Let's hope for no growth and no fluid.

Today I was very humbled and grateful for the many phone calls and texts and messages I received. We can't express our thanks enough. It calms our fears to have so many people who care and who put up with us and our roller coaster lifestyle.

I'm going to spend tonight wishing this nightmare called cancer away, but will wake up ready to face it all again, and am glad that you all face it with us.

I'll post tomorrow about how the fluid removal went (I'm calling it fluid removal because I can't remember the technical term, awesome).

Thanks all.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Results read by the Kidmans

Well, Travis picked up his results today, so we still haven't got the official word, but here is what we know.

Kidney-1 cm bigger :(
Rib-8 x 5 cm BIGGER?

If your thinking What? He had radiation on his rib, it's supposed to be better!?
Join the club.
We are not happy.
If you remember they did really, really high doses in his rib hoping that it would stop spreading in his rib, and maybe, hopefully get rid of it. And the radiation has made it hurt.
Like a lot.
Like so much that right now he is laying on the couch unable to find a comfy position, and there is moaning and squinting involved.

So a lot of pain, for no results.
Freaking Boo.

I'm really, very curious to see what the good doc says tomorrow. My fear is that he will want us to try one of his 3 other options. And with other options comes new side effects, and an even more scary situation.

I do not like.
But again, that's just me speculating. He may just want to keep on rolling with his drug treatment. Who knows?

We will tomorrow, I hope.

And we are aware of how miraculous it is that everything else is staying stable. So we are mad, and thankful all at once.
Get used to it.

Another cause of concern that was found on his scan, (and again, remember we are doing the reading here, so forgive me if tomorrow you hear another story), is that he has a pleural effusion. Which from what we've read is fluid building up between his lungs and rib. Common in lung cancer patients.

I really do not like.
And am more then a little worried, which is the downside to reading a scan without a dr.
He might look at me tomorrow and be all "it's nothing to worry about", and I've been worried. So I guess we will just wait and see.

Still love me friends, if next time you see me I'm in my pj's and have gained 30 lbs.

Thank you all for continued prayers, and cross your fingers we are worrying for nothing! I really appreciate all the calls and texts from those of you who are waiting as anxiously as we are. It's so nice to have so many of you there for us!

Friday, July 30, 2010


Hey all,

Just thought I'd let everyone know that it's scan time again.
It will be interesting to see what the radiation has done to his rib.
Which, is still aching. Darn it.

I'm thinking your prayers have worked so far, so we are asking for them again...
Thanks in advance!

Thursday, July 1, 2010


Here's a little update on Trav's many maladies.
I'm thinking of changing the blog title to travscrappydiseases. You like?

Disease #1.
The cancer.
Trav had a bone scan on Tuesday. It's been almost 3 years since his last one, and he was due. He said when the initial scan was over the tech very wearily told him he needed to take another picture of his rib....and he seemed a little relieved when Trav told him he already knew there is cancer there.

We were happy to report that there was no new cancerous growth on his bones.
Score 1 for T.

His rib pain seems to come and go, which is better then the constant pain he had a few weeks ago, but still not as good as it could be. He's determined to golf next week, and I've told him he can, but if he hurts himself I may kill him. :)

At the end of the month he will get his CT scan. (I know, has it been 3 months already?) We will be able to see what the radiation did, and are really hoping that for all the pain it's been, it's done something. And for those of you who need a little reminder, my birthday is also at the end of the month (write it down, it's a big day) so I figure happy scan results make for 1 happy b-day.

And we all know that my birthday is really what matters most. (I kid.) (A little.)

Disease #2:

The steroids really helped pretty quickly, and after the first few days the pain started to lessen. I'd say he isn't %100 quite yet, but he is much, much better.

Side note: The nurses at the cancer center (who we adore. a lot) gave Trav quite a bit of crap today for having yet another old person disease. Apparently he was compared to and "old lady with bursitis in her knees" and taunted and teased when they put on "The Andy Griffith show" and assumed it was Trav's type of show, because he is 80 after all.

Heaven bless those nurses.

Disease #3 and #3.5
Arthritis and Slipped disc.

I don't really know which one of these nasty buggers has caused some discomfort as of late, so I will clump them into one.

Once T's shoulder started to feel better, his poor back started aching, and I started wondering who had it out for him. Luckily a few days later it seemed to work itself out, but all these aches have us thinking a bit...

The drug he takes is supposed to prolong life for 10 months. (10 months!) (Hooray for 100 treatments! and what, like 3 years? on that stuff). It hasn't been approved for very long, so in the haze of achy backs, achy ribs, and achy shoulders, we wondered if maybe all of these things are long term affects of his drug treatment. Not that it really matters, or that we will ever really know, but it gave us something to ponder. And now you can ponder it too. Aren't you excited?

A lot has happened in the past month making us even more thankful for what we have. We've watched a (I want to say friend, though we've never met them, so I guess acquaintance is the right word?) pass away after a very hard cancer battle, leaving his lovely wife alone with their 4 beautiful, and young children. When I find myself feeling blue or picked on, I just remember that still, we have a battle to fight, and we should be thankful for it.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

A real pain in the....

Sunday night Trav started getting a pain in his shoulder, like a really bad pain. He couldn't lay on his back, and was pretty uncomfortable. And by Monday night, the pain was awful. I could see a lump on his back, and it just felt like a big muscle knot.

Now, one of those bad things that come along with cancer, is the worry EVERY single time something comes along. Trav gets a bad cough, and we worry. A funny ache, we worry. And a lump on his back, you can bet, we were worried.

He called the doctor on Tuesday and they got him a muscle relaxer hoping that it would work itself out, and he might feel some relief. The nurse told him to take it and see how he does and if he was still in pain by Thursday, to call and they would figure out what was going on.

Well, you know he was in a lot of pain, because he tried those muscle relaxers one night, and knew the pain wasn't going anywhere, and called the Dr. on Wed. instead. (Pansy) (I kid, of course).

Today he went in for an MRI to see what was going on, and just prayed that it wasn't that darn cancer.

And it isn't! :)
But he does have yet another ailment. :(

From Wikepedia: Bursitis is the inflammation of one of more bursae (small sacs) of synovial fluid in the body. The bursae rests at the points where internal functionaries, such as muscles and tendons, slide across the bone. Healthy bursae create a smooth, almost frictionless gliding surface making normal movement painless. When bursitis occurs, however, movement relying upon the inflamed bursae becomes difficult and painful. Moreover, movement of tendons and muscles over the inflamed bursae aggravates the inflammation perpetuating the problem.

Fun eh?

They called in a prescription for some steroids today, and I'm really hoping that he will start to feel a little better during the week.

Now, I've been asking in my prayers to be able to be with Travis when he is old and gray. I'm starting to wonder if I'm unclear in my requests with the big guy upstairs...
I don't mean I want him to get all the old people diseases right now, I just want him to live for a really long time, long enough that it is age appropriate for him to get arthritis, and bursitis...

Tonight I shall make my request a little clearer. ;)

And if you'd all like to pray that this medicine will help, that would be grand. With his crappy spine, swollen ribs, and now bad shoulder, he could use a break!

Also, Bone scan next week, just to see how things are looking. Let's all pray for his rib to be lookin' good, and for the rest of his bones to be free of the bad stuff.

Thanks for checking in.

Thursday, June 17, 2010


Today marks Trav's 100th treatment.
I wondered briefly if we should celebrate somehow, but then realized maybe this isn't the type of thing you throw a party for...
At any rate, I'm just glad they are working and grateful at all the time they have given us.

We may have jumped the gun a little in deciding the radiation side effects weren't so bad. The radiation onc. really thought that he would have started experiencing pain a few weeks ago, so we thought we were in the clear.

The other day he complained that it was aching a bit, and as the day went on it got progressively worse. There are 2 really swollen spots that you can visibly see and feel. He's having a hard time even rolling over in bed, and I watch him walk around clutching his side a good chunk of the time, though I don't think he realizes he doing it.

Now, when I ask him how he's doing, he, of course, says "It's not that bad, I'm OK."
He's such a liar.

We both know that if the radiation works, the pain is worth it, but boy it's hard to watch him feel so crappy. I imagine he will get a scan in a few weeks to see whats going on in there. The hardest part about the rib pain is that it will probably be there for a while making for a very long summer.

And to top it off he has 6 or 7 cankers and they are pretty large, and pretty painful. I think once those clear up he will feel a little better.

I know this post is sounding quite negative and it wasn't meant out to be that way. We have so much to be thankful for, and know that soon enough his mouth will clear up and hopefully his pain will be lessened. I'm just hoping that happens sooner rather then later.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010


I've been asked about a million times how Travis is holding up, and each time it reminds me I should probably update this blog for those of you who are reading it. (Hello to Trav's cousins who I hear are reading, we appreciate you keeping tabs on him!)

Our radiation onc. made it pretty clear that this would be pretty hard on Travis.
She thought because of the high dosage of the radiation, mixed with him weekly treatments, he would be pretty exhausted. Also, they thought that his rib would be extremely tender. And he would get a pretty red sunburn type rash on the area the radiation was aimed.

We braced ourselves for it.

I gave myself pep talks about how "I will be supermom this week" when Trav comes home too tired to think.

He promised he would take days off work when he was plum tuckered out.

The ladies promised to be quiet when he was tired, and not to tackle him too much.:) Sienna still prays for Daddy's rib each night.

But truth be told, the side effects weren't that bad.
My man is like a superhero.
A Dr. Pepper drinking Superhero.

Oh yes, he had some really bad, really tired days. And his stomach felt a little weird (like I mentioned in the previous post), but it was manageable. And after the first week instead of getting worse (which was expected) he got a little better. His rib has ached a bit more, but not to the point they thought it might get. He even thinks he might give golfing a try here in a few weeks! And the sunburn never really came. (Just a nice mocha tan.:)

Now, this is all according to me. Travis tends to tell everyone that "he is fine" even on his worst days, so he could be lying to me and it is worse then all this, but usually I can tell when he is fibbing, and he really seems to be okay right now.

We are so thankful to have it over with, and so thankful that it has been better then expected. He goes in tomorrow for his 90something treatment.

Do you remember how much we hate Thursdays around here?
They are like a gloomy dark cloud over the week.

Tonight I am just feeling thankful that he is willing to put himself through so much for us.
I married up.
I love my husband.

As always, thanks for checking in!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Almost Done.

Tomorrow marks Trav's last day of radiation.
It's been a long week.

When we met with the radiation onc. she said that because the radiation area is close to his stomach, it may feel a little funny, and he may be even more queasy then expected.

He hasn't exactly felt nausea's, but keeps telling me that his stomach feels "weird" and has had absolutely no appetite.

I've pretty much force fed him every night, and mother him with texts like "Did you eat lunch today?" And when he responds "Yes", I take it one step further and say "Something real?".

Poor guy. I think at times he wants to tell me to just back off! But then who would bring him ice cold DP's when he is in need?

And he's completely exhausted.
Like, bags under his eyes exhausted.

He went in for his radiation today at 8, and then went in for his regular treatment at 3, and came home and crashed for a good chunk of the night. When he woke up his chest was aching like crazy and he felt pretty awful.

Thursdays are tough. They are hard on Travis, who just feels awful. He hates not being able to play with the girls, and feels bad when they want a little daddy time and he just does not have it in him. And it's so hard to see him feel as awful as he feels. Someday I pray to find the balance between caring wife, and overbearing wife. Heaven help me!

We've been told that the side effects from his radiation will last for 2-4 weeks, but I'm really, really, really hoping that they go away quickly. It's tough on Trav to do the chemo and the radiation at the same time I think. We are also really hoping that the rib pain doesn't last the whole summer, because I would like to send him golfing!

Thanks so much for all the kind texts, e-mail, and phone calls checking on Travis. He really is doing fine, and as usual has a better attitude then me.

Monday, May 10, 2010


Travis started his radiation today.
He went in at 7:45 this morning.
He was there for maybe an hour, just getting all set up, re-x-rayed. (I made up that word),
and getting zapped.
They made him hold his hands very still above his head for a good half hour, and that was his biggest complaint.
Turns out, radiation is quick and easy.

When we met with the radiation oncologist last week, she told us that when he starts his therapy he will want to get %100 aloe Vera to rub on his rib, because the radiation will cause a rash.

Today, he asked the guy helping him how often to use it.
The man says "You only have 5 treatments, once a day should be plenty."

They zapped him, then as he's getting ready to go the same guy says,
"Um, that's a really high dose, so you probably should put the aloe on at least 3 times a day."

Awesome. Travis is pumped about his upcoming aching skin.

From what we've heard the majority of the people who get radiation don't experience side effects right away. They usually kick in a week (or 2) later. So we are very curious to see what happens in the next few weeks.

His stomach did feel a bit "funny" today. He just wasn't hungry and opted to eat a banana for lunch. I force fed him dinner, and babied him all night long.

He's in good spirits though, and being his sarcastic self.
Like tonight when I asked him to wash the girls hair while they were in the tub, he replied with a very hearty, very whiny,
"But I had radiation today".
It's a good thing he said it with a smile.

He still ended up washing their hair.

Thanks to all of you who have been praying for us, bringing us dinner, mowing our lawn, and just being here for us. We are so thankful. So. very. thankful.

Saturday, May 1, 2010


Travis turns the big 35 today!
I do love being 6 years younger then my husband,
mostly because I can give him crap about how old he is,
for like,

It's good stuff.

I am so thankful for a husband who:

will get me a Sonic Dt. Coke whenever I text him my complete need.
always baths the girls, because by bath time, I'm spent.
tells me I look pretty, even when I'm in my sweats.
always. always. find the energy to entertain his ladies.
can eat twixes by the bucket load.
is louder then any fan, at any Jazz or Aggie game. (it can be embarrassing at times)
works hard to provide for our family.
wakes up with the girls if they need something in the middle of the night.
puts up with my never ending honey do list.
pretends he feels good, just so others don't worry about him.
puts up with my moodiness.
is an amazing daddy.

Words can't express how thankful I am for all he does for us.
I married up.
Big time.

I'm thinking we need to beat the odds and spend the next 35 years together.
I wrote it down, so it's a goal. ;)

Wish him a happy birthday, wont you?

Monday, April 26, 2010

Radiation Planning.

Today we went to O-town to get Trav all set up for his radiation treatments. They apparently have a great radiation machine here, (state of the art, she called it), but they do the mapping and the planning, and the tattooing (is that a word?) there.

The Dr. first showed us Trav's spine, and I can officially say I know that man inside out. I've seen his brain, spine, and abdomen pictures. (Is it wrong to admit that those pics, especially the brain, freak me out a bit). (Okay, a lot).

Then they took Travis to a room to x-ray him with a grid, over and over again. Then they markered him up, tattooed him, and gave him a CAT scan to make sure that they had those tats right where they should be.

He has 3 little spots going down his chest on the right side, and one on each side. And you should have seen Adyson's face when we told her. It was like he went against everything we've been teaching was pretty entertaining stuff.

Yeah. He's badass. 5 tats in 1 day.
All he needs is a Harley, a leather jacket, and maybe a Mohawk, and we are set.

Radiation will start on the 10th. And only 5 very high doses. We both are a little nervous about how his body will react, especially because his weekly drug treatments already knock him down a bit, but we are feeling pretty optimistic. Everyone reacts differently, but the most common side effect seems to be fatigue. And we can do tired around here just fine. In fact, Trav's mastered it. : )

Thanks to all, again. Will we ever be able to repay all the kindness shown to us?

Friday, April 23, 2010

MRI results.

Trav's MRI showed no cancer in his spine!!

I cannot tell you how shocked I am. When we met with the radiation Dr. the other day, she was pretty convinced that the results wouldn't be so good.

He does have a bulging disc now. But hey, we will take it!

(It's slightly sad that a bulging disc is good news, isn't it?)

Thanks for all your prayers. We are spending the weekend worry free, and I may even sleep tonight. (Cross your fingers.)

Monday, we head to Ogden to get set up for radiation. And Trav gets some tattoos on his back. SEXY!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Thank you.

Today I went to lunch with one of my best friends. While we were eating at Cafe Rio (YUM), we were just chatting about what Travis and my day tomorrow will be like.

I said, "Isn't it strange that tomorrow I will be just sitting at home waiting to see if Travis has cancer in his spine? And instead of being totally crazy that I am sitting there waiting for that life changing news, it's just normal for us."

Not to say that I'm not freaking out, because I have miniature birds flying around in my stomach already, and tears are creeping out of my eyes frequently, but this is just life for us now. It's strange. It's strange that it seems normal...does that make any sense??

The past few days we've had a lot of support from family and friends. Plates of brownies, cookies, (Um, people your not helping my emotional eating!!:). People bringing us their favorite "cheer up books", offering to babysit, having their kids mow our lawn, dinner. And the most common phrase is "What can we do?"

Another friend called today just to see what was going on, and told me to remember that all of our friends are going through this with us. They are all fasting, praying, and freaking out along with us.

And I can't tell you how much we appreciate it.
I just wanted to say thank you.
I've got my hopes up that the spine is in good shape, and he really just has old man arthritis, but if the news comes back not so good, I know we have a lot of people who are here to help.

Thanks for being our silver lining!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Another MRI

We were able to meet with the Radiation Dr. today to see if we could come up with a plan for Trav's radiation.

She said that when you get RCC in a bone (like his rib), it's almost certain you will get it in a few areas. (Brain and Spine). Since he had his brain cleared last week, she wants to see what his spine is looking like.

If you remember, he had some pretty bad back pain a while back, but the x-ray made it seem like it was most likely arthritis.

She feels like because of the growth in his rib, and the back pain, it is time to do an MRI on his spine. She thinks that is the best way to see what's really going on.

So Friday, Trav gets yet another MRI.
And we wait.

I'll be honest, I'm bracing myself for bad news this time. She made it pretty clear that she thinks that this is the case, and that if it is there, it has probably been there since we found out the cancer was back, but it was too small to see.

We will hopefully get results on Friday, and then on Monday go to Ogden to get another CAT scan and tattoo's and the radiation plan. If it is in his spine, the Dr. will be able to get him zapped there too.

5 days of high doses.

It's gonna be a loooong couple of months.

And the worst part?
Travis was told golfing is gonna be rough, if not non-existent for the rest of the summer due to his rib hurting pretty badly because of the radiation.

Give the man Stage 4 cancer and he does okay, but tell him golfing is out, and he's a mess. (I kid).

We will keep you posted. And thanks again for always checking in!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Pity Party

Yesterday I was feeling pretty sorry for myself.

We sat in the room to meet with the radiation Dr. and I was brought back to the day we found out Trav's cancer was back (with a vengeance).

It's hard to explain how easy it is to pretend we are just a normal family. We get pretty used to our life the way it is. It's always there, but we push it back to the farthest darkest corners of our minds till something reminds us of the severity of it all.

Sometimes it just slaps you in the face. Travis will get an ache or pain and my stomach is just in knots for fear that the cancer has taken over another spot in his body. His cankers take over, and it reminds me we are facing something pretty ugly, but for the most part, we are more then happy to deny it, and pretend it's not there.

Back to yesterday.

I sat in the room with the Dr. and just kept wondering "How did we get here? Why us? Why do I have to spend a good chunk of my life worrying about the future? And why does Trav have to go through it all?"

Yesterday I was reminded again how crappy cancer is. I just felt like the weight of the world was on my shoulders and left the office thinking about cancer in his brain. Cancer in his spine. Wondering when it will spread, praying it hasn't spread.

I'll admit, I threw me a pretty great pity party. I was a super baby yesterday.

Then this morning I woke up to sun.
I woke up to good news from the Dr. (no cancer in the brain does something for the soul).
Then the Radiation Dr. called and said she has already spoken with the specialist in SL. (Doctors who do things quickly also do good things for the soul).
She thinks that we will do only 5 radiation treatments in really high doses.
Yesterday we were thinking 6-12 weeks of daily treatments, so this is an upgrade.
(We will meet with her on Tuesday and know more then).

Tonight after I got over my selfishness, I checked the blog of someone we know (through the blogging world) who is battling esophageal cancer. My heart just dropped when I read that he had a scan on Friday that revealed his cancer has pretty much taken over. He is young, they have young kids. They don't have a lot of options left for treatments, and are trying to find the balance between fighting, and trusting in the Lord.

I'm ashamed to have spent the day yesterday feeling sorry for myself. Please don't read this and feel like you need to comment on how I'm entitled to have a bad day. I know I am. I know that it's ok, but am writing this down to remind myself that we have been pretty lucky during our fight compared to some. We've had miraculous results, and still have options, and time.

I'm so thankful for that. I'm just going to give myself a little attitude adjustment and try a little harder to treasure what we have. I think it's a good reminder for all of us.

Keep my blogging friends in your prayers. They deserve that.

MRI results

Trav's results for his MRI were good. (Thank Goodness!)
Now his results will be sent to a specialist in Salt Lake and we will wait for them to come up with a plan, and we will go from there.

What's new?!

Thanks so much for praying, and crossing toes, fingers, and any crossable body parts! Love you all.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Waiting for a plan.

This morning Travis and I met with the Radiation Dr. We were there for quite a while, but I'll give you the gist of what we learned today.

First, she really isn't %100 sure on how to treat his rib. Renal Cells don't react super well to radiation, and she just wants to get a second opinion from a Dr. in SLC who really understands how to localize his radiation to get optimum results.

We are completely OK with as many doctors as possible checking his case out so he gets what he needs. Unfortunately there is no way to get rid of the spots on his ribs. This will once again, just slow down (or hopefully stop) progression.

I'm a little disappointed about that. I had my hopes up that they could zap it and it would disappear!

Second, she really wants Travis to get another Brain scan to make sure nothing has spread there. She just wants to make sure she has all the information she can get to send to the other Dr.

The MRI is tomorrow, so once again, we are asking for your prayers, and fingers to be crossed. (Do you feel like we just ask and ask?)

Eventually he will need an MRI done on his spine, but the contrast used during an MRI is really hard on Kidneys. Since Travis only has 1 (and 1 with a tumor at that), she'd like to space them out a ways.

She said we are in no hurry to get this done, so we can take our time and make sure we have the right plan in place.

So, we will keep you posted. In the mean time, I will be spending my days tomorrow a little antsy and worried. And drinking a whole lot of Dt coke!

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Waiting again.

We weren't able to meet with the Radiation Doctor today, but have scheduled an appointment for Tuesday. I know that some of you are wondering what's going on, so I thought I'd let you know that once again, we are waiting.

What's new? Doesn't it seem like we are always waiting? ; )

Tuesday, April 6, 2010


When Travis finally spoke with the Dr. today, he was a little concerned about the growth on his ribs. We were hoping it wasn't big enough for him to be worried, but that's not the case.

The Dr. wants him to meet with a radiation Dr. (probably on Thursday) to come up with a plan and see if the radiation will help.

We are nervous about another treatment being done. It seems Travis is finally getting used to the crap he gets from his immunotherepy drugs, and now he may have to start something else.

We are however, excited about the chance that the radiation may shrink, or remove the cancer from that spot. The rib causes him the most pain, and it would be quite nice to have it gone!

Wish us luck in the next few weeks!

And as usual, thanks for caring.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Results and an Easter Message.

Results first:

We have yet to hear from the Doctor, but being the impatient people we are, Trav went and picked them up and we read them for ourselves. (It would have been a Looong night if he hadn't!) It looks like there is no change in his lungs. The spot on his rib is slightly larger (again, stop growing!!), and the tumor in his kidney is slightly larger. The report said that there is nothing unusual on his liver, which is giving us a little hope because there used to be a lesion there, but until we talk to the Dr. we aren't getting too excited about it. That could easily have been an error. But fingers crossed....
We are both thinking that the Dr. wont be super concerned about the growth because it seems very small, but we will see tomorrow for sure. We are feeling much better, and might even sleep tonight! Imagine that.

And Easter Message:

Travis has to write the message for our ward bulletin every few months. I just loved what he wrote this month, and wanted to share it. Have I ever mentioned how awesome my man is? Now you can see for yourselves.

I love this time of year. As spring pushes away winter, life begins again. I love clearing away the last of the dead flowers to reveal new green buds sprouting out of the ground. Feeling the sun after what seemed like an eternity of absence. I can't wait for the smell of fresh cut grass and spring rain. It is a great time of year. It seems like the perfect time to celebrate life and the resurrection of our Savior.

When I think of Easter my mind tends to wander to the picture of the Savior kneeling against a tree in Gethsemane. There he is feeling the weight of the world on his shoulders. All of mankind's flaws pushing down on someone who had never had to endure this kind of anguish, because of his perfect existence. He was there with purpose, wishing for the pain to end, but understanding that his mission had to be fulfilled to save us all. My mind then moves to the scene of the cross, where after a full night of suffering he had to be humiliated in front of peers and strangers and die with robbers. A man who had loved, healed and even brought back the dead was forced to hang with common thieves.

Then the Savior of the world rises again. He overcomes death for all of us. All mankind is given the gift of life forever. One day we can all overcome death because of him. As I tell my wife often, I get to dump this "rental" body and get a perfect replica. What an amazing gift! President Gordon B. Hinckley once said, "No event of history has been more certainly confirmed. There is the testimony of all who saw and felt and spoke with the risen Lord. He appeared on two continents in two hemispheres and taught the people before His final ascension. Two sacred volumes, two testaments speak of this most glorious of all events in all of human history. But these are only accounts, the faithless critic says. To which we reply that beyond these is the witness and the testimony, borne by the power of the Holy Ghost, of the truth and validity of this most remarkable event. Through the centuries untold numbers have paid with the sacrifice of their comforts, their fortunes, their very lives for the convictions they carried in their hearts of the reality of the risen, living Lord."

I know that Jesus Christ suffered for each of us. He felt each of our burdens so he could lift us out of our own personal winters and help us find our spring. He will always be there for us if we let him. That is why we can lean on him; trust him to guide us. In the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.

I hope you all had a wonderful Easter weekend as well. We sure appreciate you all!

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

It's that time again.

Hey everyone,

Just wanted to give you all a head's up that it's scan time again. Travis will be going in on Monday and we are praying for decent news. I'm hoping selfishly that you will send a prayer or two our way.

And I know you will, because you are good people.

Enjoy your Easter weekend! I hope it is spent with families, food, and fun.

Monday, March 22, 2010


Thursday Travis goes in for his 88th treatment.
It's a big number.
88 awful Thursdays.

We just hate Thursdays around here. If I could tell them where to go, I would.

Being Kidney Cancer Awareness Month, I've had it on my mind even more then usual. I've been checking the KCA page on Facebook daily, and am in complete awe of how many people this disease has affected, and how many lives it has changed.

It has most certainly changed ours.

Bear with me while I answer a few ?'s.

These ones are from my mom. I love my mom and am grateful for her feeding us whatever Trav is craving on Thursdays. She's good people.

Why does Travis act so healthy and happy, when I know he never feels good?

I'm not really sure how to answer that question. Travis most definitely doesn't tell people when he's not feeling well, and half the time he doesn't even tell me. I think Trav doesn't like the fuss of people worrying about him. And I think that if you let the cancer seep into every part of your life, it wins. So he pretends he feels good all the time, and life feels a little more normal because of it.

How do you both stay so strong and have so much faith and strength? How do you manage to do so much service for others when you are going through so much yourselves? What can we as a family do to support you more?

Mom, how do you expect me to answer these??

1) We aren't really that strong, and at moments you could call us flat out wusses. And I think we don't have near enough faith and strength.
2)We don't do near enough service, and feel like we could spend a lifetime trying to payback those who have shown us what service really is. We are very well taken care of and have some pretty amazing people on our side!
3)You could buy me lots of clothes. That would really help me out. :)
Really though, we have everything we need, and are thankful for all our family does for us!

Why hasn't Travis lost his hair?

Travis is currently on a chemo/immunotherepy drug called Torisel. It is injected just like a normal chemo through a port, but luckily the side affects don't include him losing his hair. We are pretty grateful for that.

How does Travis still work?

Trav's gets his treatments on Thursdays, and that is usually the hardest day but by Friday he isn't near as tired, but has some chest pains and headaches. He is lucky enough to have a job where he can work in his own area and enjoy the quiet. They treat him pretty good there and can tell when he isn't feeling his best and just leave him alone. I'm always pretty amazed at what a hard worker he is, and am so thankful that that is yet another thing he does for our family.

How exactly does a treatment go?

We just love the cancer center in Logan where Trav gets his treatments. Because he has been going there for so long, he knows the Doc. and the nurses pretty well. They know that he has left work to be there, and they do their best to get him in and out as quickly as possible.

He has a port in his chest that they hook the IV up to. He first gets a bag of benedryl. (This combined with the medicine makes him exhausted)! Once that is all dripped out, he gets his Drug injected. Usually he's there for about 2 hours. The Chemo room is a pretty big room there with 10-12 beds in it, and people hooked up to each one. (And most the time they are much older then him). Sometimes he listens to them and chats with them, but most of the time the benedryl kicks in and he just sleeps through it all.

Thursdays are most definitely the hardest day of the week. He comes home exhausted from the drug treatment and the benedryl. Usually his mouth is really swollen, and he gets pretty bad headaches, chest aches, with the occasional stomach pains.

I'd say for Travis the side effects are awful, but so is going to the cancer center weekly. He hates seeing so many sick people in one room, and some of them just look worse every week. As much as he loves the staff there, it's still a really depressing this to see week after week.

And for me it's hard to send him there knowing that for most people they have an allotted amount of treatments and then they are done, but for Trav, they are endless. He just gets to go for as long as they are working. (Which I pray is a long time!)

What do you need most right now?

Again, we really have all we need, but thanks again to the so many of you who are always doing such wonderful things for us. We are so blessed.

What is the hardest part?

That is a very loaded question, and I can think of like 30 answers right off the bat. In all honesty, it's all hard. (And forgive me if the whining really starts here).

Facing stage 4 cancer, with pretty awful statistics, makes your future pretty unsure. When we were first married we'd make plans for things we'd want to do "in 10 years" or "someday", and it's really, very hard to not be able to do that anymore. We feel a sense of urgency, like we need to fit our whole lifetime in right away. And it's just not possible to do that, but it's also really hard to stop trying.

(Am I making sense here?)

We've had to really think of things that I don't think any couple should have to do for many years to come. Talk about things that we just shouldn't have to talk about yet. And it just plain sucks.

So I guess the answer is really just the unknown of it all is the hardest part. But I'd also say that this answer changes daily. It's always different.

Do your daughters understand?

For us, it's been pretty hard to find the line of what they should know, and shouldn't know. They know Daddy has cancer, but they have no idea how scary it is. Just yesterday Adyson looked at Trav's orange bracelet and said "Dad, do you know what's worse then cancer? Waking up sooo early for school is way harder then cancer." We had a good laugh over that! They know that Thursdays they need to behave, and know that Dad's a little more tired then normal that night, but they still climb all over him and treat him like same ol' dad. And that's such a good thing! They don't treat Trav like hes sick, and remind us daily how important it is to just. live. And it's hard to feel too crappy with them around.

I think if things change with scans, and as time passes by, they will know what they need to know, but for now Dad is just Dad. We like it that way.

We as always, are so thankful for the continued blessings we receive daily. We have friends and family who are always here for us, and know that many of you are praying for us. We thank you from the bottom of our hearts for fighting our battle right along side us. Sure love you all!

Monday, March 8, 2010

Did you know...

March is Kidney Cancer Awareness month?
Well, now you do. Awesome.
We even bought some fancy orange wristbands with a "Travstrong" logo to prove it.
Also awesome.
I've been thinking of how I can make people more aware of this yucky stuff that seems to rule our lives. Knowledge is power, right?
I thought about giving you simple facts about kidney cancer, but every time I try to write this post it just sounds boring. (Is it wrong to admit that?)
Instead, I've decided you get to ask the questions. I think this is a great way to get people to be more educated about this cancer.
So, either e-mail me at, or ask in the comments section and make your name anonomys, and I will answer anything. I'll even research the answer if I don't know it. (That's love people.)
Your question can be anything cancer related from why in the world Trav looks so healthy to what treatment days are like, Just don't ask anything too wierd...
We are officially open books.
(I'm a little scared that this is gonna backfire and you all will be too scared to ask. Don't leave me hanging friends.)
To read more about Kidney cancer go here.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010


Have you noticed that we tend to just ignore this blog? I think it's a pretty good metaphor mirroring how we deal with T's cancer. We like to just let it sit in the back of our minds, but don't like to stir things up too often. Call it denial if you will, but we like it this way! ;)

Just remember. No news = Good news.

Since my last post things have been going pretty well. Trav's back pain was pretty unbearable for a while there till they figured out what was going on. Since he only has 1 kidney he has to be careful with the pain meds he is taking, so the Doc. prescribed him some Celebrex.

You know Celebrex right? It's the commercial that is chuck full of old peeps.

We just laugh. But, it has helps and for that we are so thankful!

The last few weeks I've been reflecting quite a bit on the journey we've been on in the last few years. I've stumbled on to a lot of blogs of others who are facing a cancer battle of their own, and it always sends little pictures in my mind of moments we've experienced because of this trial. I remember clear back to the first diagnosis going from thinking he had an ulcer, to learning he has a massive tumor in his kidney, to his kidney being removed all within 2 weeks. I've looked back to that brief moment in time when we thought the cancer was completely gone, and had a few years of "normalcy" before it returned. And when I think back to those times I realize that even then we were completely changed. It's one of those things that I just can't explain, and cannot begin to describe.

I remember the feeling of complete despair the day we found out it came back, and came back with a bang. And when I look back on those first few months I wonder how in the world we've made it to the happy place we are in now.

Really, right now we live life with cancer clear at the back of our minds. Sure, we have days where it is there, but we've learned to find a beautiful balance of normalcy. We have a really wonderful life together, and have learned to accept our future whatever it may be, but we wont let this effect our present. We are too busy cherishing our little ladies, and spoiling them rotten. We are to busy sleeping in Saturday mornings, snuggling in front of the fire while watching American Idol, and getting fired up at each other over board games.

I get scared that we are at this point, because it seems that whenever we get used to "life" again, somehow, something comes along and knocks us down, but it sure is nice to come together as a family, and let that be our focus.

I'm so thankful for those of you who have been here for us to help us find our groove. I'm not naive enough to think that our lives will always be full of this balance we have acquired. I know that our future has a whole lot of unsure holes in it, and I know that I may fall apart many times ahead, but for right now, life just feels so good!

Trav's doing good and we have another month before scan time rolls around, so I imagine I'll continue to ignore this blog till then. (It's for the best, do you see how much I ramble once I start?)

Thanks for all the continued prayers, and the buckets of love.

You are stellar friends. (And, btw, I love the word Stellar.)