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CyberKnife -- In Treatment

Kongo's picture
Kongo
Posts: 1167
Joined: Mar 2010

I completed my first (of five) CyberKnife sessions today. The following describes the procedure.

Preparatory protocol involves a low fiber diet, an overnight laxitive and Gas-X, and a Fleet enema in the morning prior to the appointment. The object is to remove as much gas and material from the colon and bladder as possible in order to reduce prostate movement during the procedure.

On arriving at the CyberKnife Center I dressed in scrubs and was positioned on the table with my lower legs in a previously made mold to reduce involuntary pelvic movement. It took about 10 minutes for the radiation techs to properly position me and the CyberKnife computer to locate and track the four gold fiducials which had been inserted about three weeks previously. The doctor and chief radiologist double check everything and give the go-ahead to start the procedure.

The room with the robot is in about a 25x25 space with the robot connected to the adjustable bed and two imaging devices mounted from the ceiling. The control room is located adjacent to the CyberKnife room and the patient is seen on four seperate cameras along with a speaker system for communication.

I put my iPod into the stereo system with a selection of Enya, crossed my arms over my chest, closed my eyes, the room lights dimmed, and the robot starting moving about. It moves fairly rapidly and smoothly with a low buzzing sound and positions itself in a wide variety of positions to deliver the dosage to the prostate from dozens of different angles. On a few occasions the robot shut down as it sensed that my prostate was moving beyond the limits it is programmed to accomodate and then it comes back on after about 15 seconds. Afterward, I was shown a tracking chart that showed the movement of the prostate and was surprised at how much it moved about...up to 3 mm at a time.

The session lasted 40 minutes. I was advised when we were halfway through the procedure. There was no sensation of anything other than my left arm went to sleep near the end. Although it is only the first session, several hours afterward there has been no urinary urgency or bowel irritation.

The remaining four sessions are planned to be exactly the same as this one.

Afterward, I changed clothes and went to work.

My five sessions will be on a M, W, F, M, W schedule.

So far, so good.

Trew
Posts: 891
Joined: Jan 2010

I like listening to Enya, too.

Sounds a lot easier than surgery.

mrspjd
Posts: 688
Joined: Apr 2010

Kongo,
Excellent, detailed post! There is a gentleman looking into Cyberknife in one of the PCa groups we attend and I've recommended he read your C-K postings. Look forward to following your progress. Make that 3 of us that enjoy listening to Enya :)
Best,
mrs pjd

BRONX52
Posts: 156
Joined: Apr 2010

--SOUNDS LIKE THE FIRST SESSION WENT SMOOTHLY. HERE'S WISHING YOU CONTINUED SUCCESS WITH YOUR REMAINING SESSIONS. YOU'VE BEEN VERY INFORMATIVE WITH YOUR POSTS AND SPOT ON WITH THE DETAILS !!! WE'RE ALL ROOTING FOR YOU !! DAN

lewvino's picture
lewvino
Posts: 1004
Joined: May 2009

Kongo,
Thanks for sharing. I called a cyberknife center yesterday and was told they can not perform Cyperknife for salvage therapy. So If I start radiation will have to look at other options.

Good luck on your progress.

Larry

Kongo's picture
Kongo
Posts: 1167
Joined: Mar 2010

Larry, I saw your post regarding CK on the Healing Well board and didn't think they use CK as a salvage treatment but I understand that IMRT or other forms of radiation are very successful in treating recurring PCa after RP. Hope your journey goes smoothly. I can only imagine the frustration you must feel with having to start the process again. Will be thinking good thoughts for you.

Kongo's picture
Kongo
Posts: 1167
Joined: Mar 2010

Sent you an email on the CSN email network about this that you might find useful.

YTW's picture
YTW
Posts: 62
Joined: Apr 2010

Longo: We met a few months ago on the Cyberknife forum and you were quite helpfull in my making my decision to go the Cyberknife route. I dont see my rad-oncologist until July 12th and am starting to get a little anxeous. Will be following your post clostly and will be wishing you all the best of course....................Jimmy

Kongo's picture
Kongo
Posts: 1167
Joined: Mar 2010

Hope your session goes well and the procedure is the right one for you. Where are you planning to have treatment?

YTW's picture
YTW
Posts: 62
Joined: Apr 2010

Kongo: I will be treated at the University Hospital here in Cleveland, Ohio. They were one of the very first to be in the original clinical study group and have as much experiance as just about any other facility. My rad-oncol is an M.D. & PHD in nuke medicine and tells me that if he were in my condition & stage (T1C). that he would do the same himself......................................................Jimmy

Kongo's picture
Kongo
Posts: 1167
Joined: Mar 2010

I'm sure you're in good hands there. I've talked or met with doctors at two different CK centers here in southern California and they were all extremely qualified, professional, and experienced. I do my second treatment tomorrow. I think I'll listen to Yanni for this trip and go to work afterward. Still no ill effects or symptoms from the first treatment on Monday but I always thought that if there were going to be side effects I probably wouln't see them till after all the sessions.

mrshisname's picture
mrshisname
Posts: 186
Joined: Feb 2010

Way to go Kongo! Glad that this is going so well for you and with little side effects. May the good news continue! Will follow your journey with great interest.

Kongo's picture
Kongo
Posts: 1167
Joined: Mar 2010

Finished my second treatment this morning and almost fell asleep listening to Yanni. As before, no hiccups, no after effects, no nothing. Hope it all continues to go this smoothly but I know there is a possibility of some side effects in the next week or so...mostly a sense or urgency or reduced stream caused by inflammation from the radiation dose. I'm taking ibuprofen to counter that and so far it seems to have worked.

Thanks everyone for your support.

Swingshiftworker
Posts: 616
Joined: Mar 2010

Looking good, Kongo!

As I recall from my research on CK, you should not notice anything until a month or so after your final treatment because the radiation effects are cumulative and require some time to manifest themselves. Those effects should be limited to urgency to urinate, although there is a possibility of rectal bleeding. ED should not be an issue, especially if you are taking ED medication like cialis or viagra.

Just got my new Blue Shield ID card and contacted my radiation oncologist to try to speed up getting an appointment w/the PCP (primary care physician) who has to make a referral back to the oncologist for me to start treatment. Typical HMO bureaucracy, which will delay treatment a bit, but I'm still hoping to receive treatment sometime in August.

Keep us posted!

randy_in_indy's picture
randy_in_indy
Posts: 493
Joined: Oct 2009

Sounds Awesome so far! Keep up the good reports. Great to follow the progress of this treatment! I Will be clebrating this Friday-Sunday with a fellow survivor in the Zero Club.

Randy

viperfred
Posts: 20
Joined: Jun 2010

Hi Kongo,

Hope you continue to have no side effects.

Kongo's picture
Kongo
Posts: 1167
Joined: Mar 2010

Finished up my third treatment today and continue with zero side effects. Listened to Yo-yo Ma today and actually fell asleep. The radiologist says I'm an "ideal patient" as the prostate doesn't move much at all. Thinking about a steak and dry martini.

YTW's picture
YTW
Posts: 62
Joined: Apr 2010

Kongo: Not me...If I were 3/5 of the way done, I would treat myself to the "breakfast of champions" for us old retired firefighters...cold pizza & warm beer...Best of luch on number 4 & 5.....Jimmy

Kongo's picture
Kongo
Posts: 1167
Joined: Mar 2010

YTW...

Sorry, but couldn't handle the cold pizza and beer tonight. Had my steak and martini(s) at Ruth's Chris and savored every bite! I'm glad to be over the hump.

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