A dear friend of Rachel’s, Candace Smartt writes:
I just got an update from Rachel via text.
Kevin was disqualified from the trial that he was supposed to start yesterday. They found out recently and it was a big blow.
He had to go through some heart testing (Echocardiogram) before starting the trial and did not “pass” the test. Seems like some of the treatment he has already had may have contributed to some mild heart issues. Not anything that would be life threatening now, but he is unable to continue with the trial because the medications involved with it can cause heart damage.
Their doctor at UCLA suggested starting a chemotherapy treatment immediately. This was reassuring because in the past they would have to wait a significant amount of time before being able to settle upon the next course of action (when a course of treatment didn’t work out).
The plan is to start the chemo combined with the braf inhibitor (dabrafenib) today. The chemo drugs are taxol and carboplatin. The plan as of this hour is he will endure one day of chemo every three weeks.He will become neutropenic (no immune system) so prayers for health of Kevin, Rachel and kids would be good.
The bad news: Kevin’s bilirubin levels have increased dramatically in the past 4 days (0.5 to 5.8!) They are admitting him to the hospital to try and figure out why this happened and hopefully help them come down. The problem is that the chemo drugs can cause liver toxicity. The liver levels are not a good thing going into chemo treatment.
Please pray that the chemo would immediately start killing the cancer and the tumors would shrink immediately.
Please pray that Kevin’s liver levels would come down significantly and they would find out what is causing the elevated levels.
Please pray that Kevin’s heart and mind and spirit would be encouraged and uplifted. I think he is getting tired and discouraged. Pray for a supernatural comfort and encouragement to fill him.
Please pray for Rachel. She’s got a LOT on her plate. A LOT. Wife, mother, patient advocacy, caretaker, away from home…. That’s just the tip of the iceberg. Physical and mental exhaustion and emotional distress are always pressing in hard around them.
Please pray for peace deep, deep in their being.
Please pray for God’s PRESENCE to be manifest – that HE would be so very close right now.
Please pray that God would protect them form the enemy who seeks to kill, steal and destroy us and our families.
Please pray that God would keep them. HE is able. He is more than willing. He loves them more than any of us could ever imagine.