cyber knives and magic carpets
January 27, 2010 § 17 Comments
My friends call or visit, send a card or chocolates, read my blog and comment, and poof! Like magic, I feel better.
One dear pal made a magic quilt. Low and behold, it multi tasked as a magic carpet and arrived just in time as I was in serious need of instant transport out. The narcotics had impaired my driving, and just about everything else.
I have been poked and prodded on a regular basis since my initial breast cancer diagnosis over three years ago and at no point along the way did anyone pick up on the spreading disease. Damn straight I needed a magic quilt, a magic carpet and any other magic out there.
That big honkin’ tumor pushing up against my spinal chord and cerebellum was the giant buzz kill, party crasher, metastatic breast cancer. The cause of some major big headaches. Alpha to migraines and equivalent to finger in car door 24/7. I needed super magic, uber magic, medical magic – if there is such a thing.
My Dr’s concluded I needed the Cyberknife. Sounded aggressive They assured me it was painless. Good patient that I was, I believed them. No time to waste, must shrink the tumor. I put on my fluffiest hat and jumped on my magic carpet. Whoosh.
Here’s what I knew about the Cyberknife. Nothing. With the exception that some agency had certainly been hired to come up with the name.
“Cyber” a common prefix, suggesting video games and battles, rarely used in the lexicon of the healing arts. I can only assume they called in the 14 year old boys for this one.
“Cyberknife” could have easily been a super hero, but WTF, someone slapped the moniker on the tumor seeking robotic arm that delivers high dose radiation and now we have a treatment that is branded. Ad chic that I am, I approve, but might have opted for something more blatantly descriptive like “Tumor Buster” or “Top Dog Rdx”. No matter, no one was paying me for this naming gig.
Cyberknife treatment required the making of a custom mask and as I mentioned before – I love masks. Turns out that the custom mesh mask that was made for my therapy was utilized not for performance purposes, but for pinning me down during the treatments.
The robotic arm aims lethal (to my tumor) doses of radiation. It is mission critical that the rdx rays hit the intended target. Please zap tumor only. The mask, secured to the table is so tight across my face it leaves an imprint of reptilian marks across my face. I had more fun with masks when I was in College and of all the times I have been pinned to a table this was for sure the least pleasurable.
An appointment with my Oncologist waits until completion of the five day Cyberknife plan. Five days, an hour a day, head to head with the robotic arm. The tumor shrinks, the pain decreases. In a few weeks when the dust settles and the tumor cells scram, we will take more pictures to see what is left. I will pray the xrays have scrambled the egg. More magic.
Looking ahead, every few months we will be journeying inwards via screens, scan and MRI’s in search of demon cells. Join me on this adventure of a lifetime or should I say this adventure to save my life. Either way, I love your company and am so glad I am not doing this alone.