Krysti comments: “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….and zapping the tumor DNA and killing it from the inside out is amazing too….surprisingly 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!”

Krysti after signing consent forms


After signing consent forms – awaiting Gamma to start – get this tumor gone!

Krysti and the HaloThe first thing the doc does is inject your head/scalp with lidocaine to numb it – it pinches and this about the most I felt. Then they screw in the halo frame with 4 screws – two in the front on your forehead and two in the back (no shaving of hair even)….the frame just feels heavy. You are then taken to MRI with the frame on to get exact tumor photos for precision stereotactic placement of the beam. Next it’s a hurry up and wait as the doctor and the computer are creating a treatment plan.
Krysti and the Space HelmetThe clear helmet gives you a space explorer look!….it attaches to the frame and you wear it into the machine where the huge heavy beam directors (probably not the correct verbage) are placed over it. As I mentioned – you smell something like burnt crayons when in the machine. My location (at IU Simon) let me bring my own CD to listen to while in the GammaKnife machine.
Krysti Immediately Post Treatment


After Gamma they unscrew the frame from your head – just a bit of blood, but some pressure from the doc and nurse stop that….I had to wear the gauze for a few hours and had bandaids on my forehead. Couldn’t wash my hair for a couple days and healed in about a week or ten days.

Krysti Post Treatment


Felt good enough both times to meet a bunch of the family at a Mexican restaurant and have a beer – although the gauze looks intimidating, I felt fine!

Krysti on Cell Phone Awaiting Treatment


Editor’s note: our favorite photo shows Krysti talking on her cell phone while waiting for treatment. Can you see that smile behind the halo?