Written by Jodee McCabe
Monday, 30 June 2008 2:25 PM
Many of you have been asking about what we found out about the "gamma knife" procedure so here goes: Today we met the radio therapist (yes, he is a doctor) and his resident. We liked both of them. The place we were referred to does not actually do "gamma knife", but something very similar called "stereotactic radiographic surgery". If you really want the details, you can read all about it at: http://precisionradiotherapy.com/fact_novalis.htm This procedure accomplishes the same result using a different means of achieving the radiation; at least that is what I understood. I have not thoroughly studied the web site yet, although we did watch a video at the doc's office.
Although I wish the docs would quit "surprising" us with all these changes, this change has a big benefit: Dan will NOT need his head to be screwed (literally) into a metal halo. Today they molded a custom plastic mask-like frame to his face. When they do the procedure next Tues., they will place the frame on his face and then screw the frame to the table. It will have the same stabilizing effect that the halo has with NO screws into his skull!! Tomorrow he will have yet another CT scan and a high resolution MRI so that the docs (the radio therapist and the neurosurgeon) with the aide of computers, can plot out their plan of attack. Then Tues., he will meet the neurosurgeon and later that day they (the radio therapist and the neurosurgeon) will do the procedure.
Dan has already begun taking an "anti seizure medicine" as a preventative measure and on next Tues. will also begin a short course of steroids (ooops...no Olympics for him!!) This is b/c there is some danger of swelling in the area of treatment, although Dan's lesions, last we saw them, were very small and that decreases that risk somewhat. Since the actual procedure is a week away, we are toying with the idea of taking a quick trip to NY for just a little break from all this craziness. That means driving in holiday traffic but I think it will be worth it. We shall see. It might depend on how these drugs affect him. Unless there are big changes in the tests tomorrow (I'm still praying for the lesions to disappear!) there probably won't be another update until after the procedure next Tues. Thanks again for all of your notes, cards, emails, Scripture verses, suggestions and especially all the prayers!!