Friday, January 4, 2013
The Gamma Knife
Yesterday I went under the Gamma Knife at Piedmont. For those who are not familiar, Gamma Knife Radiation, below is an explanation from Mayo Clinic:
In gamma-knife radiosurgery, specialized equipment focuses as many as close to 200 tiny beams of radiation on a tumor or other target. Although each beam has very little effect on the brain tissue it passes through, a strong dose of radiation is delivered to the site where all the beams meet.
The precision of gamma-knife radiosurgery results in minimal damage to healthy tissues surrounding the target and, in some cases, a lower risk of side effects compared with other types of radiation therapy. Also, gamma-knife radiosurgery is often a safer option than is traditional brain surgery.
I will not lie, this was very painful. They put this heavy, metal square-shaped, piece of equipment over my forehead. Gave me 4 shots in the head to numb it, then screwed the equipment into my head. Two screws in the forehead, two in the back.. They used this equipment to hold my head perfectly still in the radiation machine so only the targeted spots would be hit.
Before the procedure began, I had to have an MRI. The good news: There was no evidence of remaining cancer in my brain! That means the cancer, as far as we know, is just remaining in my right lung and lymph nodes therein.
After the MRI, the radio-surgeon, neurosurgeon, and physicist sat down and came up with a plan as to how to treat the cavity to kill anything they cannot see in the MRI and treat the whole cavity. It was going to take 4 rounds. They clamped my head into what they call the "couch" each time while I was lying down. Then, it rolled me into the radiation machine for about 8 minutes. Once done, they removed the metal square piece of equipment from my head by unscrewing it.
That is when the pain began. Burning and blood running down my face. I don't cry easily, but I was balling my eyes out. I have two holes above the end of each eyebrow. Luckily, I have some Loratabs, more anti-seizure meds, and some steroids. I had these after the craniotomy too. However, I don't think I was in this much pain then, probably because I slept so much after and during. I was awake during and after this entire procedure.
But, it's over now. My head will heal and the pain will go away. So, things went well! Thank you prayer warriors! And thanks to all of you that rented a movie for me last night (Amanda, Reggie, Mandy, Brad, Sam, Poppy) and stayed and watched it while I fell asleep. LOL! I'm so sorry!
Well, off to Houston Sunday. God is great and results are good so far. So please, keep the prayers coming, because they are working. The odds are still terrible, so we need continuing prayers to beat those odds! I have so much to live for and with Him, this is possible!