I haven't written a Nigel update for a while now. I felt like I wanted to take some time to write something really thoughtful, but find that as I live through all of this, it is impossible to get my head in the right space. So here is an update, maybe not as thoughtful as I had hoped.
Late last year, they put Nigel on the last available treatment for his cancer. It is a new drug therapy that works with the body's immune system; similar to the drug he had tried, which didn't work. Nigel went through two rounds of chemo at UCSF back in October and November to get his cancer load low enough to start the new drug. We found out in January, this newest drug was not working.
Currently, there are no more drug options for us. The chemo works, but it is a temporary fix. On the horizon is a new therapy "Car T Cell". UCSF hopes to have trials by November or December, so our only option is to keep Nigel alive long enough to get him into the trial. Thank all the powers that be, he is finally eating, and eating like crazy! It had been almost a year of basically raw milk and yogurt as his main diet. I can tell you his strength is greatly improved with the additional food. I am trying to support his health with herbs, diet and exercise.
For now our routine is chemo at UCSF every 4 weeks for about a week stay. When he is back home we have to make trips down for labs and transfusions at least 3 times a week. For about two weeks his immune system is either going down to 0 or is going to be working its way back up from 0. You can imagine our schedule is really crazy here. BUT his spirits are amazing and he has been working on upgrading all of the computers, and we are brainstorming on how to make the farm more efficient. I picked him up yesterday and I can tell you right now he is walking laps around the kitchen.
While he was in UCSF last week, friends brought meals to him. I think having really good food made a big difference, he is much stronger than he has been in the past. Also, one of our long time members, Heidi, is a physical therapist at UCSF and she gives Nigel very extra special attention. She came up with a new routine for him, which seems to have catapulted him into a very positive direction! So tough times around here, but we keep fighting the fight and moving forward.