My name is Dustin Nelson, I am the oldest of Joanne's four children. My Dad Brad, brother Dylan, sisters Danica, and Delaney, first would like to thank everyone that has and will be suporting my mom thruoghout this fight. We have some wonderful family and friends around us!
In early May Joanne was hospitalized with what was thought to be a minor stroke. Once arriving at North Memorial her condition worsened at which time everything in our family's life changed! My mom was rushed into the ICU once doctors realized we were likely not dealing with a stroke, and likely dealing with a seizure. Over the next several days my mom would be sedated while North tired to find out what was causing the seizures. During that time many MRIs and test would take place. The early thought was either a tumor or encephalitis were the cause of the seizure. As time went on North began to believe we were dealing with encephalitis. Even though the testing began to come back negative my mom was being treated for encephalitis. Not long after the treatment began her condition improved and she was able to be taken of sedition. Over the next several days she continued to improve and after about 6 days in the hospital my mom was released. At that time the official diagnosis was that encephalitis caused the seizure but the cause of the encephalitis was unknown. Over the next several weeks my mom continued to improve but we were not able to get any answers as to a cause of the encephalitis. Early in June we meet with North for a follow up EEG and MRI. At that time we still had no answers as to what could have cause the encephalitis. Worse, some areas of concern on the MRI were still showing leading us to believe maybe the diagnosis was not correct. North Memorials plan was to see my mom again in August. We left this appointment knowing we needed to seek another opinion as we just did not feel right with the answers we were receiving. We decided it would be best to reach out to the Mayo for a second opinion. In mid July we were able to been seen by the Mayo. Very quickly they gave us the opinion that we were not dealing with encephalitis but likely a tumor. After another MRI they confirmed this and plans for possible surgery began. The following week we returned to Mayo and were told we were likely dealing with a very aggressive form of glioblastoma. The Mayo wanted to move as quickly as possible to schedule surgery to remove as much of the tumor as possible. In mid August we were back for surgery to remove as much of the tumor as possible. The surgery was very successful and the surgeon was able to remove must of the tumor! Testing of the tumor confirmed we are dealing with very aggressive Grade 4 glioblastoma. We did get some good news as some of the testing showed some of the cancers DNA was likely to be susceptible to radiation and chemo treatment. After about a month of rest the next portion of the treatment began on September 12th . This entails six weeks of radiation and chemo. Then another month of rest, followed by six months of chemo treatment. Thanks again for everyone’s thoughts, prayers, well wishes, and support!