Diary of a Brain Tumor Patient's Wife

Nov. 24, 1997

Renette Davis

Just wanted to let you know that Paul had the radiosurgery today and everything went well. Actually, I guess it got off to kind of a rough start. They put the stereotactic ring on and then started to do the CT scan, but the ring caused an artifact (a shadow) on the CT scan, so they had to reposition the ring.

They ended up putting it on kind of crooked, and the spots where they screwed it to his head were not the typical spots, so I think it hurt more than the last one did. He also had to hold his chin down while they did the scan so they could get the proper angle, so he was pretty wiped out by the time that was all done.

They sent him up to his room then to wait while they conferred with Dr. Ausman, the head of neurosurgery, to make sure he agreed that it could still be done. The tumor is now about 5 cm., which is pushing it for the radiosurgery. But they mapped everything out with the computer and decided it could be done.

They took him down to the radiation dept about 3:00, and they started the radiation about 4:00. He was done by about 5:00 and they took him back up to his room about 5:30. Dr. Sweeney and the physicist showed me the plan on the computer while he was getting the radiation. It was pretty interesting. They had 6 beams, from different angles, and were able to cover the tumor without hitting too much good tissue.

Paul was in good spirits the whole time, in spite of quite a bit of pain from the stereotactic ring. The first thing I heard when I went back into the room after they told me they were done was Paul laughing and joking around. I think they were all pretty amazed at how well he tolerated everything. He didn't seem to have any ill effects from the radiation at all.

I asked when side effects would be likely to appear if there are any, and the doctor said anytime between now and a year from now. There's about a 30 % chance he could develop necrosis, either from dead brain tissue or dead tumor tissue. But he said he thought there was a very good chance that this would give Paul some significant extra quality time.

I'm very thankful that things went well. Thank you for all your thoughts and prayers.

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Created: May 9, 1999
Last updated: July 18, 2010