Wednesday, September 19, 2007

It's Not Really a Knife

On October 19th, my husband and I are going to travel to Chicago (about three hour drive) to a doctor that performs Gamma Knife to determine if my tumor is eligible for this procedure. Don't let the name fool you, Gamma Knife isn't a knife at all. It is actually 201 beams of low dose radiation that, when they meet, can destroy cells in its path. The beams have low enough radiation that it does not affect any tissue it passes through until it meets at the site of the tumor causing very little damage to the normal brain tissue around it.

When I first "stumbled" across this procedure I was in a total state of shock. All I could say at first was "This is the answer to my prayers." Then, once reality started setting in, I felt that just maybe this was too good to be true. This procedure takes care of all my major fears. It gets rid of the tumor, it is non-surgical, and it doesn't require general anesthesia. Does sound a bit too good to be true, doesn't it?

Anyway, a bit about Gamma Knife. As I said above, Gamma Knife uses low beam radiation to penetrate and eventually destroy the tumor. The risks are minimal and there are very few serious complications of it. It does have its limits and not everyone is a candidate, thus why I'm on pins and needles hoping that it is an option for me.

I won't give any serious descriptions of it right now, but I do promise that if I do this procedure, I will give you detail for detail descriptions of what occurs. You will have all the information you ever wanted about Gamma Knife when I am through. For now, if you wish to research it, a good place to start is the sheffield link I have on the right. It has a lot of GREAT information on Gamma Knife including videos of someone from start to finish of having it done.

Until then, I will continue to hope that Gamma Knife is an option for me and that the one make or break question can be answered in a positive way... A glioma tends to always return and is reputed to return malignant, if I have this done now, will it still be a viable option in the future when/if it returns malignant? This is the one question that can fully determine whether this truly is the miracle solution I've been looking for.

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