Jesse's Journey
Jesse's Journey

Jesse's Journey

Jesse moved to the Cleveland area in 2016 with my family. He was so happy to be back in the cold county. In 2017, he had a crisis with diverticulitis but that was resolved by a couple of surgeries and by October he was back to normal. We thought we were moving on and we bought a house that we wanted to renovate. In January, in the middle of our planning our dream house, he started complaining of a small lump in the under area of his jaw. We went to the doctor and he said that Jesse had a clogged saliva gland. 2 months later, after a CT, he was diagnosed with HPV-16 positive oropharyngeal squamous cell carcinoma. He went through 35 rounds of radiation and 4 rounds of chemotherapy to boost the effect of the radiation. He rang both bells on June 13th. His dad and I were there and we all were so happy, so convinced that cancer had been defeated. By September, after another CT, we were proven to be wrong, The tumor in his jaw was not destroyed at all - it was still growing! On to the next recommended therapy, a different type of chemo, but first a tracheostomy. Well, that led to a staph infection, which took chemo out of the picture and immunotherapy stepped in. After being on continuous antibiotics for 6 weeks, 2 blood transfusions, and 2 rounds of immunotherapy, another CT was taken. The tumor is still growing, not only outward, which is bad enough since it's in his jaw and heading to his throat and brain stem, but also inward where it surrounds the carotid artery. Calcium in his blood suggest that the cancer has taken the fight to a new level, one that the doctors said they couldn't compete on. We are now doing hospice in the house, where the expected time left is numbered in weeks, according to medical evidence.

His mom, Pat, has been telling me that people are reaching out to her, and people have sent cards, texts, emails to Jesse, thank you all. I wanted to give you a place to comment and to give him your thoughts directly.

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Nickie Hunsberger on December 20th, 2018

I think about you everyday. Praying and asking for a miracle.

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