Saturday, December 20, 2008

12/29/08 - Ommaya Nickname

On Thursday, 12/18, I was playing Santa Claus again. I stopped by my Radiation Oncologist's office to drop off a petri disk filled with the stuffed neurons, and some more medical items. They did like the neurons... Anyhow, I showed one of his nurses (Linda) the surgery from my Ommaya Reservoir. She had seen them before , and proceeded to call it my "Easy®" button. Well, it is dome-shaped...

"That was easy..."

For anyone that might not know, the office supply store StaplesĀ® created the "Easy ButtonĀ®"a few years ago as an advertising device, and they still use it today. In fact, you can still buy one for $5.00. Just press it, presumably something magical happens, and then it declares, "That was easy..."

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

12/17/08 - Fuzzy Neurons

No, not some new kind of Neuron related to Fuzzy Math, but "stuffed animals" that resemble the cells. So, I bought one for myself (about a year ago?) from ThinkGeek, only to find out they have smaller ones this year in a "petri" dish. Kind of unique, I thought. Well, for better or worse, my doctors are getting them...

My stuffed neuron (~9.5" long)

Three smaller neurons in a petri dish

I was able to deliver my first two gifts yesterday, and the recipients indicated that they enjoyed them. Of course, their department is called the Neuro Clinic, so the plushes were destined for there. I also went to the manufacturer's website (Giant Microbes) yesterday, and they do have a more complete selection there.

12/17/08 - MU - Intrathecal Chemo #2

Yesterday, Tuesday 12/16/08 around 4:30, I received my second dose of intrathecal chemotherapy. My father took the pictures. For my first Intathecal Chemotherapy post, I was smiling in one of the posts, and someone commented on that. Well, Uncle Bill, I'm smiling in a lot of these pictures, and so is Lisa, my Physician's Assistant (PA). Not to make light of my condition, but as you can see from the smiles, some very stressful moments... (not)

Shaving Reservoir area

Cleaning Reservoir area

Extracting CSF

Injecting Intrathecal Chemotherapy (click to enlarge)

As I mentioned in my first Intrathecal Chemotherapy post, because the CSF occupies a relatively small area, some is first drawn off, and then the chemo drug (depocyte) is administered. This time, Lisa drew off about 7mL of CSF. They tend to add back less liquid so there isn't an overall surplus, so just imagine that she added about 6mL of chemo drug.

The extra CSF is tested Microscopically (not possible via other imaging techniques) for cancerous cells that may be suspended and indicate a disease spread. Lisa gave me the test results of the last CSF sample (collected 12/04/08), and it was negative for cancerous cells. Good news...

Oh yes, Carson, I did ask why they administered more traditional chemotherapy before this new round of intrathecal chemotherapy. The reason was because early on, my CSF showed no potential spread of the disease within it. So they had no reason to approach my treatment from that angle...

Sunday, December 14, 2008

12/14/08 - MU - Ommaya X-Ray

Wow, I just made some duplicate copies of a CD-Rom with various imaging types (MRI, CT Scans, my flow study) and I found something interesting. I never looked at the CT ("cat") scan images, because they tend to be lower resolution than MRIs. Well, I was making some copies, and I decided to look at them. There appears to be an X-Ray taken soon after my Ommaya Reservoir surgery. I think I may have still been under anesthesia, because my memory of it is foggy. Here it is...

Ommaya X-Ray (click to enlarge)

It clearly shows the Ommaya catheter running into my brain. It also shows the staples used to close up my "wound." Yeah, the white blobs around my molars are fillings...