Gamma’d ’em all.
They managed to treat all ten tumors yesterday. Hooray! I don’t have to go back for more on Wednesday. I was the only patient there thanks to the foresight of a saint of a nurse, so I had a radiation oncologist, a neurosurgeon, a gamma knife physicist, and the nurse all to myself. Good thing, too, because the day started at 7:15 a.m. with the ceremonial screwing in of the metal frame to my head. Then they did some scanning and planning. Mind you, I had a brain scan two weeks ago, but they did an additional one with the frame on to get all their marks. I was a little surprised at how excited they were to tell me that nothing new showed up on the scan in that short amount of time, but I guess that’s a darned good thing and tells you that the cancer isn’t growing new little friends immediately. Yet another reason not to have whole brain radiation done.
Here’s a long borning video about gamma knife: http://www.gammaknifeminnesota.com/gamma.html.
The deal with the gamma knife is that for each tumor they have to re-set your head, and it’s all done with screw drivers and rulers and and a little bit of wrenching the frame around and shoving your head in the right position. This is not too bad if you have one tumor taken care of. That might mean one or two sessions in the machine at ten minutes each. I had ten done. Some of them required half and hour each, and some of them needed to be done from more than one angle. Some of them required a pretty extreme wrench of the neck — to the degree that they weren’t sure the machine could accommodate my head at that angle. I told them to shove it around and let me worry about my neck later. It’s fine, but tired right now. I’ll get acupuncture on Friday to take care of the kinks. I believe I was shoved in and out of the machine 15 times with re-set times in between, snack time (ha! try to eat with that frame on your head), and break time for the staff. So, long long long day all around.
[picapp align=”right” wrap=”true” link=”term=sandra+dee&iid=2552405″ src=”http://view2.picapp.com/pictures.photo/image/2552405/sandra-dee/sandra-dee.jpg?size=500&imageId=2552405″ width=”234″ height=”271″ /]When I got home I emptied the dishwasher and got some laundry going. It’s remarkable what you can do afterward. Of course they have me on steriods to prevent any swelling, and those always make me hyper, so I need to pace myself. I couldn’t sleep last night, so I watched “Gidget.” Not sure what to make of that movie other than to say it’s definitely a period piece and it eventually put me to sleep. Oh Moondoggie!
I’ll get an MRI in one or two months to see how it’s going, though they always emphasize that things might look worse before they look better because the treatment can cause some inflammation. Meanwhile, nobody thinks I’m going to die in the next couple of months, so that’s a good thing.
I have started the pill-form chemo (cytoxan/xeloda), which I so far seem to be tolerating well. It makes me very tired, the steriods make me very hyper…. good balance until I go off the steriods. We shall see what happens then. I asked the gamma guys about Xeloda and the blood-brain barrier and they say they have definitely been seeing good results. Again, we shall see. The goal now is never to see another tumor again in my brain.