Monthly Archives

July 2012

Uncategorized

Moving Out

Sorry I’m still not back to a regular posting schedule. Last Thursday, the counseling session was fantastic, and it prepared me emotionally for the appointment later in the day with the detective. The therapist helped me put the whole attack in perspective. I cried a good deal, and was able to discuss not only the attack, but also, all of the stress involved with our landlords. Unfortunately, we have to move. It has all been pretty unexpected, but step by step, it has become more and more uncomfortable to live here. All Danny and I want is a safe and happy home where we can focus on being healthy. We are moving out tomorrow. Each step of the way, dealing with our landlords, has been painful and sad. I wish I could say everything horrible that they’ve done, but I feel like it would be an ugly decision for me to make. There’s no need for me to drag their names through the mud. They know what they’ve done, and how they’ve acted, and I’m not going to be able to teach them a lesson about kindness, empathy, or anything else. If there’s one thing that I feel certain about, it’s that you can’t teach anyone anything. You can only be yourself, be honest, stand up for yourself, and avoid unnecessary stress/drama whenever possible. Speaking of stress and drama, we’ve got only the good kind for the next two days. My parents will be here tonight, and we’ll be packing today, then tomorrow we move out and into our new home. I have another counseling session tomorrow night, and I know that it will help me continue to heal. I feel like things are getting better and better. I feel relieved to get the therapy I need, the promise of…

Continue reading
Uncategorized

I’m Back!

I’ve been writing and erasing this blog post for two days. I keep trying, but there’s just so much that has happened. It’s all overwhelming. There’s so much to say, and yet I don’t even want to think about it. On the other hand, I want to purge, to barf it all out and then maybe I’ll feel better. Thank you so much for being patient with me. The past few weeks have been a blur. I’ve had an aura while shopping at Bed, Bath & Beyond and a small seizure the next day at Target while shopping for a new shower curtain and bath mat. Too bad I didn’t figure out the connection until it happened twice. After that, I was home bound. I was lightheaded, dizzy, and slept 15-16 hours a day. I didn’t leave the house for a week, and I was still incredibly dizzy and nauseous, but I was desperate to get to a counselor to talk about what happened. Instead of trying to get on two buses to get to the therapist, I scheduled a taxi. While I was riding in the taxi, we didn’t get more than three blocks from my house, I had an aura. I desperately pleaded to the taxi driver to stop the car. He had been talking, and his accent was similar to my attacker’s. I don’t know if it was the stress from the moving vehicle, the light from the sunny day, the fact that I was headed to a counselor to talk about the incident, or the accent that put me over the edge. I asked the taxi driver to slowly get me home and I had to cancel the therapy session. I also rescheduled the appointment for the following day with the detective so that Dan could…

Continue reading
Uncategorized

Message from Dan

Hello everyone, this is Dan Since Jess was attacked on Tuesday, she has been dealing with a incredible amount of stress inducing situations. She has been dealing with; getting our locks changed, working with police officers and detectives on the pending criminal case of her attacker, scheduling her recently approved tests with UCLA to possibly start her clinical trial, scheduling her travel itinerary to UCLA, all the while going through the process of dealing with her attack. Due to all this stress Jess had an aura on Thursday, followed by another on Friday. The two Auras happened while shopping for replacement items for the bathroom in an attempt to change the decor. All this has lead to me declaring a technological lock down and putting Jess on ‘restriction’. She will not be allowed to blog, text or email until her level of stress has sufficiently decreased. Please do not take her lack of correspondence personally, it is a necessary action to preserve her health. Jessica is extremely worn down and needs to let her body rejuvenate itself. I will be postponing her appointments at UCLA for one week. Hopefully this will give her enough time to start healing and speak to the detective handling the criminal case of her attacker on Friday. Thank you for all of your support and sympathy for Jess, she will be back soon. Probably sooner then I wish.

Continue reading
Uncategorized

One Step Back, Three Steps Forward

*******This blog was written earlier this morning********** I can’t seem to figure out if Jesus cat lives in this house, or if Cali Jesus lives there. So, I put a little poll on the blog for you to put your two cents in about my next treatment choice. I’m nervous about doing another brain surgery, but it provides the freshest tissue available which allows for the most effective vaccine. The trick with brain tumors, especially mine, is that they tend to morph. They change even within grades, constantly evolving. Brain surgeries have advanced so much, and they are relatively safe. Just typing that seems crazy, but when I went in for my original surgery they told me that there was only a 10% chance of having any complications. Of course, always wanting to be the exception, I fell into that group. You might remember within hours of my tumor resection that my dura mater pulled from my skull and a large blood clot formed in my tumor cavity. Luckily, my father who was with me in the ICU noticed that I was getting progressively incoherent. He started pushing the nurses to get the doctors, and at one point even started yelling at them when they argued. When my neurosurgeon arrived, he kicked everything into high gear, they were running me into surgery, it was very serious. It was life threatening. As my mom reminded me this morning, I almost died. To be in the position to have to decide on brain surgery is incredibly difficult. Do I avoid it because of the possible risk? Do I opt out of the most effective western treatment because I’m afraid? I’m equally scared of doing the surgery as I am about missing out on the benefits of the treament. In my soul, I…

Continue reading
Uncategorized

We’re Back!

Sorry it’s taken so long to post. We’re finally back home, and semi-settled. We’re still waiting for UCLA to schedule the Dopa PET scan, and Functional MRI – apparently, my insurance is baulking. Eventually, I’m sure it will all work out, but in the meantime I’m excited to be home. I missed Bingie our cat (Emma’s with Grandma Linda).  I’m excited about the possibility of the vaccine, and hopeful for the future. My pill schedule had increased to 100 pills a day – that’s too many! It has been exhausting, and very limiting. I’m so exhausted that my brain feels slow. The view from our home away from home, Dave & Sally’s in Manhattan Beach .

Continue reading
Uncategorized

Appointment With Dr Liau

The appointment with Dr Liau was AWESOME. She had reviewed all of my scans, and wasn’t sure if I even had any tumor tissue. She said that before she would cut me open, she would need for me to have a Dopa PET scan. It’s the scan that we’ve been wanting, but my doctors at UW would not authorize. It’s a special scan that’s used for low grade tumors. The scan would differentiate between tumor cells and scar tissue. If the results from the scan show that the tissue in question IS tumor, she is very confident that she can remove it. She would have me do a functional MRI to verify the location of the tumor against healthy tissue. A fMRI is a typical MRI except for the fact that they ask you a bunch of questions, watching the areas that light up. Then they will stick little needles in different muscle groups and watch again for the different areas of the brain that light up. My tumor is in my language and sensory location. All in all she seemed very happy with my current situation, that I seem perfectly healthy, and the area in question seems to mostly be growing out in the tumor cavity which is great! It’s better if it grows into the void as apposed to into healthy tissue. Dr Liau thinks she could remove all the tumor (if that’s what it is). I would not need to do another awake surgery, unless something comes up on the fMRI (if my speech or movement areas aren’t where other peoples are). I would not need to shave my whole head, she would just shave along the original incision on either side. Sounds do-able! The meeting happened so fast, it seemed, although she answered every single question….

Continue reading
Uncategorized

On Our Way

**************WRITTEN 6/2/12***************** Thank you for all of the cherry sales, and donations! Thank you Susea & Sandy for helping Dan and I find a room to stay in LA!! Thank you Big Wave Dave & Sally for letting us stay in your home!! Thank you Auntie Lynn for using your air miles for our flights!! We are completely taken care of, all we need to worry about is making the correct medical decision, and I know that very soon, we will have the information to do that. At 4:55 pm today, Dan and I fly to California to get answers. Who knows what will happen. We will keep you posted. Thank you for all of the support, both financially and emotionally. It’s crazy to think about another brain surgery. I’m finally understanding that it’s not just a brain surgery, it would be MY brain surgery. They would shave my head, put me under, saw open my skull, dig around in my tissue, screw the skull back together, staple my skin back together, and then wake me back up. It’s pretty intense. And that’s if they don’t wake me up, it’s a whole new ball game if it’s another awake craniotomy. But, we don’t need to worry about that quite yet. We still don’t know if we’re going to join into the trial. First things first we’ll meet with Dr Linda Liau. If you’re in Friday Harbor for the Fourth of July, please go watch the parade for me. Best. Parade. Evah!! Seriously, it is the best in the nation. If you’re interested in reading an article about a different clinical trial given by Dr Liau, please scroll down. Personalized vaccine doubles survival time in patients with deadly brain cancer By Kim Irwin March 21, 2011 Dr. Linda Liau A dendritic…

Continue reading
Uncategorized

New Friend

While waiting for Dr Liau we met a new friend. Kelly is fighting a glioblastoma, and has been fighting it for the past two years. She is a total warrior!! Appointment went great! Will update later. No surgery this week 🙂 We should have the appointment scheduled by the end of the day. So much to report, but the WiFi at the hospital is horrible. Dr Linda Liau is a complete rockstar.

Continue reading
Close