Gamma knife update with a side of diabetes.
Spoiler alert: my videos still suck…
The latest MRI scan showed 47 tumours in my head. The original plan was to tackle the most problematic ones, but today the doctor and I threw that plan out the window and now we are going to hit them all! HARD! The doctor was clear: this is an aggressive plan! He literally used the phrase: “This is a balls out plan” and my response was “well let’s get our balls out then!” When have I ever backed down from a challenge right?
When all is said and done I actually receive 8% of the amount of radiation I received last time thanks to this new technology.
What’s the treatment like?
They make a mask for your head to immobilize it completely and you lay on a table for about two hours. This is not surprisingly very uncomfortable. Then the machine calibrates your position and they attach an infrared tracker to your nose. If this tracker moves too much during the session then the machine stops, kicks you out and re-calibrates. This just delays things further. I found that when I swallow it pushes the mask and hurts my neck and Adam’s apple. I need to learn to swallow better (giggity).
Today was my second to last session and I haven’t experienced any side effects at all! (Unless my brain is too fried to notice :D). Further down the line there could be swelling or bleeding but here’s hoping. Those effects can cause nausea and headaches, but here’s hoping.
Since I have to stop taking my cancer drugs during treatment there could possibly be new tumours forming in the rest of my body while I’m off the meds. Hopefully once I go back on it then that stops any new tumours or reduces the existing ones. HERE’s HOPING!
I’m still on a relatively high dose of steroids that causes a bunch of side effects: Muscle wastage, blood sugar spikes (that’s the diabetes thing I was talking about), acne and sleeplessness. Most nights I wake up at 1:30 am and can’t fall back asleep. It sucks.
What’s this diabetes thing you’re talking about?
Ever since going on this steriod my blood sugar has been all over the place. So 4 times a day, I do a blood glucose test. If my blood sugar is above 10 mmol/L then I have to take an insulin shot called Humalog. Every night I also give myself a long lasting insulin shot called Lantus. The goal is to adjust the Lantus dose so I don’t need to take Humalog during the day. Right now I take 60 units of Lantus every night and for the most part I haven’t really needed the Humalog. There are still occasions when I pig out on sweets and carbs and that pushes me over the limit. But I like treats!
I’m open to tips for controlling this if anyone out there has some! Not really about what foods are good, I already know a lot about that. I mean about what levels are acceptable and how you manage the poking test and the shots. I find that my blood glucose monitor accuracy can vary. For instance if I take my glucose level and it’s 11, then I take it immediately after it’s 9. This inaccuracy can lead to me stabbing myself with Humalog for no reason. The shots don’t really hurt as it’s a very tiny needle, but it leaves scar tissue.
I start tapering off the steroid on Tuesday 8, May 2018. Hopefully as I discontinue it my body’s endocrine system comes back online and I don’t need any insulin management! Then I can go back to eating treats whenever I like!
Here’s a little chart of my blood sugar levels if anyone is interested:
How did I handle the treatment?
Music! I brought in a Bluetooth speaker and played some tracks to pass the time. I also counted the tracks to get a sense of time passed. Knowing that an average song is about 4 minutes long, it’s easy Math. Also the technicians said they really liked my music. Which also included some of your suggestions, so thank you for that!
Tomorrow (Friday 4th) is my last session. Hopefully I don’t have to go back and the gamma knife eliminated the all the bad stuff in my brain! There’s always the possibility of new/regrowth because cancer is an unstoppable little bitch! But we’ll keep fighting. No. Matter. What. That I promise you!
I see my oncologist on Monday 7th May, and we’ll talk about the cancer drug and its efficacy. Hopefully I can just keep taking it since I’m tolerating it well. *fingers crossed*
I feel really good about this!
If anyone wants a shirt like this, I got it from a site called spreadshirt
As always – thanks for all your support, I really couldn’t do this without you! #hartnation
May the 4th be with you!