Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Cyberknife Day 1

After a long drive into Palo Alto Sunday we stumbled into our hotel around midnight. The alarm went off a bit too early at 7am the next morning. We headed to Stanford University Neurosciences Center where I met with Dr. Adler who is coordinating my care during this treatment process. As always he and his nurse were incredibly friendly and helpful. He took the time to give me a full neurological exam and noted that I am doing incredibly well.

We headed to see Dr. Gibbs, the Radiation Oncologist, in the cancer center right after I consulted with Dr. Adler. Dr. Gibbs was so informative, and answered all of my questions. She stated that with Cyberknife they are seeing positive results around 85% of the time in NF2 patients. She warned me of possible side effects such as nausea and vomiting, maybe fatigue, but promised they would prescribe something to help. She went over the possible long term effects, such as damage to healthy tissue or the spinal cord, paralysis, prolonged swelling or pain. I signed away my fears and felt comfortable trusting in this team of obviously well trained doctors to treat me.

At this point I was sent to the main hospital to have MRI's taken of my spine. An IV needed to be placed to receive the contrast for both the MRI's and then the CT I would have on Tuesday. I have teeny tiny little veins, Paul and the nurse we're laughing at my pathetic vascular system as I whined that it was not my fault. The first stab was only a prick, but the nurse could not find my vein and had to dig around a bit inside my arm. Tears threatened to fall and I just held it back until finally she looked at me sadly and said she was going to have to try again. I shrieked a bit, but one look from Paul and I controlled my outburst and stayed still for the second try. After another minute of stabbing, she sighed and took that one out as well. At this point another nurse was brought in, he grabbed my arm, jabbed the needle in, and grabbed a vein the first try. I loved him, I wanted to cook dinner for him. The MRI itself was easy as always, and we headed back to the hotel around 4:30 with my IV still in place to avoid another vein hunt the following morning.

We were exhausted from the drive and a day of waiting rooms, so we gorged on Chevy's margaritas and passed out at 6, sleeping all the way through until the next morning!

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