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.



§ 17 Responses to cyber knives and magic carpets

  • stan bornstein says:

    I never liked the name cyberknife – sounds sharp and painful. Maybe cyber soother would have been better. But I wasn’t paid to name it, either. Personally, I think you’re the magic and the carpet is lucky to have you and take all the credit for you. You sound better which makes me feel better. Thanks.


  • Lisa Sharkey says:

    Dear Momo,
    As awful as all of this is, you are the most brillian chronicler of this experience, and I salute your bravery, strength and creativity which never fails to AMAZE me.
    If you need some books to escape into please let me know your pleasure and I will ship them right off, so long asyou keep the pages away from the cyber knife.
    With love and hugs always,

  • LB says:

    don’t care what it’s called, love what it does. xoxo

  • shula says:

    Momo…I admire your courage. shula

  • kathy dann says:

    The picture of you on your magic carpet is priceless. That tumor doesn’t stand a chance! Love you and will be making it up to Boston to visit.


  • Eric says:

    Healing Magic – My healing is natural, spontaneous and magical. I celebrate the innate wisdom and ability of my body to heal me. I nurture the magical healing power that is mine and mine alone, whether or not I receive the assistance of trained professionals. (Donald M. Epstein, D.C., Healing Myths, Healing Magic) Love and Light, Eric M.

  • Linda says:

    Boy, oh boy, what a great big Oy. And yet you spin such gold. Your light is so very bright and your love so dear. xo, LM

  • Connie O. says:

    Marilyn, it sounds like you have all the essential tools of the trade at your disposal, not the least of which are your unbounding tenacity, imagination, and sheer guts. You are absolutely incredible, and these aliens have no idea whose lawn they’ve tread on. Fools.

    I told Frannie that I’d love to give her a vet hospital tour at any time, so just give me the word. I’m also taking orders for dinners, which I’m more than happy to drive over since my magic carpet is in for repairs. Please, please, please let me know what I can do to help, OK?

    Connie O.

  • Lynda Brown says:

    Just disintigrate, egg, just disintigrate. Lynda

  • Sharyn says:


    You go, girl!!!! If words can entrance (and I have no doubt of that), then yours will tame this beastie into a swoon, off and away, to be recycled into something useful….regreening our world, ending poverty, strenthening Haiti.



  • Ruth says:

    Momo, you write the most creative, carefully constructed accounts that allow us to visualize,experience and support you along the way. Thank you for sharing and letting us ride the carpet with you through the adventure. YOU are our inspiration! Sending lots of love xoxoxo r

  • Lizzy says:

    Let’s keep a vision of the celebratory mask you will be wearing at your party after this ordeal passes, because THIS TOO SHALL PASS!

    For now though we need to wear the war mask, the one that’s going to flush that egg right out onto the magic carpet and out the damned door. For now I’m diggin’ this BaKongo Ritual Mask. Check it out!


  • Betsey says:

    Marilyn, what if “Cyber” is a loving parent/mother/angel who is protecting/caring for her child, you, by making damn sure to cut away any and all of the unwanted, unsafe egg! I LIKE that kind of visual!

    Prayers and healing energy coming your way!!!



  • June says:

    Dear Momo

    You look so cute in all these pictures. Really like the warrior stance by the ray machine! And those clothes. You must be a Robin Hoodette – stealing our hearts.

    Wishing you beautiful happiness in 2010!

    Much love, June

  • Ricki Morell says:

    Hi Marilyn,
    I’m so sorry to hear about what you’ve been going through. Jacques and Kathleen gave me the link to your blog. You’re amazing! Even though we’ve moved from Columbia Street, we walk the dog there most every day. Please let us know if you need anything.
    Wishing you the kind of recovery you deserve.
    Ricki, John and Rachel

  • Denis says:

    Hi Momo, as usual you have the inner gusto to use humor and great writing in the most challenging times. Hang in there, I am convinced that you will beat the beast!



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