No more knives

30 June, 2017
Rat Fink

…at least for a while.

Yesterday’s gamma knife procedure went very well! Michael’s main anxiety about it all was his inability to lie flat for any length of time. As we feared, the MRI didn’t fly. So they did a CT scan instead, and we were off and running.

“You’ve never looked more lovely.” — Mavis

It’s a peculiar device, this frame, and not without discomfort. But the Thriller cooperated with good humor and a positive attitude. I can’t say enough about the staff at the CC Cancer Center. Not only did we not have to wait to get things rolling (they ushered him right in at check-in, and came to get me a few minutes later), but they were beyond attentive to his every need.

Once they scanned his brain, he was free to eat and drink — something that was a bit tricky. I went to the cafeteria and bought a banana, but seeing as how he couldn’t feed himself normally with the frame on, I had to break it up in little pieces. We also got creative with his coffee. :-)

Before his procedure, one of the four frame pin sites got pretty ouchy for him (click here if you’re not ooky about blood), which was somewhat of a big deal, given that his pain tolerance is quite high. When he complains, you know it’s bad. He wasn’t going to say anything, but that’s why God made Rat Fink. As soon as I informed our nurse that he was in some discomfort, she was back within a minute or two with a syringe full of Lidocaine and two Percocet. Is that service or what?

He took all the meds without protest, and I think they really helped him through it.

It was all over with in a few hours, and they sent us home with steroids (to minimize risk of brain swelling) and instructions for incision care. He didn’t sleep well for the aching head last night, but when I took his bandages off this morning, the wounds looked much improved. He goes back in 5-6 weeks for another brain scan to see how much the tumors have shrunk. I hope they all went to Jesus quickly, never to return.

We start chemotherapy on the 7th. We’ll do the first one in Cleveland, then maybe arrange for a closer location for subsequent treatments. We should also hear back from the DNA people about the likelihood of Michael’s involvement in the Keytruda clinical trial. Waiting, waiting and more waiting. Still, one hurdle has been jumped with this gamma knife business. Now onto killing the junk in his lungs and lymph nodes. Release the Kraken.

Much love


  1. Praying for peace, comfort, healing, success, strength and joy regardless the surroundings!
    Cancer sucks! Go teamthriller!

  2. Just to sum up: The Lord kicked butt yesterday! Three brain lesions nuked in just over 30 minutes. My appetite is coming back. Eyesight and thought processes are clear once again. Onward to phase 2 (chemo on the 7th)!

    I wish to express my profound thanks to all the faithful prayer warriors following my journey. Knowing you are in my corner means everything. I love you all!

  3. It still amazes me how he went through that with such strength and fantastic attitude! We are all truly blessed to have the Thriller in our lives. And Bird, your heart and soul get us through it all.

  4. Thanks for the update. Your odyssey has taken a big forward step. It will continue step by step for some period of time. You have tremendous support from your family and many friends. In addition The Lord is with you every moment of every step. He is also a participant in #teamthriller. Love both of you!

    • Yes He is — we definitely feel that. I know I’ve said it a hundred times, but we so appreciate the prayers and good wishes from friends like you, RD. When this is over and his disease is under control, we both will look back on all these comments with love and gratitude. We love you too!

  5. Alright! Well done #teamthriller – so happy that you’ve had only good experiences so far. Continued hugs and prayers…

    • Thanks Darice — the support we have received from friends we’ve never met is truly inspiring. Thank you for reading and praying!

  6. Your attitude is amazing! – keep it positive, both of you. Hugs and much love.


    • Thanks PK — I don’t know how he does it some mornings, but he greets almost every day with a smile. Makes my little aches and pains seem trivial! <3

  7. Michael you are in my thoughts and prayers constantly. Your attitude is amazing and is what will certainly help you through this.

    Hang in there my friend.

    • Thank you Mary. I treasure your prayers, friendship and support more than words can express.

      The plan of attack has been shared; the battle joined. The power of prayer is real. I feel it every day.

      Onward and forward my friend!

      Ephesians 6:10-18

  8. Thank you for the updates! With tears in my eyes, praying for both of you and continued strength and determination to fight!

    • Thanks so much, Lynette! That means the world. He was extremely touched when I told him about how my school family is rallying around him with prayer and encouragement. I appreciate you!

  9. I am so happy to hear that this procedure went well. I’ve been praying daily for Michael, and that’s saying a lot. God and I’ve always had an interesting relationship to say the least. But I have faith that He’s helping Michael, you and all the family as you face and overcome this. Love you both so much.

    • Thank you, J — we love you too! We’re also praying for a miracle. It’s happened to others in these situations, and we see no reason to believe it can’t happen to him. We’re staying the course and staying positive. Hugs to you, dear friend!

  10. Glad to hear things went well. Praying they find a closer location for the chemo…I do mine at mercy willard which is so much easier than driving to tiffin or mansfield. Stock up on lemon drops and cinnamon gum to help with the nasty taste you get from the chemo…also helps to rev up the tastebuds which will help with appetite.keeping you all in my prayers…God is good!

    • Thanks for the advice, Deb! It’s priceless. I will get the lemon drops and cinnamon Breath Savers (he’s not a gum chewer) this week, so he’ll have them handy for Friday. You’re the best — praying for you as well!

Leave a Reply

Required fields are marked *.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.