I am going to try to have a small fundraiser for Jen during our city-wide sales. Thinking baked goods and some items for sale. All proceeds will go towards Jen's mounting medical bills. She's facing her yearly deductibles again and also has co pays. I don't want to keep pushing her gofundme page because we reached that goal and are so blessed by your generosity. But, knowing that we have years ahead of us in Jen's fight with this tumor, I am going to do what I can to help.
So, if anyone has anything they wish to donate to our yard sale (going to try to stay away from clothing items) please let me know. I'd like to get things that are in good working order or in good condition. We can arrange pick up of items.
And, of course, every dime goes to Jen. Thanks in advance
Since I haven't updated here since Jen's visit to Mayo I thought I would do so for those wondering how it went.
It went well! She is now a patient of Mayo and will go every three months for an MRI. We found out some troubling things, though, about what her previous surgeon had told us and what is actually true. Without going into too much detail let's just say that he wasn't completely honest when he said he was able to remove (debulk) half of the tumor. It seems he took out about enough to biopsy and, according to Mayo, didn't even send them enough to get a complete diagnosis from. They are pretty sure that it is pilocytic astrocytoma but her new neurosurgeon will not say for sure because of the lack of biopsy material. What I can't figure out is...how can that man walk out of cutting my daughter open and look her father and I in the eyes and say that he was able to get half of that tumor out when, in fact, he only took a small biopsy? You can't know how disheartening this was to Jen and I. Her new team at Mayo is convinced that they could have removed most (if not all) of the tumor had she been to them first. But since she's had the surgery already and radiation there is too much damage to her spinal cord to do anything further. It's just hard for us to fathom why he would say he did more than he did. The only thing I can think of (purely speculation on my part) is that his arrogance got in the way. This was the first tumor of this type that he had ever seen. Did he get in there and fool around (maybe mess something up) just to boast that he had finally worked on this type of tumor? The one thing that I keep coming back to is his insistence on her NOT getting a second opinion. Yup...he told her he'd rather she not seek a second opinion because he was afraid someone else would think they could do more and mess her up. Does that make sense??
Well...Jen has moved past that disappointment and is happy with her new team at Mayo. Her pain is getting worse and spreading up the leg but her new doctor said that that was to be expected. He told us more about her condition in 10 minutes than her previous doctor did in five visits.
The long and short of it is this-she will continue to be monitored every three months. If the tumor grows then they will have to go back in or she will be paralyzed...no questions about that, it's a fact. If she chooses to do nothing more she will be paralyzed...that, too, is a fact.
The one bit of good news that we did get is that what she is experiencing now could go away...poof...instantly! What a blessing that would be! Her doctor told her that he's pretty sure that the radiation caused the damage that is causing some of the pain she's in now. Once the nerves begin to heal she may find some comfort. Of course, the tumor is huge and is also pressing on the nerves so any relief may be short lived but she will take what she can get.
So, we are off to Mayo again in July. Jen is facing the new copays for the new year now and is so blessed that she was able to pay off those from her surgery thanks to your help and generosity. She's working from the office about 6 hours a day and does the rest from home. I love sitting and watching her work..she amazes me with what she knows and how well she does her job. She is going to try to work some eight hour days from the office to see how it goes but I have my doubts. When she gets struck with a bad pain (it feels like acid under the skin) it literally stops her in her tracks. If she thought she wouldn't upset me with it I'm sure she would scream from that pain. It tears my heart out and it's happening with more frequency. But..whatever she decides I will be right where she needs me to be when she needs me.
I hope you all are doing well and that God is blessing your lives with love and laughter.
Just blown away by the generosity of people. You know...this whole ordeal with Jen has been such an eye opener in so many aspects. I've witnessed my daughter find strength I never knew she had...I've found strength I never knew I had! I've witnessed the love, support, and generous hearts of so many people. I just don't know how to thank you all. I know that God will bless your lives but for what it's worth...thank you all...from my heart, thank you....:)
I know I said that I was closing this page but I decided to wait until after Jen got word on whether or not Mayo Clinic would take her for a second opinion. She got word today and is scheduled to visit there on the 15th and 16 of this month. She had her MRI two days ago and it showed that the tumor has grown since surgery. Her surgeon also believes that she is suffering from spinal cord toxicity due to the radiation. This would explain her increased pain and numbness. The problem with toxicity is that there is nothing to be done about it. Once the damage is done there is no turning back. This also means that Jen could literally wake up any given day and be paralyzed. She says that if that happens she's okay with it because she still isn't fighting for her life (amazing, isn't she?).
Today I am asking for help to get her to and from Mayo. Your previous donations have helped ease the burden of her co-pays so much and we thank you for that. Jen is trying very hard to manage her money but with so many trips to Des Moines for her appointments and with me taking her to work and picking her up (in her car) she is continuously putting gas in her car. It's draining her bank reserve quickly. So...any help you can provide will be highly appreciated. You all have been so wonderful with your thoughts, kind words, and support. God bless you...:)
This will be my final update on Jen from this gofundme page. I thank you all for sharing our journey with us.
Jen went back to work last Monday. She's getting back into the swing of things there and told me she's so happy to be back among her friends. She loves her job and knowing the folks she works with and for I can understand why.
She is trying a TENS unit with the hope that it will alleviate some of her pain. This is the first day and we are encouraged so far. It seems to be helping with the nerve pain in her foot which is what is making walking so difficult. Fingers crossed that it continues to work!
She still has such a long way to go but isn't too concerned with the future. Jen lives her life one day at a time and relishes every minute. We both know that whatever lay ahead we will face it, conquer it, and move on. She is amazing...as are all of my children...and I am proud to be their mother. I can still picture each one as a baby and I never realized then what wonderful adults they would become. I suppose their father and I did a few things right. Either that or they are just so darn smart they figured it out on their own. Either way, I am truly blessed and honored to be their mom.
Thank you all for your prayers for my sister who underwent surgery yesterday. She is doing well and the doctors assure us that they were able to get all of the tumor. This was such an aggressive cancer that in just one week it progressed from her pancreas to a portion of her small intestine. I'm telling you, folks, it is a miracle that it was caught when it was. Praise God for that!
I don't have the words to express my gratitude for all of your support, prayers, and wonderful gifts during this time with Jen. We never felt that we were alone in this. What a wonderful gift that feeling is. I thank you all from my heart.
I'm sure God will bless each of you in your lives as He has done so in mine.
Today is the last day of radiation for Jen! We are excited to put this part of her journey behind us. This doesn't mean that she's healed because that is going to take more time but it does mean that we can get back to some kind of normalcy without the daily trips to the hospital.
What does the future hold for Jen? That's hard to say. There are so many variables. She could actually end up paralyzed either because of the tumor or because of the radiation. If the tumor begins to grow again then it's back to the drawing board. We just don't know. But, here's the thing...she's okay with whatever comes from the future as long as she isn't left fighting for her life. It's that simple.
She starts back to work on Monday so keep her in your prayers that she can get back to that routine without any complications. I have to take a moment here and thank her employers for all of their help during Jen's time off of work. These people are amazing and I don't have the words to tell them how much they are appreciated. I do know that God will reward them for being the kind, generous people that they are.
I ask that you all keep my sister, Jacqui, in your prayers. She was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer a couple of weeks ago and undergoes surgery on the 7th. We are blessed that the cancer was caught so early. Her surgeon actually asked her if she believed in divine intervention because they never catch this cancer at this stage. How blessed are we?
I will close this page in a week or two with one last update on Jen. You all can't know what your support and prayers have meant to all of us. God bless you all :)
It's been a while since I've updated and I apologize for that. It's been a very emotional time for me the past week. But, we are nearing the end of Jen's radiation...only 7 more to go! I am praying so hard that along with the end of radiation she begins to feel some relief from the pain.
She trying so hard to get stronger and more mobile in spite of the pain I know it causes. The doctors are pretty sure shes suffering from a sensitivity to the radiation. It's like this- she had the surgery to remove part of the tumor and then started the radiation so her nerves have really not had time to recover (Plus she still has half of that tumor pressing on her nerves). Add to that the inflammation from both procedures and her poor spine is just crying out. If she moves the wrong way she gets a shock through her back and leg that sends her into tears. It's very discouraging but she's determined to push though it and get up and back to work and to taking care of Aiden.
So...long story short...shes getting there...slowly but surely.
I hope you all enjoyed the wonderful weather today. I'm not even going to talk about what they say is coming Thursday because I don't want to believe it ;)
Jen is half way through her radiation treatments! The doctor said that she should begin to feel some relief from her pain soon and I can only pray he's right. She's beginning to get discouraged and that's the last thing I want for her. A healthy mind helps so much in the healing process so we have to keep her in a good place. She's trying so hard to remain optimistic. We have got to get her back on her feet and soon! Her very livelihood depends on it! So, what I ask from all of you today is your continued prayers. I know the miracles that God can preform because He has proven this to me many, many times.
Please pray that Jen heals quickly and gets back on her feet so that she can get on with her life and fulfill her obligations.
I hope you all have a wonderful and safe weekend!!!
Just a quick update for those that are wondering how Jen is doing. We are in week three of radiation and she is still experiencing nerve pain to the point of tears. I pray it's just the treatments and not something that is going to last. She deserves some relief.
Please be careful during the coming snow storm and stay warm...God bless you all...:)
Week 2 of radiation. Jen has been sick most of the weekend. I'm not sure if it's because of the stomach bug going around or the radiation. Guess it doesn't really matter except that I know a stomach bug will pass.
She spent most of the weekend in a lot of pain. Sure wish she could find some relief that lasts for more than a day or two. But, she's a trooper and not letting on that it's getting to her although I know better.
Here's to hoping that this week proves better for her. And I hope you all have a wonderful week and that you are staying warm.
Jen is a loving, single mother that works full-time and has managed to buy her own home and make a wonderful life for her son and herself. She inspires me daily with her positive outlook on life...even when life is kicking her in the rear. She always tries to find the positive in every situation and learns from everything that God sends her way...even the bad. She has faced thyroid cancer, a hysterectomy, and shoulder surgery. She now has another battle to face and I know she will win this one, as well.
Jen is having surgery for a spinal tumor. We won't know whether the tumor is benign or not until it is out and biopsied. Jennifer didn't want any help while she was laid up after surgery because she said she really won't need it...that is until she found out her co-pay will be over $1800.00 (this is just for the surgery and hospital stay. If there are complications then the co-pay will go up). I, as her mother, can't sit by and watch her worry about such a huge bill without trying my best to get her some help.
That's where you come in, my friends. If you can help that will be such a huge blessing to us. If you can't then your prayers are also a huge blessing to us.
Please please please do some research on medical marijuana. I think you would benefit from it greatly, to both ease pain and suffering and possibly shrink your tumor. There are all kinds of studies on the healing properties of cannabis. It is also my sincere hope that the citizens of your community will come together to help take care of one of their own. What good is a community of Christians if you don't serve one other in love. Our prayers and thoughts are with you!!
I am soooo sorry that this reversal has yet to reach your office but I want to ensure that Jeanette does not have to pay the extra $15.... AMEX said it could take 72 hours but now you know the money is right back where it should be ~ for Jeanette! Thank you so very much for helping me! Angel hugs