In April of 2016, Travis was diagnosed with colorectal cancer with mets to the liver. We incidentally learned of his cancer after blood work had been drawn for a change to his life insurance policy. His blood work came back with a high CEA level, something doctor's rarely rely on anymore. Further testing and scanning confirmed his diagnosis.
So in July of 2016, he underwent a liver and colon resection at Barnes Jewish/Siteman Cancer Center in St. Louis. Recovery took roughly six weeks.
With no active tumors, he began chemotherapy treatments on September 19th, 2016. These treatments were to ensure we "zapped" all remaining cancer cells. A CURE was the goal.
After his third treatment he became deathly ill. We are still working to identify exactly what wiped out his bone marrow. His doctors suspect he may have a gene deficiency that did not allow his body to metabolize one form of chemo he was receiving. Without an immune system, he fell ill with legionnaires pneumonia, c diff colitis, and an infection of the small intestine. This threw his body into septic shock, something Laura has dedicated her career to studying. Ironic??? I think so.
His severe infection led to DIC (disseminated intravascular coagulation). This disorder sky-rocketed his risk for bleeding. One side effect of DIC is clotting in the small blood vessels throughout the body. This compromised the blood flow to his feet, nose, and ears. Ultimately resulting in a bilateral, below-the-knee amputation on November 7th, 2016.
It's been months since his surgery, and he's making a wonderful recovery. He and Laura both have adjusted well to their "new normal". Travis is very active walking his dogs almost daily.
He's in surveillance mode with his cancer getting blood work done monthly, and CT scans quarterly.