Ashley Update from Houston
A message from Richard:
I'd like to start by thanking everyone for all the support and the prayers for Ashley and Miguel. It means the world to all of us and we couldn't keep up this battle without it. I've said it before and I'll say it again, our support group is the best of the best. Thank you ALL from the bottom of our hearts. Ashley has gotten hundreds of text messages and she reads them all and appreciates them very much. Please know that she would love to answer them but is just not strong enough at this point.
Ashley and Miguel went to Houston several weeks ago with the intent to have Ashley enrolled in a new trial and have her super T-cells put back into her. Because a certain protein level was lower than the criteria of the trial, she was not able to be part of the trial. The sponsor of the trial was still willing to enroll Ashley as if she was in the trial, only her results would be excluded from the trial findings. This was good news. The plan was to proceed with the re-introduction of the T-cells.
Ashley has been in severe pain for the better part of 2 months and has daily bouts of severe nausea. It was found that she may have all or some of the following: one blocked kidney, a plugged bile duct, and another plugged tube that is at the tail end of the stomach. They may have figured out today if one of those is causing a lot of the pain and nausea. She is having an endoscopy as I write this and will possibly have a stent put in. Hopefully this helps. Ashley is being so very brave and courageous going through all of this with severe discomfort.
Ashley's liver function is also not up to par and because of that, some liver enzyme levels are too high. The doctors have deemed it not safe to reintroduce her T-cells until the liver function improves. This is all because of the growing tumors. It was decided to start chemotherapy again and the first chemo session happened a few days ago. Ashley got very sick again, but she is fighting through it. The plan after the procedure today is to have another chemo session in about 10 days. This time, they will also give a relatively new drug called Keytruda. Keytruda is an immunotherapy drug which makes it easier for your body to identify and attack cancer. It seems like when you have Chemo with Keytruda, the benefit is like 1+1=5. The downside is that the body's immune system may also attack some healthy cells. Miguel has been researching this drug for almost 6 months and we feel the benefits outway the risks. The end goal is to shrink the tumors so Ashley's liver function returns to a more normal level, and then she can get her super T-cells back.
There is much uncertainty right now because of the daily battles that Ashley is going through. Plans are made and then they change. We know that Ashley is very sick, but she is a fighter. She is battling every day with all her strength. We are remaining positive and we ask you to continue praying for our courageous daughter, wife, and mother. I will try to do another update in a week or so or when we learn something new. We love you all.
All our Love,
Ashley & Miguel, Evie & Bernie, Richard & Jaynie