Yall. This may be brain surgery but let me assure that to the peeps involved (Dr Barnett and Dr Cheek and apparently some brainiac physicists who calculate laser beam ratios) it is Easy Street. It is so non invasive and non complicated that my mom asked (no lie…) if she could ‘push the button.’ The neurosurgeon, Dr. Barnett, maybe shouldn’t have mentioned that there was an ‘easy button’ and that’s pretty much the extent of their involvement on the day of the surgery?!? Before the big day, the doctors (neurosurgeon and radiation oncologist) put their smart heads together to decide what to do (angles and dosage) and then some big brained physicists do calculations to tell the equipment what to do and all that gets loaded into computer, double checked by Dr. Cheek (radiation oncologist) and then they ‘push the button’ which fires some stereotactic laser into my temple for about EIGHT MINUTES. Yes, all of this talk of “brain surgery” boils down to 8 minutes. The equipment and technology and brains involved in this stuff is so cool. And our medical team is even cooler. After our appointment with Dr. Cheek yesterday (who also did the radiation to breast and neck in 2012) my mom sent me this text:
“Really thought of today’s appt with Dr. Cheek as another encouraging visit. It seems like the neurologist-radiologist-physicist team involved in the radio surgery piece of this are top notch, even if they do keep the physicists in the basement and we didn’t get to meet with him (or maybe it’s the her). :) And how TOTALLY AMAZING is it that sweet Dr. Osborne would call Dr. Cheek while she is on vacation to pave the way for quick treatment for you, and that Dr. Barnett and Dr. Cheek were on the phone together after hours last night about your treatment. Absolutely awesome.”
To say the least, we are thankful. And admire the heck out of all 3 of these doctors and some mysterious physicists in the basement named Dana and Andre.
Today I went in to be fit for the uber tight mask that will hold my head in place to make sure they get the right spot. I also got a CT of the brain that they will overlay on the MRI to even more precisely calculate location and look for any more areas of concern. These people be smart.
The procedure (kind of hard to call it surgery when it’s so easy breezy) is at 230 next Thursday. Of course there are some risks (internal bleeding, swelling, headache or damage to that area which controls speech … That could be bad news bears for this talker!) but none of the doctors expect any complications. And though the tumor is not immediately eradicated it will slowly die, Lord willing, over following weeks and I will get a follow up MRI in 3 months (and the rest of my life). But while we expect this will work, Dr Cheek also told me to expect to have more lesions – but to be encouraged that we can expect to be able to treat them the same way. If for some reason this is ineffective in the targeted area (less than 10% chance I think) then we will do traditional surgery but the lesion is near my skull and in temple area so should he relatively accessible for surgery if needed. It’s tempting to try to ‘milk’ the ‘brain surgery’ for a week’s rest and vacation and doing nothing but the truth is that Dr Cheek said ‘we will have you in and out in an hour or so and should be great for dinner or even a glass of wine that night…’ For reals? Unfortunately, Jamie has decided she is my personal liver guardian and any reference to alcohol has her coughing and awkwardly saying ‘tumors in the liver’ under her breath. She makes a good Baptist:)
I for sure covet your continued prayers and even though the procedure is simple and doctors are genius we know that the Lord governs all and we trust Him above all. And we trust Him to work through all of the doctors and technology according to His will.
As Job said, ‘shall we accept good from the hand of the Lord and not the bad? … The Lord gives and the Lord takes away, blessed be the name of the Lord.’
We trust the One who numbered my days even before I was born, the One who loves me even more than the Mama who wanted to check the GPA and credentials of the physicists, the One who is not subject to statistics and the only One who is the Greatest Physician.