This is James writing for Jessica. Monday was a strange day. At about 4:30 in the afternoon, Jessica had a seizure. She was experiencing blurred vision, a strange smell and a strong sense of deja vue. She went to get some water to drink but she fell and hit the floor hard, and was convulsing for about 20 seconds. At that time, she was attending language class. Tannis and Carlos (Jess' sister and her husband), had just arrived on Sunday so thankfully, Tannis was with her. Carlos was at home with me and the boys, so I was able to go straight to get Jess, who was unable to walk. We arrived at the hospital, by which time Jessica had recovered a bit of her mental clarity, but was still unable to move much and was very confused.
Over the last two days we have gone through CT scans and an MRI, both of which reveal the presence of a brain tumor about 4-5 cm in diameter. It is located in the right side, occipital temporal area.
We are all doing well. Carlos and Tannis have been a huge blessing, and we are convinced that it was definitely God's timing to bring them to Beijing now. Jessica is a little bit scared, but is also smiling. I'm very proud of her. Our Chinese friends have also been a big help to us, especially since Tannis and Carlos do not speak Chinese and don't know how to get around or buy food for the boys without their help.
After a long day yesterday we received some very good news. After Jessica's MRI, we were visited by the neurosurgeon. He said that the tumor does not appear to be malignant. It is located in a very accessible region of the brain, not close to regions that may cause unwanted side affects. (However, it may mess with eyesight and speech, so this is something to pray about.)
Additionally, he said that there appears to be some calcification of the tumor, which implies that the tumor is old (as the protein exits the tumor, proportionately more calcium remains). This is good, because it indicates that the tumor has been slow growing. If fact, he mentioned that some individuals may even be born with brain cells that gradually grow throughout life, and that the tumor may have been around for years.
The interesting side is that the presence of the tumor explains a number strange things affecting Jessica of late, including vision problems, spells of dizziness and confusion, strange smells, strong deja vue and dull headaches. All these things can be explained by the increased pressure in her cranial membranes.
The immediate steps to be taken include putting her on a medication that reduces edema (gathering of water in the brain) and also a type of anti-epilepsy medication. They could operate as soon as a day or two from now, but this point we need to make some decisions about where to have the surgery done. After the surgery, there is a chance that she may recover within five days!
I don't know what else there is to write! Praise God for his provision through all this. We've been really blessed by our friends and family!