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6/13/2016 Latest post:
Thank you all so much for visiting Jared's Journey. Jared & his family appreciate the outpouring of love and support we have been offered these last two weeks. We will start from the beginning with Jared's Journey so you are all aware of what has been going on. On Sunday, May 29th; Jared began experiencing a headache late in the evening. He took some Tylenol & went to bed, thinking it was "just a headache". His headaches continued on and off for the next couple of days. On Tuesday, May 31st he played in men's league softball in Hanley Falls and had a stellar game! After the game at home on Tuesday evening he began complaining of a headache again and a terrible neck ache. On Wednesday morning, Jared went to the chiropractor to get adjusted for his neck ache & headache. After he got home on Wednesday, Jared progressively got worse with his headache & then began throwing up all day. Wednesday June 1st: Jared was brought into the ER in Granite Falls in the evening. There, they gave him IV fluids, anti nausea medications & pain medications. They also completed a CT scan of his brain "just to be sure". During the CT, it was found that Jared has an 11 x 14 mm mass on or near his pineal gland, near the 3rd ventricle in the brain. His symptoms were much better after his pain medications & fluids, and he was scheduled to follow up with an MRI on Friday morning. He was brought home for a short time, but began complaining of a headache and uncontrollable vomiting. He was then brought back to the hospital where they admitted him for observation. Thursday June 2nd: Jared was transferred to Children's Hospital in Minneapolis where he was sent for extensive testing. He was admitted to the ICU and was being followed closely by neurology. They were able to get his pain level under control and keep him comfortable (a big relief to the whole family as he is a tough kid). On Thursday evening; Jared was brought into surgery to have an EVD (External Ventricular Drain) placed in his 3rd ventricle where the mass was near. This was in hopes to decrease the fluid build up in his brain and rest his brain to find out more information. The scary word oncology... Oncology met with Jared's parents & they were told it is "standard" for them to meet with them with any brain tumor. During Jared's surgery with the EVD; they sampled part of his CSF (Cerebral Spinal Fluid) and sent it to Mayo Clinic. The oncologist said there are often "germ cell tumors" which are the easiest tumors/cancer to treat and they were hoping it was this type of cancer. It would take a couple days to get the results. IF the CSF is positive for the germ cell tumor; it would be treated with a small amount of radiation & chemo, probably not surgery needed. IF it comes back negative; he would possibly need a surgery to attempt to remove the tumor and possible extensive treatments afterwards depending on the type of tumor. Jared had a rough recovery after the EVD was placed, but he is a fighter! When he got through the 24 hour mark after having the EVD placed, he seemed a lot more comfortable. Friday June 3: Jared underwent an MRI of his brain & spinal cord (this is the surgeon's "mapping of the brain") but they were unable to complete due to the long testing process he was unable to stay still enough for a clear picture. They will give him 48 hours and repeat the MRI on Monday with sedation. Saturday June 4th & Sunday June 5th: Jared had a GREAT weekend! He was up in the chair, visiting, joking & laughing like "our" Jared. He had many visitors and he truly enjoyed every single one of them! It was such a weight off the families shoulders to see him feeling better. Monday June 6th: Jared had an MRI with sedation. The neurologist gave his family news that evening that they felt Jared's tumor was located in a region where they would be able to remove it. The first priority was to get into his brain & receive a sample of the tumor so they would be able to biopsy it and send it to pathology. There second priority would be to remove the tumor if able. We were told that the CSF was negative for the germ cell tumor. Tuesday June 7th: Today was surgery day. It was a long day of waiting. We were told when Jared came out of surgery that they were "hopeful" they removed the whole tumor, but the follow up MRI in the next couple days would be able to tell us more. The recovery was tough. Jared is such a fighter. He had a lot of pain in the back of his neck where they made an incision to get into the brain. The staff warned us that this would be one of the hardest parts, that the recovery is tough. But, Jared continued to fight! Wednesday June 8th: Jared had a repeat MRI to see if the tumor was gone & also due to elevated ICP (Intracranial Pressures). The MRI looked "great" according to the neurologist & the tumor is GONE! What a relief to hear that! Friday June 10th: The whole family met with the neuro oncologist (doctor that deals only with brain cancer). Jared's tumor was sent to 3 different places for second opinions (this is the preliminary report). The doctor diagnosed Jared with "pineoblastoma". Although they are happy they removed the tumor, the CSF goes through Jared's brain & spinal cord and has minute tiny cells they are unable to visualize. Therefore, Jared will be having to undergo extensive radiation & chemotherapy to make sure this tumor doesn't come back. The cancer diagnosis was very difficult for the family; but we know that Jared is such a fighter and will "kick this in the ass" as he said prior to surgery. The strength this kid has is unimaginable! He continues to be in the ICU; working towards rehab at this time and has minimal visitors because he becomes tired very easily. He is making HUGE steps towards progress every day and we will continue to update this site with any changes.