Thursday, August 11, 2016

Bus Bacteria Bad. Brain Bacteria Good.

Hey Guys,

What is it about summer that causes it to go faster, and faster, and faster, until you lose your mind? Or get sick. I get sick every few years, and never in the summer, but lucky me, that's exactly what just happened. I must have licked my fingers after touching things on the city bus or something. (Gross!) But life doesn't stop when you get sick - kinda like cancer.

I'm busy with gloriously fun things like promoting the MLD docu-series with interviews, corresponding with tumor patients/caregivers, and visiting with out-of-town friends, all peppered with doctor appointments.

I'm not sleeping well because of headaches, which is a constant reminder of the fact that my brain tumor is growing again. I'm fine during the day, I'm so busy that I can't even keep up, but at night, as soon as I'm vertical, the pressure in my head grows intense. It's come to the point where I am back to relying on headache medicine. I hate having to do that. I'm grateful that my seizures have remained stable, though, which feels like a Christmas miracle.

I like to think that the headaches are because I'm doing too much, trying to conquer too many things, maybe I'm not organized enough, anything but the mass of rogue cells multiplying in the folds of my brain.

Last weekend I turned 36, and although birthday goals are a newer thing for me, I have it in my head that I want to live past age 40, and not be sporting a wheelchair/walker while I enjoy my cake (although decorating those items sound kind of awesome). That fear is based off of my horrible luck with brain surgeries. Granted the most recent one healed pretty well, but man if that second brain surgery didn't give me a run for my money.

Good God, I'm in a morbid mood. Must be the fever.

That doesn't mean I don't want to live a long life - obviously I do - I just want to make baby goals, which feel sustainable.

A famous Bonnie Birthday cake. Delish!

I'm scared for this next brain surgery, and unsure if I will do it at UCLA like my previous one. If I have to endure a 4th brain surgery, I want to make it count. Originally, the back-to-back brain surgeries in 2010 were at University of Washington in Seattle, then I wanted to do the clinical trial using dendtric cell therapy for diffuse astrocytoma which was at UCLA, so I headed down there. You may remember that after the surgery, I was told my tumor didn't meet the parameters of the trial (my tumor tissue was too integrated with healthy tissue). That forced me to Germany trying to get my own dendritic cell therapy. There aren't many clinical trials for my type of tumor, or grade, so we are forced to get worse before we can hope to get better. That's the system that I'm in. It sucks. So I need to continue my search for possible brain surgeons that are offering more than just a surgery. I want try something innovative, something more. I'm not sure if I'll find anything, but I kind of want someone to put bacteria in my brain.

Okay, I still have two more phone meetings tonight and I lost my voice, so before I lose all ability to think I'd better wrap this up. I do have more exciting news, though. Danny and I are being flown down to LA next week for the premier, and a showing of My Last Days. We get to go see everyone who filmed, and meet the rest of the folks that were featured. I can't wait! I mean, I can wait because I want to be healthy. Otherwise I might have to show up in a bubble so that I don't infect anyone. I will now power down my brain for a quick quiet moment. Sending everyone love, and thank you as always for loving and supporting us!


  1. Happy belated birthday Jess and all the best on your premier! Always in my thoughts xo

    1. Thank you Reem! I appreciate it so much xoxo

  2. Happy Belated Birthday. You, Dan & your family are in our prayers and thoughts

    1. Thank you! We appreciate the prayers so much. It means a lot!


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