Friday, September 3, 2010

Prolonging It

I know I sound crazy, with my change of diet and increased workouts, but I have to hit this brain tumor head-on (no pun intended).

So far, I've shared my medically diagnosed life expectancy to a few friends, but until now had yet to put it on the blog. Here's the story. At the University of Washington, my neurosurgeons, and my radiologist will not put a date on my death because they believe each case is individual. However, according to the John Hopkins Comprehensive Brain Tumor Center (which is the #1 neurology & neurosurgery center in the country) an adult with a stage II astrocytoma will live approximately 6-8 years from diagnosis. According to research at UCLA with stage II astrocytomas, they give me (since I'm in the 25-35 range) approximately 2563 days to live. The University of Maryland Greenebaum Cancer Research Center gives me about 7 years. The worst outlook I've found is from the World Health Organization which says that I have a median survival time of 4 years. Yikes. 

Now that I know my life expectancy is short, my job is to try to prolong it. And that is why I eat a billion vegetables a day, why juicing is my new hobby, why I have to get to the gym 5-6 times a week, and why I chose to make the best of this situation (because if I give up, I'll probably die sooner).


  1. Jess, I think you forgot to mention two things: one, is that 1% chance that people with your type of tumor beat the odds (which I believe you are one of those lucky 1% dogs), and what your God ultimately has planned for you. Your sharing and giving of yourself is very compassionate and enlightening to all of us reading your blog. You make me want to live fuller and healthier. You make me remember to be grateful for the life I have. I cannot imagine you not physically being here so yes, your job is to prolong your life and beat the odds, for some lucky dog has to win and why not you? You have thousands of people praying for you around this world and thousands of people who love you. I don't care what statistics are out there, you are not a quiter and never have been. Now give it 5 extra sit-ups. xoxoxo

  2. "I do it Mama, I do it" and I would say "OK honey" and you would 'do it' always creatively and with zest. My love for you is so deep, Mom

  3. Jessica, I am proud to have you as my daughter and am amazed at your bravery. You are doing wonderful things and thank you for letting me hug you everyday (that I see you). Bravo!

  4. I love you and Grant wants to give your wowie kisses! Sarah

  5. "So Cal" PattiSeptember 4, 2010 at 10:41 AM

    Oh Jess- Please don't allow your mind to be guided by these studies!!! They are just statistics- numbers created based on generalizations. Every person on this earth is unique in their own way and you are one of the most special! You are doing everything right as far as eating healthy and exercising- just keep your mind in that positive place too.
    I have several friends who were diagnosed with Stage IV cancers and they beat it with hard work and the love of family and friends.
    I am sure that when you go to run a race you don't limit yourself by thinking that you can only run a mile because of your surgeries. Therefore don't put a limit of the years of your life either- you're a fighter and I know that you have many wonderful years ahead of you! JUST BELIEVE!!!

  6. Thank you for showing me how to find the positive in even the darkest moments, and your inspiration defy no matter what people say.
    I love you.

  7. Hey, we love you Jess! You have to face your mortality everyday - something I cannot truly understand and will not pretend to. But we really all could leave this place tomorrow. No sense worrying about life expectancy, because there are people that beat the odds! And there are people that aren't expected to die and they do. Live healthy, live with Joy (YOU ARE EXTREMELY TALENTED AT THIS ONE WHICH MAKES YOU AN INSPIRATION), and Live strong! We love you and are with you in supporting you through beating those odds!

  8. You are amazing! I can't imagine you doing anything other than being in that top 1% who beat the odds. You are so driven to achieve, and I've only seen you excell. You are certianlly doing your part to be healthy and make the best of your life, and don't forget you have your own personal cheerleading team behind you too! We love you!
    Love, Sarah B

  9. Remember you are not your diagnosis. When some one said that to me 4 years ago it helped curve my perspective. And thank goodness cause if I believed studies and a few of the docs on my team about my life expectancy on paper I would have a short 1/2 year left. But thankfully I'm a 1% gal I did what your doing, through the bucket at it. Your on your way girl. Nothing better than being the healthiest person in your oncologist office. Having some one give me a looming time line has truly enriched my life daily. I should be so lucky. Would we other wise cherish ever moment like we do today?


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