Jul 19, 2020 Latest post:
Oct 28, 2020
Welcome to our CaringBridge website. We are using it to keep family and friends updated in one place. We appreciate your support and words of hope and encouragement. Thank you for visiting.
Towards the end of 2016, Jean began experiencing pain which she thought was a cavity headed toward a root canal. Two root canals later (on the same tooth!), and the pain only increasing, she met with a neurologist and was diagnosed with Trigeminal Neuralgia in April of 2017.
As is the case with Trigeminal Neuralgia the pain is ever increasing with no cure available. By the fall of 2018, Jean began experiencing numbness on the right side of her face at which time an MRI showed a brain tumor (Vestibular Schwannoma). In October of 2018, Jean began 6 weeks of radiation in an attempt to stop the tumor growth.
The beginning of 2019 was spent recovering from radiation and celebrating the good news that the tumor was no longer growing. However, as the year proceeded the pain increased though Jean was on the maximum dose of pain medication. Additionally, her right ear hearing continued to decline. By the spring of 2020, she knew something was desperately wrong as the pain went from stabbing sensations to pain that she describes as "electric shocks". After an MRI in June of 2020, her neurologist referred her to a neurosurgeon.
She was seen at Mayo on June 26th. It was decided that Jean will have surgery on July 20, 2020. Since the tumor is wrapped around the trigeminal nerve it cannot be completely removed. The goal will be to remove as much as possible to relieve the pressure on the nerve. Additionally, an artery will be moved back in position (displaced by the tumor).
The surgeons are hopeful that they can get Jean off the pain meds that make her very tired. Other goals are to reduce or completely eliminate the pain, protect what is left of right side hearing, and reduce numbness. Some of the objectives are given higher odds than others. Your prayers regarding the surgery will mean so much to Jean.
She will be hospitalized for approximately 4 days. Due to COVID-19 she will not be able to have visitors. Her sister Suzanne will be staying with her during her hospital stay. Once home, her sisters Michelle and Suzanne and Jean's boys will be with her as she cannot be alone for 2 weeks. Adding to this already stressful situation is that she will not be able to work for 3 months and her company does not offer disability.
Jean's symptoms were and still remain intermittent episodes of severe shooting pain that at times feel like electric shocks. These attacks are brought on by touching her face, chewing, brushing her teeth, and sometimes even speaking. Pain is felt in the areas that the trigeminal nerve interacts with, including her right cheek, jaw, teeth, gums, lips, eye, and forehead.
Jean is a 'put one foot in front of the other' kind of person. She carries on without complaint, has no desire for pity, and continues to care and help those she loves. For those of us that know Jean, it has been heartbreaking to watch. Please consider redistributing your financial resources to cover her living and medical expenses during this time through a GoFundMe fundraiser. At the top of this page click "Ways To Help", next click "Visit GoFundMe site".
Jean asks for your prayers for the surgery on July 20th (approximately 9 hours) and her 3 months of healing.
Look here for updates and leave messages for Jean.