Jeannie underwent a nine-hour surgery to remove a six-centimeter benign brain tumor in April 2017

By Aurelie Corinthios
March 14, 2018 03:01 PM

It’s been almost a year since Jim Gaffigan‘s wife Jeannie underwent a nine-hour surgery to remove a six-centimeter benign brain tumor.

Jim, 51, recently gave an update on her recovery to the Associated Press while promoting his new film, Chappaquiddick. And even though Jeannie, 48, still has a long way to go, they’re both as optimistic as ever.

“My wife is — granted, I’ve never had as much energy as her at 80 percent, so she’s a tank in some ways — but you know, there’s an insane amount of doctor’s appointments,” he said. “Everything is good, but it’s still — you know, one of the vocal chords might work, there’s speech therapy, there’s physical therapy. It’s an enormous undertaking.”

The comedian also jokingly referred to his wife as “a special breed.”

“This is a woman who delivered a baby in our apartment, and then an hour later was asking people if they wanted breakfast,” he recalled.

Jim and Jeannie Gaffigan
| Credit: Charles Sykes/Invision/AP

The couple, who share five children and created TV Land’s The Jim Gaffigan Show, opened up exclusively to PEOPLE last year about the health scare, which began when she started experiencing recurring headaches, dizziness and coughing fits.

It wasn’t until she began to lose her hearing, however, that she decided to push for answers, ultimately finding out she had a tumor the size of an apple wrapped around her brain stem.

“I was a ticking time bomb, waiting to be paralyzed,” said Jeannie, who underwent a lengthy surgery that involved cutting-edge virtual and augmented reality technology.

“Everything has completely strengthened my faith in God,” she added. “Because I told God, I said, ‘God, I’m not ready to go. I have work to do. Please help me.’ … I have no doubt that there were supernatural powers helping me through this. No doubt.”