On July 11th, 2017 Jeanne had an MRI and it was discovered that she had a brain tumor called a glioma in the top middle left side of her brain. The major symptom she was having was loosing her train of thought mid-sentence, and then her neck would start to spasm. After learning the news we decided that the best course of action would be to call down to the Mayo Clinic, and they were able to set up appointments within 48 hours of the initial MRI.
We met with the Mayo Neurologist and Neurosurgeon on Thursday July 13th. The good news is the prognosis is excellent, as long as we work the tumor. Removing the tumor however is not a simple extraction. It has been explained that it is like pouring water over sand. In order to get the tumor out, brain tissue will need to come out too, and she will rehab her way back to almost 100%. Jeanne will be awake for critical parts of this surgery, and will have to answer cognitive questions in order for as much of the tumor to be removed as possible. The goal is 90% removal, targeted radiation to work the rest.
The tumor is on the left side, so the right side of her body will be the part that needs rehab, and in a total irony she will have to rehab her Speech! We all have seen a LOT of speech therapy so that is not scary to us. A functional MRI (where you are responding to questions during the MRI showed that all her speech resides in her left brain) The plan is for an intensive 3-week in-patient rehab, followed by outpatient therapy for up to a year. We already have our own family to pull inspiration from as we have witnessed first hand the amazing progress that can be made in rehab. Mark's brain and spinal fusion surgeries; Jeanne's dad Doug recovered from a coma and from Jeanne's birth mother, Sue, who also faced a glioma with humor, grace, and the most positive attitude one has seen twenty years ago.
Surgery is scheduled for Tuesday, Aug. 8th at the Mayo Clinic St. Mary's Hospital. Our surgeon explains the process as "Island Hopping". Our first island is surgery. We are now ready for this trip to begin.
Our whole family appreciates all the well wishes and prayers that have been sent our way. We feel them and are going to use them to make sure Jeanne has the most successful outcome possible. If I know anything about my wife it is that she is a fighter and she will beat this.