Thursday, May 6, 2010

Four and a Half Years Huh?

Hello Everyone,

This is Dan taking over the blog duties as Jess Zapiain has returned to the UAE. We had our first follow up meeting with the Dr's since leaving the hospital and got some good news and some bad news.

First the good news. The biopsy report on Jess's tumor came back and she was diagnosed with a grade 2 tumor, which is the best possible grade, considering grade 1 tumors are reserved for children.

Now the bad news. The Dr's were unable to remove the entire tumor because it is integrated with Jess's brain in such a way that removal of all the tumor would require removal of her functioning brain as well. Because there is residual tumor left over, there is a almost certain chance that the tumor will grow back. The Doctors say that the survival rate for someone her age with an astrocytoma II, with such a large volume and mid-line shift is 4.5 years.

To combat the regrowth of Jess's tumor the Dr's are going to be continuing to monitor and evaluate her. Jess will receive a MRI in three months to make sure the tumor is not growing at an unexpectedly rapid pace. After that, there will be MRI's every 3 months for a few years and will eventually be reduced to semi-yearly checks. The reasoning for the frequency of the MRI's is to try and catch a regrowth of the tumor as soon as possible, which makes it easier to treat. This tumor is something that is going to affect Jess for the rest of her life.

Jess attended her first physical therapy session today and did very well, and was scheduled to attend physical therapy sessions three times a week. She will be attending her first cognitive therapy session next Thursday, and will then begin a similar regiment to that of the physical therapy. She also has an appointment tomorrow to remove the fifty two staples in her head. Needless to say, she is not looking forward to this at all. I believe her exact quote was "I so done with pain".

Jess has a long road ahead of her that will be very difficult at times, yet she still carries herself with the combination of goofy-ness and grace that we all know her for. She continually talks about her amazement at the outpouring of support she has received from friends and family.

Jess just asked me to let everyone know that she is blown away by every one's generosity. Every day she gains inspiration from overcoming challenges. She's so happy from all the success! Thank you friends! :)


  1. Danny thanks for the update. Please know that you and Jessica have allot of freinds that want to help where we can. I am on the waiting list for Bob and Bonnie so if you need something just say the word. Jessica is at to top of our prayer list. I know you are at one of the best hospitals in the World. We will be praying the tumor growth is very slow and Jessicas theropy and recovery is quick. I hope the removal of the harware will be quick and hopfuly not to painful. Keep smiling and others will smile with you!

  2. Thank you Dan for the update! Please give that great lady one big hug from Becki Day!!! What an amazing guy you are too.

  3. Danny, all of you at Team Jess have floored us, your followers, with your consistent and honest updates of Jesse's progress. Jess Zapiain is up there with Mother Theresa in my book.
    The news of the tumor being grade 2 and that is good is really good news and with the bad news who's to say for 100% certain that the tumor will grow back? Tenacious Jess might just kick the rest of what's left's butt! And it's a fact that the medical field is huge and there are new discoveries and inventions all the time. The blessing is that Jesse, how did you describe her: "still carries herself with the combination of goofy-ness and grace" so that is alive and kickin'. She's still a positive person and is still surrounded by love and encouragement. She's the kind of person if a car fell on you or Kaal she'd pick the damn car up! So for the next 7 years I will continue to pray that Jesse be one of the wonderful miracles you hear about. The doctors will check and say: Toom-ah what stinkin' toom-ah? xoxoxo

  4. Jess, I am so thankful to know that they have a plan and are going to keep on top of this. Please know that I think of you often and hope for the best for you! I am so impressed by your attitude through this, you have given me strength! Hugs from Lacen, Ben and Sophia

  5. Hi Jess. You are the most beautiful bald headed woman I have ever seen. Good luck on the staple removal, that is quite the scar!!!!
    Hugs to you and everyone around you. Your mom is going to have the BEST MOTHER'S DAY EVER!!!
    Love, The Redelsperger Family

  6. Wow, this is great news and I am happy to hear. I personally dont know you, but have been following the updates...and all i can say is you have truly given me inspiration and your positive outlook on things has sure put many things in perspective for me. Your story has reached many hearts, and you have many thinking about you daily. Continue the great attitide and you will overcome anything and everything. You are truly an inspiration, role model and a beautiful women.

  7. Jessica - you rock. What an inspiration and a STRONG and present reminder to us all that life is so precious. You have given many people the opportunity to slow down and look at what is really important. We can't ever take anything forgranted. Miss you in Wenatchee - Saddle Rock is calling us. Jenny


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