I sometimes joke with Kevin that he reminds me of Jesus – he’s a carpenter, likes wine, and likes to fish. Aside from the miracles, drapey clothing, and his other-worldly Son-of-God business, could JC and Kevin have the same 8-to-5 dilemmas?
We had a fun time thinking about that!
Kevin, a wellspring of never-ending wit and wisdom (as I presume Jesus was) pondered last night about the stupider things Jesus would have to deal with as a carpenter. He’s pretty sure there were customer service problems back in Nazareth too. So we discussed how Jesus might handle typical clueless customer comments that probably haven’t changed much in two thousand years such as:
- “Can you put a window in it?”
- “Can you stretch this cabinet so it’s longer?” (i.e., stretch the wood, which is only something Jesus could do.)
- “This wood doesn’t look like the sample.” (that’s because it’s wood, i.e. one of God’s creation, and each is different)
- “Can you make it look great but cost cheap?”
- And the infamous, “I saw something just like this for less at Lowe’s, [ or Menards, Romans-R-Us, etc.].”
Of course, word probably spread about how Jesus cursed that fig tree, LOL. Aside from the eternal cool factor of having your new breakfast nook bench built by the Son of God, complainers were probably at an all-time low, and rightly so.
It’s our hope that Jesus, the ultimate builder, Kevin’s virtual Bro in Carpentry, will take care of our sweet Kevin and rid him of this awful disease. We hope that rather than a fig tree, He instead curses melanoma and causes it to wither and leave.
Kevin’s Treatment Plan
After today’s visit at the University of Iowa, we learned that Kevin carries the BRAF V600 K gene mutation, rather than the BRAF V600 E gene mutation. This means he doesn’t qualify for clinical trials which can essentially turn the gene mutation ‘off’ temporarily, thus causing the melanoma to shrink or stop growing. Instead his plan will work with enzymes further down the gene chain, turning off the next sequence using a Dabrafenib and Trametinib / Mekinist combination. For most this is a temporary fix. While the side effects are typically somewhat mild for most, they carry a long list of scary things that can happen – including basal cell and squamous carcinomas as well as very serious other problems, so we must watch carefully. The drugs are taken in pill form (no IV or ICU required for administering them.
The drugs were FDA approved in May of 2013, and more recently approved as a combination therapy. It was found they work much better together, and even have fewer side effects when used together.
How long does it work?
Since this is so new, it’s not clear how long people can continue to live on the treatments, as survivors are still being monitored. This is not a cure, however it should reduce melanoma lesions, prevent future growth of new lesions and possibly help Kevin’s body get rid of lesions as long as possible. To learn more about how long the meds will help, and other statistics, click here.
The news about clinical trials
In regard to clinical trials featuring the coveted Anti PD-1 Phase I trial in Chicago, Nashville and the U of I, all trials are full, except for Nashville, which is currently undergoing an audit, with no restart day in place. All locations require a long waiting period, not only for the commencement of new trials, but for the ‘wash-out’ period from the radiation Kevin received last Friday. Most clinical trials require brain mets to be stabilized or gone – they cannot be in a progressive state, and this wash-out period is a time of watchful waiting. However, at the speed of the metastasis, Kevin cannot afford to wait weeks without medicine.
Also, Kevin did not want to go through the whole scanning, introduction, and long waiting that comes with being a new patient. He had an innate sense that his situation was far more urgent – he was right.
I met a new person on Facebook thanks to a post about cannabis oil’s success at getting rid of cancer. This guy resides in a state which allows medical marijuana, something we don’t have here. It’s tragic that Iowa’s fertile land isn’t being used for growing medicinal pot. Every person should have the right to ingest this to rid themselves of cancer if they choose. It should be no different than me growing mint in my garden for tea. Please get active and research the medicinal use of cannabis. If cancer is the result of missing nutrients or chemicals in our diets, we could easily prevent or remedy this terrible cancer problem ourselves.
The guy I chatted with today has rid himself of cancer FIVE TIMES. Which is to say he isn’t completely cured from it altogether, but is successfully treating it and SURVIVING. He said he would have been dead long ago from dangerous, organ-killing treatments, or the cancer itself.