Monday, August 9, 2010

Some GOOD news...

...finally we got to hear some good news...Last Thursday, Stuart and I drove my Dad up to Spokane for his 4 week follow-up MRI...yes...its been 4 weeks already since he had his GammaKnife procedure...he had 3 appointments scheduled...the 1st one being the MRI at 9:30 am...so we were on the road at 6:30...it made for a VERY LONG day...and lots of extra time in between appointments...because heaven knows we couldn't have them all back-to-back...

Stuart and I sat in the hospital waiting for nearly two hours for my dad's MRI to be done...Stuart starving the WHOLE time... I swear that man CANNOT miss a meal!
To help the afternoon go by fast we took my parents to Manito Park...but my dad was less then enthused...he would have much better like to spend his time at the golf course...next time we are bringing his clubs and then at least his can hit balls!


...I should probably back up 4 weeks and share some of the story...on that day and what GammaKnife is for those of you who don't know...

My mom and dad and I drove up the night before because we needed to be in Spokane EARLY that morning of the procedure. GammaKnife is a non-invasive surgery for brain tumors...GammaKnife is the most accepted and widely used radiosurgery treatment in the world...but it surprises me that so many people have never heard of it. GammaKnife is a device that treats brain tumors with a HIGH dose of radiation therapy in one day. The device aims gamma radiation through a target point in the patients brain. The patient (in this case, my dad) wears a specialized helmet that is placed to fit their skull so that the brain tumor remains stationary at the target point of the gamma ray. A dose of radiation is sent through the tumor in one treatment, while surrounding brain tissues are relatively spared.


...excuse my photos they were taken with my cell phone ;)...
I know some of you are thinking...really what does this do to the tumor and what's going to happen next? The radiation doesn't remove the diseased tissue...but it DOES damage the individual abnormal cells. Brain tumor cells lose their ability to multiply and blood vessel malformations close off and they will eventually stop growing and start to shrink. So from that day on...we continued praying...continued to have HOPE...I am not afraid to admit that I still wish that a miracle will happen...I know this is not curable...but I have HOPE that it will happen...so that brings us to now...4 weeks later...MRI has been done...and its 5 hours later...and I can not believe what I am hearing...

...the center is dying...thinning core....it appears the GammaKnife is working! There is nothing abnormal in the scan...and some improvement even from last time...no swelling...

Though the tumor is still there...it is NOT getting bigger...I am so afraid to even be happy...but this is really good news! My dad will have another MRI in 4 weeks...my dad is still on double the dose of chemo 1 week on/1 week off...but he manages that pretty good...we have been told he should start another chemo drug here pretty soon which will be done by infusion....whatever it takes to keep him with us! Family is everything...its a shame that some people just don't see that...

11 comments:

Lisa F said...

That is AMAZING news! I'm so glad that it helped!

AJ said...

so glad for you Renee'! You should be happy and enjoy this time! :)

Angie Blom said...

wonderful news Renee.. I am so glad it is working for you Dad.. I agree Family is everything, if you don't have that it is a pretty lonely life. Happy smiles.. I agree with AJ.. enjoy all the successes.

Laura said...

Renee, I am SO happy to hear this. One of my best friends had Gammaknife . . .I think 5 years ago(?) and today she is completely cancer free. She shouldn't be alive. . .but she is, and only by the very very beautiful grace of God!!!! I will keep praying for lots more good news and beautiful days for your dad!!! Hugs!

ellen s. said...

that is such great news!

Lisa Dorsey said...

Such wonderful news Renee! Will definitely be praying for your dad and your family!

Expressions of a Creative Mind said...

This actual made me tear up!! I'm so happy for you guys. I'll continue to keep you guys in my thoughts & prayers. HUGS girlie!!

Eva said...

Oh my goodness..this is such a wonderful news my friend....so happy your Dad is doing well....Sending lots of Love and Light to him!!!! Hugs...

Beth said...

I read about your father several weeks ago while I visited your blog. I am so excited that he is responding to the treatment. You have been in my thoughts as a friend of ours was not as fortunate and did not respond to the treatment. I pray that God will continue to bless you and your family as you go through this time in your life.

the whimsical butterfly said...

I have been a BAD blogging friend, just came to listen to that song and am catching up. You are SOOOOO right-family IS everything in a critical situation EVEN MORE-we should always be there for each other no matter what the small stuff!! I love your post, but more I love that there is hope and SUCH. GOOD. NEWS. This is wonderful, Renee. Just wonderful! Thank you so much for keeping us posted! xoxo

michib said...

So glad to hear the good news.