When i was looking into this, there felt a lack of actual experiences so I want to detail mine.
First, I had brain surgery weeks ago. I became a candidate for gamma knife which is more targeted than whole brain radiation so I agreed to do it.
This experience was scary (awake and aware whole time). The calming meds did not help enough for me. In the beginning, a frame is placed on you and I found that terrifying. A woman next to me got hers first and she was so tense and wanted to cry. It took about 5 min to put on but there wasnt any pain. But i was disturbed by the sound/pressure made when they screwed a little into my head (2 in front, 2 in back). The worst was the pain in my ear because part of the frame is put into your ears to help orient it. Tell the dr and he will do what he can but I did not expect that. Afterwards, the frame doesnt bother at all. Looking at it made me feel like Frankensteins monster but I didnt notice it until I tried to eat or when they took it off.
The frame can make the gamma knife uncomfortable. I was in 2 positions that put a weird angle on my neck. The music was relaxing so I did fall asleep a couple times. Actual radiation took about 70 min (20 min for the other woman). There was no feeling from the radiation. I blame the frame for making it a difficult time for me! But I didnt actually feel much headaches or nausea. I was given meds afterwards but I was feeling only mild discomfort even at the end of treatment.
The frame came off quickly and I felt some pricking discomfort at the pin sites. It's difficult to rest my head with the pin sites. I do hope this experience was worth it and I dont want to do it again if possible. It is done pretty regularly near me so I assume it is a good procedure?
I am constantly amazed at the human ability to get through anything.
I'm still recovering. I haven't had too much side effects. Some people get headaches but also I heard people can feel it anywhere from weeks to months to years later! One thing I am feeling is tenderness where the pins went in. It has been 2 weeks so the scabs are gone but it does feel like a bad bruise. Also I am numb on the area that was treated but no one is concerned about it. My cognitive abilities are also the same as before which is great.
Apparently there are people who have done this treatment multiple times and in some places, there is a limit to how many times you can do it.
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