Be Strong, And You Get Through It

Be Strong, And You Get Through It

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

In May of 2013, during the last week of her second grade year, Jessica found herself suddenly feeling sick.  Headaches and nausea were a daily occurrence.  Everyone could tell something was wrong.  After a week had passed, Jessica and her family headed to the doctor.  An MRI was quickly scheduled and the next day they found themselves in admitted to the hospital.  Jessica was diagnosed with a brain tumor, Grade 4 Glioblastoma. 

“Initially it was shock.  It was overwhelming. We never would have thought we would be going through this with our youngest kid,” said Jessica’s mother, Lynette.

Brain surgery was scheduled for two weeks later.  As Jessica and her family left the hospital, they were headed to the pharmacy.  Since her surgery was not for another two weeks, the doctor ordered her nausea medicine to keep her comfortable.  Little did everyone know, Jessica would soon experience her first seizure in the back seat on the way to get her prescription.

They found themselves back at the hospital with a sense of urgency.  Jessica surgery was quickly rescheduled for Memorial Day Sunday, just hours away. 

“The type of tumor that Jessica has grows in a ball, but it has fingers like roots.  They try to calm them down with steroids, but they can grow so rapidly.  It can go from pea size to golf ball size in a matter of weeks.  We knew we had to move fast, “ said Michael, Jessica’s dad.

Jessica’s surgery lasted five hours.  Five hours of waiting.  Five hours of not knowing. 

The entire brain tumor was resected.  Jessica was technically brain tumor free.  As she was relocated to the pediatric ICU, Jessica’s family found a sense of peace.  Surgery was a success and Jessica was still continuing to be one of the strongest little girls they had ever met.

Time for the next step. Shortly after recovering from surgery, Jessica was scheduled for radiation.  Radiation for thirty three days. 

The first week after radiation Jessica got her port put in and started Avastin (a cancer medicine that interferes with the growth and spread of cancer cells in the body) to prepare her for chemotherapy the following week.

“It was a little scary at first, but then you kind of get used to it,” said Jessica.

After one surgery, thirty three days of radiation, a month off, and then chemotherapy to finish the process, Jessica was officially done with treatment in August of 2014.  The normal routine for Jessica no longer involves medication for chemotherapy, but three month check-ups with oncologists and six month check-ups with the radiation doctor. 

Jessica is officially cancer free.  With each check-up Jessica brings home good news.  But her and her family continue to fight for her as well as all the other children diagnosed with this terrible disease.  

Want to help kids like Jessica?  Here is how:

  • Vote for ANDY daily to help Team Jack win $100,000 for pediatric brain cancer research.
  • Become a Champion for a Cure for just $15.00 a month
  • Share this blog on your social media.

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