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Cyberknife Session #1

by on May 19, 2009

The day has arrived.

Wifey is in the process of getting the remaining part of her tumor irradiated.  I know many of you are very interested in this the second stage of her cancer treatment so I am sitting in the parking lot of the treatment center and composing this blog posting.

For simplicity sake and my own sanity, I have broken down Satomi’s treatment into different stages.  The original brain surgery that removed most of the tumor was Stage 1 and the present Cyberknife series will be Stage 2.  Next week she will start her Tykerb/Xeloda chemo cocktail (Stage 3).  I consider all the follow-up MRI’s as maintenance and will refer to them as Stage 4.  Hopefully, there will be no Stage 5.

The Doctor’s have decided to split the treatments into 5 sessions; More than we all had originally thought.  Cancer cells do not repair themselves when exposed to radiation so splitting the treatments will give Satomi’s healthy cells time to heal between sessions.  This will allow a higher total dose of radiation to the cancer cells.  The need for a split treatment does underscore the severity of the cancer. 

The sessions will last over 2 hours and as I mentioned in an earlier post, will not be comfortable.  Here is a quick photo I took on my way out of the room.  Check out that pointy nose.


On our previous visit to this treatment center, I had some questions answered.  Here’s one of the key one’s:  Why do brain “complications” not show up until many months after any brain radiation procedure? 

As it was explained to me, the radiation kills the DNA of the brain cells but not the cells themselves.  Since the lifetime of a cell is finite, it must replicate to maintain its function.  Without  DNA, the brain cell and its function is lost when the DNA-less cell eventually dies.  Keep in mind that this applies to any irradiated brain cell.  This is why the accuracy of the Cyberknife is very important.  If the wrong cells get irradiated, the wrong brain functions will be lost.  Given the relatively long cycle of a brain cell, the loss of healthy brain function will not be apparent until the body tries to replace dead brain cells some 3 to 6 to 12 months after irradiation.  Interesting. 

Satomi will be getting treaments every Tuesday and Thursday until all 5 sessions are completed.

From → Medical Update

One Comment
  1. Randy permalink

    Good Luck Satomi!! Stay strong Sean

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