Of course I have pictures to share, if you’re interested in seeing the head contraption! 😉
Today has been great! Joe & I ventured to the hospital downtown and the process itself was amazing. I had 2 nurses assisting and one other patient, so the nurses were incredible. I filled out some paperwork and the nurse explained the process again and I headed back. Joe stayed out of the room until the last hour for discharge.
They accessed my port, which took a minute but thankfully they were able to because it’s easier and my veins are scarring a bit. The neurosurgeon came in, explained the procedure again and I was given versed, the twilight medicine. Thankfully, this was done through my port so it was pretty quick to act. I was sitting straight up and the nurses & neurosurgeon used lidocaine injections on the 4 different spots that they secured the headpiece to (2 in front, 2 in back). It felt like bee stings. Then they secured the headpiece in place. They screwed it into my head, versus my skull which I was curious about. There was a little pain from one of the sites but overall it was not bad! I am grateful for the versed and the lidocaine to numb me up beforehand. The process was super easy and not anywhere near as painful as I expected. The headpiece was made of lead so a bit heavy but nothing crazy.
Next, I was wheeled down for a CT scan and had a square piece secured to my head for them to measure against. I did a CT with and without contrast and the 100s (literally!) of scans were sent immediately to a physicist to confirm they were sufficient for my treatment plan. Confirmed within about 10 minutes, I was wheeled up near the Gamma Knife room where I waited for the neurosurgeon and radiation oncologist to put together my plan. During this time, the nurse used a roundish piece to measure my skull in the headpiece. The neurosurgeon popped in within about 30 minutes and confirmed everything looked GREAT! There is no cancer in my brain – I cried. This is SO exciting!
Next I was wheeled across the hall to the Gamma Knife room. The table is quite similar to a CT scan and I was fixed in place laying down with another piece of lead. My head was heavy but I was secured in place. I could eventually feel a little of the pressure from my head resting in place but nothing unbearable. The door to the machine opened and I slid inside until about my abdomen. The entire radiation was only 30 minutes (yay!) and was completely silent. I could only hear the machine moving every once in a while. Oh, and Pandora which they tuned to a Rascal Flatts station for me! I was strapped in lightly so I remembered not to move my arms and given lots of blankets to keep warm. The time went pretty quick, especially listening to music!
Once done, I sat up and the radiation oncologist came in to remove my headpiece. I could feel the pressure but it wasn’t bad at all. I was wheeled back to await discharge and Joe was invited in to see me.
I can’t say enough wonderful things about the nurses and doctors who stayed by my side all day. They made the process amazing and I am so grateful to have them in my corner!!!
I am tired now and my head hurts pretty good but I’m hoping the Tylenol will help with that. Today was a great day and I am so happy about my CT scan! Time to rest and thank God for the goodness in my life, friends. Stay well!