Thursday, July 12, 2012

GREAT news....what a relief

Poof!  Just like that all the stress and angst over my follow up disappeared when my blood work came back the best since the transplant.  Dr. Grinblatt was very pleased and said, "Go have a great summer, you are doing terrific."

So Honore and I took Hope to the beach for the afternoon and then went to one of our favorite Mexican food joints for Sauza Commerotivo margaritas and chimichangas!

Now back to life.....the 2012 Leukemia Cup Regatta fundraising campaign is now underway!  WWW.SAILTRAVIS.COM or to donate or find out more information.  Since 2004, Honore and I have raised over $350,000, 80% of which has gone directly to blood cancer research.  

As my disease remains incurable, we NEED this research to give me hope for a cure.  The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society has seen incredible success in the last few years on several drugs and therapies, including  the Rituximab treatment I underwent during both chemo therapies and following my Stem Cell Transplant.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Six Month Follow Up

As I sit here waiting to go to my oncologist's office for my follow up, I cannot help but feel nervous and jittery.  I know I have not had any secondary symptoms lately, and that I feel terrific, but there's that gnawing tension of knowing that a bad blood test and right back into the nightmare.  I hate it.  For me, the waiting has always been the hardest part.

How can I not wonder, 'what if the test is bad?'.  Well, it's back to CT scans, PET scans and more chemotherapy.  Scarily, I know the next round of treatment, it's my last available weapon against my NHL, a donor Stem Cell Transplant.  I know it will involve months of preparatory chemotherapy, another trip through the isolation unit, and who knows how long in recovery.  My brother is a perfect match, so I don't have to fret over finding a donor.  I even know the procedure carries a 25% mortality rate, mostly from the deadly graft vs. host disease from the transplanted immune system.

But, none of that makes the waiting to go to Dr. Grinblatt's office any easier.  I hate this disease.  I hate what it has done to my life, my family's life and the legacy of waiting for the shoe to drop.  I understand there are gifts from my journey, I get there are insights on life that only people in my position can have, and I understand that doing so well in my trial may serve in some small way as inspiration for others.  Yet, I still hate waiting......


Tuesday, July 10, 2012

A Moment of Peace

Last night, Honore and I attended the funeral for a close friend of ours who was a cancer survivor also.  He battled a rare form of Malignant melanoma with the courage of a lion, the heart of a champion and the love of the blessed.  Bruce rests in God's Palm.

The experience got me to thinking, I needed to update this blog.  It is beyond time to begin posting again.  Being a two time survivor of such a nasty disease, puts me in a difficult situation at events like last night.  My heart grieves for the loss of my friend, and I feel guilty for surviving my ordeal, but a part of me wonders if I will have as much grace and poise when my turn comes.  If my NHL is to take me, I want to leave a legacy of inspiration to my friends, my family and to other survivors, who still from time to time find this little blog and get in touch with me about their story.

I cannot fathom the power of God, or how He chooses who survives and who is called to His side.  I simply don't know, and I don't worry about it too much.  My journey has taught me the value of living, everyday.  I still go to sleep many nights wondering when my cancer will return, and wondering if I'm happy with how I spent my day.

The first question, I leave up to the care of my oncologist and the doctors at my hospital.  Tomorrow, July 11, 2012, I go through my latest check-up.  I am not too worried for a change.  I'm not doing a CT scan for this follow-up, I switched to annual CT scans in January of this year.  I don't have any of the secondary symptoms I am supposed to watch out for, and I have been feeling really great physically.

As to the second question, I go to sleep most nights very happy with how I spend my time.  I do wish for more time often, but that's not up to me.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

How time flies...

When you are having fun, and chasing a two year old. Well, it's been way too long since I last posted, but truthfully, I've been happy to let things go and just live a little. As a survivor with a disease will most likely return, it's nice to spend a little time away from it. Never truly away from it, but more focused on life than on the disease.

Here's the latest. I had my six month CT scans the Monday after Christmas and met with Dr. Grinblatt, my oncologist, on Wednesday. My scans were completely clear, everything looked terrific, even my heart was in good shape, which apparently was of some concern as people undergoing high dose chemotherapy can sustain some significant heart damage which can lead to an enlarged heart.

I also had my last round of Rituxan. This treatment marked the end of my chemotherapy cycle for the stem cell transplant. Three months after I got out of the hospital, I began quarterly Rituxan treatments. Eight treatments later, I am done! Wohoo! No more treatments! Yay! Although, I still have to have CT scans every 6 months for three more years and then CT scans once a year the rest of my life. I also have to see Dr. Grinblatt every 3 months for the next three years to track my progress, and watch for relapse.

Health wise, I'm doing great. I still have terrible short term memory issues, which I will be getting tested for this spring, and I get tired easily so I nap alot, but other than that I am back to normal. Or as I tell people, as normal as I'm ever going to be.

Honore is doing well. Working wayyyy too hard practicing dentistry and being a wonderful Mommy for her beloved little Hope. Her health is good, and so is Hopie's. Honore is now on the Board of the Illinois Chapter of the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, although I'm not sure how long that's going to last as it sometimes drives her crazy, but it's good for her.

Hope's everything a soon to be three year old should be. Full of energy, running full blast morning till nap, then again till bedtime. We are so blessed. I look at Hope, and I just know that's the Universe(or God)'s way of telling us He's listening to our prayers.

Happy New Year! And thanks for listening....I went back and re-read this over the holidays and was nearly crying. I don't remember so much of what happened, and I cannot believe I went through it all. It's almost like it never happened, which is both a blessing and a curse.

I still get notes from people from time to time to stumble upon my humble little blog in their search for answers to a lymphoma diagnosis. As I have always said, I am here for you should you need. Please feel free to contact my



Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Leukemia Cup Regatta Fundraising 2010

Well, it's been a while, but we have been busy living my life to the fullest. We have been out enjoying Hope's Terrible Twos(yes, although stressful, it remains the greatest thing we have ever done). My cancer remains in remission, and recently I had sinus surgery to, hopefully, reduce the number of sinus infections I contract, and thereby reduce the likelihood of my cancer returning.

My cancer remains incurable, and my doctor tells me it's merely a "matter of time, let's hope it's still a ways away". So, again Honore and I are supporting the Leukemia Cup Regatta event here in Chicago. Here's a copy of our fundraising campaign. To help support our effort, please go to

June 1, 2010

Dear Friends and Loved Ones,

This year marks our seventh fundraising campaign for the Leukemia & Lymphoma’s Leukemia Cup Regatta. Your love and support has helped us raise over $250,000 for research into blood based cancers like my Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, for more on my story go to

Honore and I have fought my disease for seven years now. We have battled for every day, and hearing the laughter in our daughter’s voice when she finds something humorous makes every PET scan or CT scan or Rituxan treatment or blood test that much easier. All of those tests, all of those inconveniences, are what keep me alive to appreciate Hope’s laughter.

And, as of January of this year, my cancer is in remission. Sadly however, remission remains the best I can hope for as there is still no cure for my disease. One day, one of the scans will come back with another mass, and the cancer will have returned. The stem cell transplant from two years ago gives me a 50-50 chance of making five years before the horror returns. When it comes back, one treatment option remains: a donor stem cell transplant. However, the procedure carries a 25% fatality rate, and provides no cure.

To me, life is a precious gift, which is why I continue to ask for your donations to support the Leukemia Cup Regatta. The gift you give with your support is life. Its hope that a cure will be found, but it’s more, it’s actually DOING something about finding a cure because 85% of all donations to the Society actually go to a researcher.

Would you please make a donation to support the Society? To donate online, log on to or complete the donation form below and return it in the included envelope. We understand these economic times make giving difficult. Please know any amount is greatly appreciated and makes a difference. Thank you for your love and support.

This year’s regatta kicks off August 27th with the Red Sky event Friday night at Columbia Yacht Club, which will include food, drinks, dancing, a silent and a live auction. Please call the club for reservations, 312/938-3625. The racing will be Saturday on Lake Michigan followed by a dock party and awards ceremony at Columbia Yacht Club. Mark your calendars today!

I am going to beat this disease and I am going to live my dream of walking Hope down the aisle one day, I just need your help to insure it becomes a reality.

With Love and Gratitude,

Honore & Travis