Wednesday, February 01, 2012

Gamma Knife Day with Jesus

A week ago today we traveled over the UVA for the Gamma Knife surgery. I've been laying low and feeling low since then. Or maybe up and down is more accurate. In some ways I think the gamma knife was harder than the craniotomy I had back in August even though this was non invasive.

What was supposed to take 4 or 5 hours took 9.

Everyone knows the first thing you do when you prepare for surgery is put on nothing but a paper gown, sit in a freezing cold room and wait. At least they let me keep my hat on!

First I was sedated and the stereo tactic frame was screwed on around 10 a.m. Thus far, I am fine, my head good and numbed up.

The Gamma Knife team came in and took measurements of my head to work out my treatment plan. Things seemed to be moving along. Plus, Craig is problem.

I was then wheeled up to MRI around 12:15 where I proceeded to sit for another two hours. At this point the local anesthesia of my scalp is beginning to wear off and my catheter blew and had to be removed. I had the pleasure of being stuck four times that day.

I am finally put into the MRI machine a little after two and then taken to the Gamma Knife waiting area. I finally went into the Gamma Knife at around 4 p.m.

Then the frame was removed. By that time I had already been given three Vicoden but when they took that frame off.....I had THE worst headache of my life. One of the pin sites was squirting blood was quite a show. Dr Poffenbarger, the surgical wizard that he is, put a stitch in that in less than 10 seconds. Amazing.

So back up to finally eat after 24 hours and wait to be released. We are so happy because it is over. See how happy we are? This photo was taken at about 5:30 p.m.

Ok, so I say all this not only to give you the rundown with neat photos, but to tell you that the Lord Jesus was most faithful in the midst of this trying day.

First, my MRI I had that day showed the tumor has shrunk from 10mm to 6 mm. All my fears about Avastin (of which there are many), the tumor starving drug, as real as they are, must submit to what we have asked of God: to lead us down the right treatment path to kill GBM. That drug is a powerful drug in the hands of an even greater more powerful God. Each time I am tempted to run over in my mind the list of scary side effects, I must choose to return to what we asked of God and believe He is doing: running the show. Jesus is walking with us, going into the MRI machine and the Gamma Knife with me. Feeling how I feel getting poked over and over.

I was feeling pretty low sitting on that stretcher waiting for the MRI for two hours. Cornered, waiting, with some heavy ridiculous contraption on my head. He is good to force me into places which I cannot run from and have no other to run to. These tight spaces reveal what I am really putting my hope in. They are the pits of refinement by fire and how He brings forth the pure gold. Humility, empathy....truth in the inward woman. He knows how best to build those things in us. Does it hurt? Yep. Is it fun? Heck no. But on the other side is the the fruit of righteousness. You can count on it.

The pain in your life, whatever it is or wherever it is from, either the consequences of your own choices, the choices of others or those of a fallen, dying world, is an opportunity for God to show Himself great for His glory, your good and the good of those around you. All you have to do is cry out to Him.


It is for discipline that you endure; God deals with you as with sons; for what son is there whom his father does not discipline? But if you are without discipline, of which all have become partakers, then you are illegitimate children and not sons. Furthermore, we had earthly fathers to discipline us, and we respected them; shall we not much rather be subject to the Father of spirits, and live? For they disciplined us for a short time as seemed best to them, but He disciplines us for our good, so that we may share His holiness. All discipline for the moment seems not to be joyful, but sorrowful; yet to those who have been trained by it, afterwards it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness." Therefore, strengthen the hands that are weak and the knees that are feeble, and make straight paths for your feet, so that the limb which is lame may not be put out of joint, but rather be healed."

Hebrews 12


Kathleen Krucoff said...

So powerful. Thank you for sharing. May God continue to bless you and hold you close. The healing continues, as do my prayers for your full recovery.

elizabeth dishman said...

Thank you so much for this good word, Tracey. For your example, and your willingness to rejoice in God's ways. I pray for that same grace in my lesser but real and stubborn pains...

Elizabeth said...

Well girl, you made it through with amazing grace!!!! Brava!!! Hurray for Avastin!!!! Thinking of you and praying for you, always!!!

Maureen said...

Tracey, how wonderful to know the tumor has shrunk.

Your and Clark's smiles inspire, as does your deep faith. I think of you every day. My online cancer group includes you in our prayers. May God continue to hold you in His grace.

wren said...

Your faith and courage and maturity grow in beauty every time you write. You write with breathtaking honesty and trust in God. I'd like to make a copy of this blog to take to a friend with Stage 4 breast cancer who is on Round 2 of Chemo before radical surgery - you can comfort her as few others can, because you ARE THERE now, in the Refiner's fire, seeing the GOLD come forth as the dross burns away. Thank you, Tracey, for revealing Jesus to us.

Anonymous said...

Praise God Tracy for total confirmation that God has worked is working and continues to work in your life.We don't know each other but I think I got connected with you thru Chuck Watson's facebook or mayby Shirley Theabald, either way i am going thru cancer being found in stage 3 of the breast and relate to all your seeing in our wonderful and faithful father. U am going thru chemo and going on my second round on 2/3...Its a journey i praise Him for because of all He has is and will be doing...Please feel free to contact me I have been on this diet that a nutritionist has suggested and maybe might help you. Does not let cancer feed on your nutrition and combat the drugs i am taking.
Please contact me at
In His Peace
Joyce Suggs

Nic Yohn said...

Tracey - whenever I read your blog - I laugh, I cry and am in awe of you and your faith. Blessings to you and may God continue to cover you with His Peace and LOVE.

Pete Jackson said...

You're determination and stamina are absolutely amazing...all I can say is that it leads me to the throne of God! Paulette and I continue to pray for you all regularly and trust with you in our all-powerful and loving God! May the Lord continue to bring you peace and strength as you walk this path...we love you guys!

Pete Jackson

Anonymous said...

I pray everyday that He will take care of you. Carrol

jeylv1 said...

We love you and want you to know that we are proud of your brave battle. Your faith moves me.....hugs.
Jennifer and Cameron

Anonymous said...

Tracy, thanks so much for sharing your heart with us during this challenging time.
We continue to pray you experience the presence and peace of Jesus.

Troy& Teri Coons

Maria said...

Thank you SO much for sharing your day! God be praised!!!! I stand with you in awe at how gracious He continues to be in our broken world! Praying for you, Sister!

Breland said...

You are a rock star.