we all need somebody to leeeeeannnn on...

yesterday as the day was ending, lil bit was in the bath, i was playing with her/reading a magazine/picking up/checking my email.  you know...all the things you do when you are confined to the bathroom because a little is in the tub. i was tired from the weekend and from my long days leading up to today, i missed brad since i had not had any good time with him for a while because i had been so busy and just you know...woahhhh is me.  you get it.  and i took a big dose of "get over it jessica."

then i got this email.  and it rocked me to the core.
(before i posted this, i asked permission to share this.)

I hope this email finds you all well. I hope you're all taking time to reflect and enjoy this holiday season with friends and loved ones. 

Going to go ahead and cut to the chase, because this is definitely not my style. Being transparent and writing mass emails about sensitive and serious things is just not something I do well (just check out my blog!), but I feel this is a time to be humble and come to you all asking for your prayers. This is what the body of Christ is all about, and our family is in desperate need of prayer and support. 

The past month I have been having head rushes every time I move. They are far more intense than just normal head rushes, beginning at the base of my skull and radiating forward. The last few days they have become far more frequent and far more intense, and I realized there may be a real issue. I'm at high risk of developing a blood clot, particularly after having a baby and all of the hormone changes. I had also been experiencing other symptoms that I could write off as post baby (loss of balance, loss of memory (BIG time), extremely exhausted, I was a little out of control of my hands, hearing issues, and serious neck pain). But I also realized this could be a much bigger problem, perhaps a blood clot or tumor. So last night we decided to go to the ER just to have some tests done, rule everything out and move on with life.

Not how it happened.

I had a CT scan, and almost immediately the dr rushed in my room and said there's something really big in your brain, we're going to have to check it out further and let you know more. Oh, thanks for the panic! :) Long long story short, they decided it was more than they could handle and they transferred me to Vanderbilt to their excellent neuro team. Lots and lots of tests, lots and lots of no sleep in the neuro ICU and we have some answers. Not super good, not super bad. 

I have a tumor in the dead center of my brain thats the size of a small orange. I know, how in the world did I not notice that?? They said it seems to be a slow growing tumor that has been there for quite awhile. The good news, its most likely (not positvely) not cancerous. The bad new is where it's located. My memory is just below the sight, it's covered in lots of blood vessels and veins that are pretty major. It's also located in the area where the spinal fluid is made, causing it to be seriously displaced. Also, we've learned with my past surgeries I have lots and lots of extra blood vessels located throughout my body that can cause some real trouble. They couldn't stop the bleeding after Charlie's c section for over and hour----so no more babies for us. This could also cause some very serious problems.

Overall, he seemed pretty positive about this procedure, but very very cautious. This tumor is extremely rare (less than 1%), the location can cause some real trouble, the extra fluid that will most likely build up afterwards can be an issue (but pretty simple to fix), all the crazy blood vessels can easily cause serious trouble, and then if all of this goes well, there's still a decent risk of a blood clot. Not to mention other unforeseen complications they could incur simply cutting into my brain. He said out of 10, this procedure is going to be a 10 in how complex it's going to be. 

Wow, such a long Debbie Downer type email. Ok, all this to say, we need your prayers. Seriously. Please pray for peace as we go through this next week, enjoying an early Christmas with our boys as the actual Christmas day is uncertain. Surgery is scheduled for a week from today, and I get to go home tomorrow until then. I'm obviously over the top stressed as a new mom who wants nothing more than to be with my sweet babies and husband, making memories and enjoying our time together as a new family of 4. It's super difficult to be gone from them and to know it's going to be a long recovery before I can fully be mom again. My heart is just broken that I'm going to miss out on so much with Charlie as he is changing so much. 

Pray for healing. That this procedure would go smoothly, that there would be no surprises, no extra bleeding, no stroke, no paralysis and no shunt. If everything goes "to plan" I could be out of the hospital 2 days post op. Let's all pray together that this is exactly how it works.

Pray for a speedy recovery so I can be with my babies and husband. 

No matter what, I'm trusting in God's plan and his will. If he decides not to answer any or all of these requests, I'm certain there is a reason and a bigger plan. That's all I have to hold onto at this point, and it is more than enough.

Ok, this is a novel and my nurse is going to get me if I don't stop crying and making my monitor go cra-zy. Thank you for your prayers, your support, your friendship and for already walking through this with us. We love you all!

John, Sarah, Harvey and Baby Charlie 

here's what i am asking you to do as a reader and as my friend.
1.  pray for the clores.
2.  pray for sarah's peace of mind
3.  pray for the family this week as she gets to spend a "normal" week with her family before her surgery tuesday.
4.  pray for her surgery on tuesday.
5.  just pray.
and if you live in nashville and are a friend of mine and would like to take them a meal, please contact me at jessica37205@aol.com and i will give you the link to sign up for their food calendar that one of their friends have set up.  if you just want to send them some love, an email, a note or a special something, email me and i will give you their information.

thanks friends.  i knew i could count on you.
(leave a comment and i will pass the love on to the clores)


Amy said...

I'm praying for them...really, truly praying.

jessica dukes said...

thank you amy. really. thank you.

The Every Day Extraordinary said...


Lindsay @ Delighted Momma said...

I just stumbled across your blog and I am saying prayers for you and your family as I type!! God can do amazing things!! I will be keeping you in my prayers daily. Xo

jessica dukes said...

Thanks girls! I'm fine - its my friend that needs the prayer. I mean, I'll take it too. But...my friend Sarah is the one I am requesting prayer for and her sweet family.

And Lindsay, glad you stumbled across my blog. :-) makes my day.

Anonymous said...

Goosebumps: I'm praying.

jessica dukes said...

Thanks Melissa! I know...me too!

Ashley @ The Sweet Life said...

Hey Jessica, I know that I'm not close with you or Sarah, but I am in the Nashville area so if I can do anything to help, please let me know.

I'll be praying for their family.

mama marchand said...

Praying for them! *hugs*

jessica dukes said...

ashley, email me and i will send the food calendar and if you want to bring a meal or something - just let me know. thanks girl.

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