Krysti was diagnosed in March 2005 with stage 4 bilateral IBC and lived more than 10 years, thanks in part to her participation in multiple clinical trials. Nicknamed “Dr. K,” she was dedicated to research and helping many others diagnosed with breast cancer. Krysti passed away in July 2015. She is greatly missed for her wonderful smile and sense of humor. [Krysti’s Gamma Knife treatment was administered at the Indiana University Melvin and Bren Simon Cancer Center]
What is Gamma Knife?
From Mayo Clinic: “Gamma Knife radiosurgery is a type of radiation therapy used to treat tumors, vascular malformations and other abnormalities in the brain. Gamma Knife radiosurgery, like other forms of stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS), is not surgery in the traditional sense because there is no incision. Instead, Gamma Knife radiosurgery uses specialized equipment to focus about 200 tiny beams of radiation on a tumor or other target with submillimeter accuracy. Although each beam has very little effect on the brain tissue it passes through, a strong dose of radiation is delivered to the place where all the beams meet.”
Krysti commented: “I wish I had a photo of the machine itself, darn it! But a one or two time zap where you are in the machine for less than a half hour, and all you do is smell something like burnt crayons is amazing. Zapping the tumor DNA and killing it from the inside out is amazing too. Surprisingly, this is one of the easier things I’ve been through even though the photos, and the idea of screws in your skull, probably doesn’t sound so easy!”