Here we are again. But this time the journey is not one that is the same. I head into new territory and not sure where our destination will end. Thursday 19th July saw my first ‘Gamma Knife’ treatment and I am preparing for my second MRI scan and next treatment on Wednesday and Thursday 31st July and 1st August.
Neil and I went to the BRI for 7:00 a.m. and after hearing all week about the disruption of the Extinction Rebellion by Thursday they had moved on so we thankfully we had no trouble!! We went to have another MRI scan so that they could see what the lovely little lump was doing and plan my treatment accordingly.
I was having a mask made as my treatment will be in three sessions. This helps to keep my head completely still while the treatment is being done so that they touch as little as they can of the good cells. If you have it in one session you are in a wooden type frame which completely immobilises your head! One lady I met during my time there was called Elaine. She had this fitted and to be honest I am so glad I didn’t have to have this – it looked somewhat medieval and almost torturous!! (These are the words of my neurologist – and I would agree with him!) She was a bit of an eccentric lady and quite funny. She took selfies and made jokes but every once in a while she would start crying and saying things like ‘I don’t want to lose me’ or ‘I’m not ready’ but then she would quickly transform. This was her reality and not one that I was ready to be a part of. I felt like I was intruding – but we bonded and chatted over matching tattoos and she was a lovely lady.
Once the MRI scan was done it was just waiting for the planning, the mask being made and then the treatment. The mask I can liken to a fencing mask I suppose but much tighter. It was warmed up, stretched tightly over my face and pressed down to make an imprint which hardened after about 10 mins. I guess I might have been feeling how the Man in the Iron Mask must have felt! The treatment itself took about 30 minutes but blimey can 30 minutes seem very long! I was strapped to the treatment table in my mask and they played music whilst the treatment was done. I laid as still as I could but after a while I got very hot, my mouth was very dry and in the end I thought right I have had enough now – I needed to get out of this mask, and thankfully it was only another few moments till I could. I think next time I will ask for a 10 minute to finish time! It was all painless and then that was it. More steroids, new plan for the next two weeks and back for my next MRI scan the day before my next treatment on 1st August.
So I have been lucky again with no side effects and feeling remarkably well! A bit of a fraud but now I know what to expect next time and hopefully the tumour is shrinking.