Underwent treatment of salivary gland tumour with CyberKnife
“In 2010 I had a surgery to remove a malignant tumor. It’s common enough… I received radiation therapy, so that everything that was removed by a professional surgeon with the reserve was destroyed additionally by radiation. But I had to have surgeries every year after that… When I woke up after the last surgery (in January 2015), I was told that surgeons had had to remove one joint of the jaw to get to a deeply located relapsed nodule, and I thought: it’s all right, I’m alive, it is (it will be!) the last time. However, in April this year, I once again found out about extensive relapse and I realised that the surgery was impossible… But to have to undergo the hell of the traditional radiation therapy once again… I have long said to myself – no.
But some nice people told me about the possibilities provided by the Centre of radiosurgery in Sigulda Hospital. Radiation therapy I had undergone in 2010 was so painful and difficult that I had strong distrust and fear when I heard the recommendations about novelties in this area that are available in Sigulda. However, having considered all advantages and disadvantages, having had a wide range of emotions, mainly thanks to my family and friends, I had to make a decision – to try, because I had nothing else to lose, except for my life…
I won’t hide, I was very sceptic when I went for the first appointment to Sigulda (although the web-site contained very clear and promising information). When I was listening to Dr. Dace Saukuma, her words brought tears to my eyes. No one has ever given me any (as oncology is a field where nothing can be predicted), and everything was my own choice, and it was too much stress for me which prevented me from making this choice, as I usually do.
However, everything was so fast, simple and clear that I just stopped resisting. I was warned about the side effects after cyberknife procedure, whose I couldn’t avoid. I was mostly frightened by the notion of “slow-healing” and, perhaps, even “non-healing” ulcers… As I was explained, my malignant mass was covered with a skin layer which was only a few millimetre thick, both from the outside and in the oral cavity, therefore, despite precision of the smart beams, it would be better to have more healthy tissues around the tumour. That’s why it was quite difficult after the procedure, but thanks to the doctors, we were able to cope with it. I continue the treatment and I understand what it can’t get worse than it was. But the main thing is that it gave me back he Big Hope!
Now I can open my mouth, and it doesn’t hurt. A growth on my temple which was increasing in size almost on a daily basis in June causing severe pain has now decreased so much that it seems that it isn’t there anymore. Magnetic resonance imaging will show the real picture in a couple of months, and I hope it will be good. Doctors say that we will repeat radiosurgery, if necessary. And then I will agree without any doubts or fear!
I will be 50 soon.
Since my childhood, I have consulted many different doctors, I stayed in hospital; my relatives have been ill. I have never had an impression that the situation with medical personnel in Latvia is very bad, as we sometimes hear it in the society and in the media. But the specialists I met in the Radiosurgery Centre of Sigulda Hospital deserve to get the grand prize in medicine at least once! After the first conversation with the administrator Iveta over the phone, I have had the feeling that I was called by a representative of a special mission concerned only with my pain and my question. The feeling that you are the most important, the only patient, and that this place was built, equipped and settled for you only. You are welcome here! Not a single moment of emotional discomfort. Besides, everything is explained. They answer with a lot of patience, understanding, warmth and even apologise for keeping you waiting. I can say the same about any doctor. Both Dr. Dace Saukuma and Dr.Māris Mežeckis. About the specialists who helped me to get on the table before radiation session… I can express the same gratitude to any employee of Sigulda Hospital: each one of them made me feel like a VIP person, and this is no exaggeration.
I have not mentioned yet the appearance of the radiology office where the smart robot destroys the bad cells… Cherries blossom over your head in the blue sky. There are beautiful views of the ancient Gauja valley on the walls. Even if you don’t see it (I kept my eyes closed), I could listen to gentle birdsongs… and I only thought about good things.”
Radiosurgery procedure was completed in August 2016.