“Attitude is a little thing that makes a big difference.”

December 19, 2013
     
Lung Test

Lung Test

I love this quote by Winston Churchill, “Attitude is a little thing that makes a big difference.” As mentioned in one of my previous posts “You have Cancer,” I’ve only had one breakdown since getting the news of cancer. Since that one breakdown, I decided to focus on the positives out of this situation and not the negatives. I could focus on why this happened to me or I could focus on this being a highly curable cancer as long as I go through the treatments. I began focusing on all of the positives I could come up with: My awesome support systems (friends, family, social media, etc…) and how I could potentially help people by sharing my story. This is what I chose to do because I definitely believe that having the right mindset is crucial to living a healthy life and overcoming any obstacle.

After I underwent my surgery, it was time to set-up an appointment with an Oncologist (aka the cancer doctor).  It was about a week after my ball surgery that I met with the Oncologist. The first steps were to come to his office and review my lab work and CT scan to see the various areas the cancer had spread.  He confirmed that the cancer spread to my abdominal and lung area.  Chemotherapy was the next step.

We had to review the various options of chemotherapy that I could choose from.  It wasn’t like I had a lot of options, but I did have two different treatment plans I could go with.  First, a nine week total chemotherapy cycle with one “on week” (meaning, I would come in everyday during that week from 8am – 5pm) and have two “off weeks” – Still having to come in, but every Tuesday for an hour long treatment before it will repeat itself. It would reach three total cycles total.

The second option I had was to do four total cycles over a twelve week period with a cycle being one “on week” that would happen every three weeks.  The major difference between the two treatments is that the first treatment includes a dose called Bleomycin. It’s a chemical that could potentially affect my lungs – Lance Armstrong forwent this dosage when he got his treatment to avoid any chance of messing up his lungs. The second dose would also be a whole cycle longer. It would increase the following chemotherapy effects: Hair loss, weakness, fatigue, etc. My doctor recommended the first treatment with the Bleomycin, but I didn’t want a chance for my lungs to get messed up, so I chose to do option two.  Before the treatment option could be finalized, my doctor had me take a couple of tests to check out my lungs and hearing.  When I was a kid, I had slight hearing loss due to the amount of tubes I had in my ears.  My doctor wanted me to get tested because inner hearing loss is associated with kidney treatments – My kidneys are going to get blasted while I’m on chemotherapy.  When I say blasted, I mean that the medicine will affect my kidneys the most and the reason for me being in the hospital so long is to flush my kidneys out to avoid failure.  Overall, the longer treatment plan would affect my kidneys and my inner hearing more than the shorter treatment.  When I got my results, my lung test came back normal, which meant it was safe for me to have the Bleomycin treatment.  My hearing test came back, and it was confirmed that I had slight hearing loss – It was the ultimate deciding factor in having to pick the first treatment option.

Portcath

Portcath

Now that my treatment plan had been decided, I now had another decision to make regarding how the chemotherapy would be administered in my system.  I had two options, I could get it via IV or I could get a Port surgically installed. It is a small plastic tube that sits above my chest muscle under the skin that has a cord that connects to my juggler.  My first thoughts were, “I’m done with surgical operations, let’s just do the IV.”  After talking more with other chemo patients and friends of mine, I decided to move forward with the Port.  Here are the main reasons why:  I would not have to be stuck each time I came in for treatment as the doctors/nurses could access anything they needed through my port and my veins would not get messed up from the chemo (veins are known to harden and become less visible after receiving chemo).  Soon enough, I got the Port installed.  This was a very simple procedure that lasted a couple hours.  The most difficult thing about it was getting used to having it stick out above my chest and know that the cord that is connected to my juggler.  After a few days, I became a bit more comfortable with it, but it definitely takes some getting used to.

Finally, my treatment plan had been finalized and I had everything I needed to begin my chemo treatment.  Chemo treatment started on December 16, 2013.  During my first on week, I would go in from 8am – 5pm, Monday – Friday.  I will then have off the next two weeks off only coming in for one hour each Tuesday for a small dosage.  This would last a total of nine weeks (lasting up until mid-February).  I have posted my treatment calendar under the “Support Me” tab.  My next post will recap my first week of chemotherapy.


  • FN

    #StevieStrong!

    • Stephen Traversie

      #FreddieStrong!

  • Karrah Webb

    I think we only met a couple times in college but I have been following your story and am impressed with how you are handling this whole thing! Stay strong and keep fighting!

    • Stephen Traversie

      I remember meeting back in college. Thanks for the support!

  • Lisa

    Prayers & hugs sent your way…….sharing your journey will help & encourage others!

  • Joni Stanley

    Stephen! You’ve grown SO BIG! I knew your Mom and Allen when they were in Quixtar and lived just down the road from you going into New Bern. I have had MS for 32 years last month. On top of that (or diagnosed after that) are Fibromyalgia, Chronic Pain, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Myofascial Pain Syndrome. I hurt every day of my life but I have choices. *I* get to choose how I will act on any day I live!!! I could go around being a complainer, bellyacher person that nobody wants to be around because they complain all the time ~ OR ~ I can “just deal with it” because every person that walks the face of this earth has pain. Something is hurting every one. It’s all just a matter of how you handle the pain. The Attitude! My friends used to tell me that I had “An Awesome ‘Tude”!! I pray that you will choose “An Awesome ‘Tude”!!! I have experienced Miracles in my life. I’ve said that “I don’t just Believe in Miracles, I *depend on* Miracles” ~ and I do!! LOL~! If you’d like to chat at some later date just let me know. I live in Virginia now…….in the mountains!! It is gorgeous here and we do get a good amount of snow too!! Our next large snow (enough for a snow woman) I AM going to make one for my front deck!!!! lol 😀

    • Stephen Traversie

      Thanks for the support!

  • RP

    Looking good Stevie, one week down!

    • Stephen Traversie

      Thanks Rob! Good seeing you the other week!

  • Judith

    Stephen , Your pro-active attitude and your decision to remain positive will help you more than anything. You are a courageous young man. The port was also a really good decision on your part. Judith You have so many people who have you in their prayers. . God bless. Judith

    • Stephen Traversie

      Thanks for the kind words.

  • Kyle

    “Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not. Nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent.”

    • Stephen Traversie

      Can’t wait to get back on the pitch with you guys! Appreciate the message.

  • Derek

    Your strength is inspiring Steven… Continued prayers for your brother!

    • Stephen Traversie

      Thanks brotha!