Friday, June 5, 2009

One Down -- Four To Go

It went really well today.

They moved the appointment from 8:30 AM to 12:30 PM, because they weren't quite done creating the "plan" for the CyberKnife to follow. So I got to sleep a little later and we even hit Costco on the way to Chapel Hill.

We waited in the lobby (with me reading a Betty Neels romance novel and Lou reading Brother Odd by Dean Koontz) for a while. It turns out they still weren't done the plan. All I could think was stuff like: No need to rush! Do a good job! Double-check your work!

At 1:40 PM till they gave me some pre-meds, and then fifteen minutes later they wheeled me away down a long series of corridors to the Cyber Knife room.

I'll probably have better details tomorrow. There was a small room filled with like five PCs, and on one of them was a four-camera display of the platform I'd be on so they can keep an eye on me. Then there was a bigger room with the CyberKnife and the bed-like platform and the CD player.

It was cold! But not too cold, especially since they had warned me to wear sleeves.

After I climbed up on the marginally bed-like platform, Nadya and Kevin both asked me, "Can you hear that?" and I was like, "Hear what?" and they both laughed and Kevin adjusted the volume on the CD player because they had already started the Harry Potter but too low for me to hear.

It seemed to take a long time to get me positioned just right and for the treatment to start. (For you Harry Potter fans, Hagrid and Harry were just arriving at Gringotts bank for the first time when the treatment started.) Dr David Morris was there too. He explained that the machine might come close to me but that it would not touch me. That was reassuring later because there were two moments when part of the robotic arm came less than four inches from my nose.

Once the treatment finally started, there was no pain. I had no trouble just lying there. The CyberKnife is this large articulated robotic arm with lots of joints so that it can WHIR and CLICK and move into all kinds of different positions to point at the tumor from a different spot. Because they hit so many different spots, I probably won't have that radiation sunburn skin irritation.

Harry Potter was a great idea! But at some point near the end of the second CD, it started skipping and was blasting Wah - Wah - Wah - Wah at me which was way worse than any of the whirring and clicking noises of the robotic arm so Nadya came back in and shut it off. I hope we don't get skips tomorrow too! (For you Harry Potter fans, it was right at the point on the train to Hogwarts where Draco Malfoy is introducing himself to Harry.)

My blood pressure was a bit elevated afterward. Just seeing 208 over 97 was enough to elevate it some more! So we hung out for about 30 minutes till it dropped and we could go home.

We went out for Chinese and got home at 7:00 PM and I was very sleepy. No nausea and no pain. Lou stayed with me instead of going to poker which was really sweet. We watched a Stargate and then I dragged myself off to bed to fall right to sleep... but then later I WOKE UP ABRUPTLY. This time, I was sure that my arm was supposed to be in a protective brace, but Lou assured me that this was not so. (That man is a saint.)

And I just have not been able to fall back to sleep. I feel as though I drank lots of caffeine and might never sleep again. Sort of a bummer because I have to get up in 5 hours because tomorrow the appointment is for 8:30 AM.

I did not take the sleeping pill (which has worked brilliantly the last two nights, not waking up in a panic, no nightmares) because I was so sleepy and I figured there was no need. But, I am thinking that tomorrow night I will take it.

A couple people phoned tonight but we just let the phone ring. I was incapable of coherent speech anyway, because I was so sleepy. So, if we ignored you, I apologize and say thanks for calling!


Anonymous said...

Hey Karen
I wanted so badly to call, but I refrained. Glad I did. Sounds like it was a very long day. Boy I sure hate it when one of the CDs is messed up right in the middle of the good part of the story, it can ruin my whole day. Sounds like you are married to a prince and he is taking very good care of you. Let me know if there is anything you need. My first 3 crazy days are over, so I can breathe. I can't wait to read what you post tomorrow. T's & P's
Love ya-Doane

Delpfine said...

Geez, I hadn't realized that it was a day procedure. How nice to get home to your own bed. We just watched the first Harry Potter movie again recently. How young they are! I hope you aren't having any problems with audio today.

omerandpat said...

Yippie and Hurah!! Everyting seems to be going well except for the Harry Potter CD. Lets hope that doesn't happen again with the Wah-Wah-Wah! We pray everything goes well this morning. Our thoughts are with you.
Mom and Dad