Josie's condition has changed and with it so will my need to make posts on this blog. Any news about Josie will be posted as soon as I hear it from Matt and Alissa, so please check here more frequently for updates and information so that Matt and Alissa can continue to focus on each other and their children.
Tomorrow Josie is going to the hospital to have a shunt installed in her brain. The tumor has changed in size and is also growing. We knew this was a likely scenario. Josie started getting headaches a few weeks ago. The doctors believe that the headaches are either caused by the changing size and shape of the tumor and/or by the accumulation of fluid on Josie's brain. The tumor is physically constricting a key area in Josie's brain, the brainstem. Therefore, her brain is unable to naturally drain cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) and so the fluid accumulates putting pressure on the brain. This pressure causes headaches, and may also cause areas of Josie's brain to malfunction causing physical symptoms. The shunt that will be placed tomorrow will drain the CSF from the brain. We hope that this will make Jo's headaches go away. If the headaches go away, they will be able to take Josie off of the steroids that she has been forced to resume. The steroids have many difficult side effects. Also, if Josie is unable to wean herself off of the steroids, she may not be eligible for any more experimental treatments that could prolong her fight.
Josie and the Grove family need your thoughts and prayers now more than ever. We don't know what the next few days, weeks, or months will bring. There are many things that we can not control, although we wish we could. All we know is that the dye has been recast, and Josie's war with this tumor has escalated.
I will update the blog as soon as I know more. Our love and prayers are with you Josie, Alissa, Matt, Sam, and Josh. XOXO