Sunday, December 11, 2011

{4 Years}

Today marks 4 years since we learned
that T's cancer came back.

4 years!

I'm always so grateful this time
of year that we are able to reflect
on how we've made it through the past 4 years.

When we learned that it was back,
we also learned some pretty ugly
statistics that made us wonder if
4 years was a dream.

And here Trav is,
still fighting weekly.
I'm pretty thankful for him.
He never complains,
even though he really never feels well.
And he continues to support our family
and be a fantastic hubs and father.
I love him.

We are so grateful for our
family, friends, neighbors, ward members,
and random strangers who are always here
to support us.

We are ready for 4 more!
Leave T some love today and tell him how stellar he is.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Side Effects

I realized when I posted last that I have
failed to write about a few things
that Trav has been experiencing.

This post is mostly for our memory sake,
and for others with RCC who may
be using the same drug as T.

I wont feel bad if you don't read it...
in fact, I wont even know.

For a while T was experiencing his hands and feet
falling asleep and being really numb.
Yet another fun side effect of the drug...
So he has now added yet another medicine
to his regiment and it has seemed to help.

His pillbox keeps getting fuller.

Some other side effects that have worsened over
the past few months are his brittle, brittle nails.
He gets really bad ingrown toe nails and his fingernails
keep breaking. They are just so thin.
We decided to get some nail strengthener
and let the ladies apply it when needed.

They really love this side effect because it
results in them painting Daddy's nails...
they just wish it was pink polish.
So if you see a sheen on his nails, that's why.

His hair has started growing in about 100
different directions. I include this mostly so
you all know that his hair stylist (um, that's me),
really doesn't suck. His hair just is doing it's own thing.

He could do without the breakouts the meds cause.
I think they are just keeping him young....

His Iron levels have been really low.
They check them every week and have said
they may need to do an injection of some sort to pull
it back up, but it somehow rises just enough
by the next week that they haven't had to do it yet.
And then it falls...
and rises..
and falls.
We are hoping it stays up for good now.

Other then that he is just dealing with
the normal.
Chest pains, exhaustion,
and he still gets his back pains.

Such a good man, that Travis,
he never complains.

I'm hoping nothing blog worthy comes
up till the next scan,
after the Holidays.

So...Happy Holidays to you all!

Thursday, October 27, 2011


Another day of
nail biting,
binge eating,
dt. coke drinking,
snappy mothering..

The scan went well.
Nothing has changed.
Trav said to the Dr.
"Looks great then!"
And the Dr. (in jest) replied
"If it looked great, you wouldn't be here."
We love that Dr. of ours, and Trav's quite
happy he got him to crack such a funny joke.

And now we can move into the
Holiday season without even
thinking about cancer.

We love to live in blissful denial!

I keep thinking that we shouldn't get
so worked up each and every time,
but it's awful.
Every time.

And I've been wondering if anyone actually
reads this old blog,
but today I had SO many of you
send e-mails and texts.
I just wanted to express our gratitude,
once again.

We have very, very dear friends.
See ya in January.

Sunday, October 23, 2011


It's scan time again.
We are feeling the usual nerves.
It's a big one.
If you remember,
last time we had some
growth in one of the
tumors in the kidney...
so we really need that to be
or were gonna have to
change our treatment

As always, we can't express
our gratitude in how much we
appreciate your prayers,
and everything you all do for us!

I'll keep you posted on Thursday!

Also, I keep getting random e-mails from people
wanting me to let them guest post on this blog and
people wanting me to contact them about this blog.
I really only use this blog so people can keep up on T.
I'm sorry for not responding, but it's really only
so people can keep up on my man. ;)

Sunday, August 21, 2011


Trav just completed his 150th treatment Thursday...
we didn't throw a party or anything.
That would have been weird.

But I do think it's pretty remarkable.
I'd wager that there aren't many RCC patients who have been on this drug for so long.
In fact, we are thinking of contacting the company who makes it and seeing if they want to
buy our story...

(I kid. Unless there is a rep for Torisel reading this...and then we are open for negotiation).

Just thought I'd let you all know Trav's doing fine.
Just gearing up for 151 this week...lucky guy.

Crossing our fingers for a good scan in October.
I'm thinking I wont be updating till then. ;)

Thursday, July 21, 2011


I like scans on Thursdays.
Sure, it makes for an incredible tiring day for T
because he has to drink barium at 11 pm, 4 am, 5 am, and 6 am and be at the scan by 7 am.
And then he gets his poison injected at 3 pm, making him extra tired....
but at least we don't have to wait 3 days for results.

Here they are.
His rib, lungs, and liver are fairly stable.
His rib tumors have grown again, but just slightly.

The Doctor wants to really keep his eye on those tumors, but feels like it's best to stay on the
current treatment for the next 3 months and we will scan again.

We are crossing fingers for no more tumor growth there so we can continue the path we are on.

As usual, we are overwhelmed by the kindness shown to us on hard days like this.
I had 2 dinners brought to me.
And I may or may not have ate them both.

And the texts, e-mails, and phone calls are so appreciated.
And the diet cokes.

We have great friends.
Thank you!!

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Bleck. It's scan time again.

Yep, it's scan time again. I've made it almost 4 months without even looking at this blog. (Thanks for those of you who have commented since my last post, I just saw them and sure appreciate people for checking in on us!)

The scan is set for Thursday, and as usual the freaking out/grumpiness that accompany some of us (um, me), have already set in. We sure appreciate all the fasting, praying and well wishing you want to do for us. Really, we appreciate it more then you know.

Things have been fairly normal for us lately, but there are a few things I'm a bit worried about. For the past 3 weeks Trav's legs have been swelling. (He now understands the term 'cankles' and can sympathize with how I felt pregnant). And while it was kinda funny to make jokes about it for a while, it is worrisome. I'm not sure why it has been happening, but it seems like they are finally getting it under control. Let's pray that it doesn't end up being anything major.

And his chest pain has been really bad. Like, wake up in the middle of the night in pain bad. It seems like he goes through spurts where this happens, so I'm really hoping it's just normal...but we always worry.

If your wondering what the worst part of dealing with cancer for us is, I would say uncertainty. If Trav gets a bad chest cold, we worry that it might be something to do with cancer. If he has a funny pain in his back, we worry. If he pulls a muscle, we worry. We never know if it's cancer attacking, or just normal pains everyone gets. We are never certain that his medicine is working, because if we are honest with ourselves, we know that we've had an amazing run with this medication so far, and our luck could run out at any time. It would be so nice to plan ahead in our lives with certainty that things will go smoothly. I miss not worrying about every. single. thing.

That being said, we have been so blessed to have had so much go our way, and know that we are lucky in comparison to some. We are so thankful for all the time we have been given. But we are greedy! We want more! So yeah, go ahead and send us some good vibes.

I will update as soon as we hear. Trav has a treatment Thursday afternoon, so maybe the Doctor will be able to get results by the time he goes in. Wouldn't that be nice?

Love to all.

Thursday, March 24, 2011


I don't have much time tonight, so I'll make it quick.

The results were decent.

Shrinkage!!! in the rib!!
A small amount of growth in the tumors in his kidney (yes, tumor(s). I always thought there was only 1, but there are 2. Imagine how dumb I felt when I freaked out after seeing the #2 and hearing Trav tell me that they've always been there...I'm a moron.)
The lesion on the liver is showing up again, but I'm pretty sure it's always been there and was just looked over last time.
And the lungs are stable.

Kidney function is good.

We feel very loved. I received a million inquiring phone calls/e-mails/and texts over the past few days.

We are blessed.
We are lucky.
And we are gonna enjoy the next 3 months-till the next scan reminds us how sucky this stuff is.

Love to all.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Scan Time.

In the last post I mentioned that T's kidney function wasn't as good as the Dr. would have liked and that they were going to try and lessen his dose of meds to see what would happen.

Well when they lessened his dose his function started doing better, and is now back to where it should be, so they have upped his meds and will continue to watch it closely and make sure his kidney keeps doing it's job well.

We are really relieved that his function improved and now just pray it will continue to do well so we wont have to switch his medication. We are so thankful for a drug that has worked for us with minimal side effects, and our other options just don't sound too appealing. :)

Tuesday he will have another scan. It's been a while and being that he had a few weeks of a smaller dose of medicine, we are a little if you wanna say a prayer or two...we will sure appreciate it!

Thanks again to everyone who reads this blog and offers kind thoughts on our behalf. We are so grateful for the army of people who take such great care of us!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Those [insert favorite swear word here] Kidneys.

It seems with T's cancer, whenever we get back to 'normal' and comfortable, things smack us in the face again.

This time, it's back where it all began.

The kidney.

Each week when T goes in for a treatment he gets his blood drawn to check his kidney function (keep in mind he only has 1 kidney left, so we like it to work...)

The past 2 weeks, it hasn't been great.
Today at treatment 127, the Dr. decided he needed to lower his normal dose of poison for the next few weeks to see if it brings his kidney function back up. His concern is that our wonder drug is doing the damage to his kidney function.

Not really great news.

And I'm not sure what to pray for.

Here is the dilemma in a nutshell:

If it is the drug is doing the damage, then he will obviously have to try something new. New side effects. New worries that it may not work. New game plan. We are kinda used to our game plan now, and in our dreamland would really like to stick with it for...ever. In the sad world of RCC there aren't a whole lot of options, so the longer we can stick with one drug, the better. Way better.

But, if it isn't the drug doing the damage, then that means for some reason, his kidney just isn't doing it's job, and that's no bueno.

You see the problem, right?

Tonight we are once again reminded of how awful this beast is, and how much we really loathe it. You hate it too, yes?

So if your wondering what to pray for, join the club. We aren't really sure. But asking for good kidney function and a wonder drug to keep working is a start, and we can hope the big guy upstairs gets our concerns.

Thanks for checking in, we always appreciate your support.