The doctor called me just as Mavis and I pulled into the school parking lot yesterday afternoon. He gave me the final analysis on all Michael’s lab work, and confirmed that he tested negative for the mutations that would render chemotherapy unnecessary at the get-go. Bummer, but it’s what was expected after the initial findings. Onward.
We report to Cleveland this Thursday at 8 a.m. to prepare for the gamma knife surgery. Here’s how it plays out:
- Frame. After admission to outpatient surgery and putting on the umpteenth lovely Cleveland Clinic patient gown, a lightweight titanium frame will be affixed to his head.
- MRI. Since he is almost completely unable to lie flat for more than a few seconds, there could be another route we have to take in order to get pictures of his brain. (When he’s flat on his back, his airway shuts off, due to the paralyzed vocal cord making it impossible to sufficiently clear his throat of the junk that his COPD produces on a constant basis. He chokes and coughs uncontrollably at that point.) If they can’t do the MRI, they’ll settle for a CT scan, although they’ve said they prefer the clearer images on MRI. Whatever happens, we’ll take the best that both he and various feelgood drugs can give.
- Wait. After imaging determines the exact locations of the tumors, they have to feed all the information into their software and allow it time to come up with the “plan” to specifically target those areas during the procedure. This takes hours, so he’ll have a private room where he can nap, watch TV, or engage in snappy repartee with his life mate.
- Procedure. He’ll be positioned on the gamma knife table and placed inside the machine. He’ll be on his back, yes, but the neurologist said they can take as many breaks as he needs. I’m hoping the meds they give him will calm any anxiety, but when you can’t breathe, nothing else really matters, does it…
After the gamma knife, he has a week to wait, then he begins chemo. I knew we’d be making a lot of trips to Cleveland, and many would take place after I go back to school. I wanted Michael to have a dependable car to take to his treatments in my absence, so Mavis and I went to Columbus and picked out a nice one for him. It brought a big, proud smile to his face, which made the all-day test drive/finagling session totally worth it:
More updates coming soon. Let’s get this thing underway! #teamthriller