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Tumor Board

Tuesday, August 17, 2004 1:13 PM CDT

We met with doctors at Harborview yesterday. Dave has a new growth in his right frontal lobe. This new growth is very small, but it was not evident at his MRI in May, and shows on the MRI in July. It's quite scary that it has grown so quickly, and is in a new place. It's also scary that it grew while Dave was on temodar (chemo).

The doctors from the tumor board are recommending gamma knife. Gamma knife is high intensity radiation that is very accurate and focused on the tumor growth. There are 201 beams aimed at the tumor. (See the main page for a link to information about gamma knife, you have to scroll to the bottom.)

On Thursday, August 19, 2004, Dave will undergo gamma knife at Harborview in Seattle. We are hoping that this will halt the growth of the tumor.

He will go into the hospital at 7:00 am and they will place a halo or frame around his head, by screwing it into his skull (ouch! They will give him some IV pain meds). They took x-rays yesterday to determine the exact placement, because they want to avoid the area of his past surgeries, because this area is vulnerable to fracture.

Then they will do an MRI to determine the exact area of the tumor. Then they meet to plan the radiation exactly. Then Dave will be placed into the gamma knife machine. Depending on the shape and size and complexity of the growth, he will receive 1-4 "shots" of radiation, each consisting of 201 beams. They say this takes 1-3 hours.

The first MRI after radiation typically looks worse than before because of the swelling. The radiation will ruin the DNA of the tumor cells so it cannot multiply. So we won't know for 3-6 months how well this worked.

Most people tolerate the procedure pretty well, with minimal headaches and nausea. It can induce seizures, however, so they want him to stay in Seattle on Friday. Long term, there are two scary things. One: Dave has a large blind spot in his left eye, a result of the last surgery in June 2003. This gamma knife procedure could possibly damage the vision in his right eye. If that happens, he won't be able to drive. As you can imagine, he's not too keen on that happening.

Another danger is that since Dave has had radiation previously, he has about a 15 percent chance of developing radiation necrosis, which is proliferation of dead cells. This can cause the same problems the tumor does and would have to be removed via another surgery.

We will also have to meet with the neuro-oncologist in Seattle, because the temodar is obviously not working, and we need to decide what route to take.

So, please, please, pray for Dave on Thursday, pray for the doctors, too. Pray for God to heal him of this new tumor completely.


  1. Dave, I'm praying for you! I love you! Love, your wife
    Walla Walla, WA USA - Tuesday, August 17, 2004 1:59 PM CDT

  2. We are sending our prayers, thoughts and love, along with strength for your journeys. Mom & Dad Bond
    Carol & Dennis Bond
    Ocean Park, WA - Tuesday, August 17, 2004 2:03 PM CDT

  3. All of you Meyer-folk make my heart smile when I think about you and all of the happy times we shared. I miss you all so much but want you to know that you are never far from my thoughts but even closer in my prayers.

    God speed and pax,
    Tiffany <><
    Tiffany Buissink
    Spokane, WA USA - Tuesday, August 17, 2004 2:10 PM CDT

  4. I love you all. I hope you feel the strength of all of us as we do whatever we can to help you through this.

    I had a law school professor who was diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor. He swore that green tea and rice vinegar had made the difference in shrinking the tumor enough to operate and has been clean for 7 years now.

    My thoughts are with you.
    Kevin Bayley
    San Francisco, CA USA - Tuesday, August 17, 2004 2:29 PM CDT

  5. Dear Meyer family,

    You are one of my favorite "Pioneer" families and I'm sending my prayers and thoughts to all of you.
    Diana McNamara
    Walla Walla , WA USA - Tuesday, August 17, 2004 2:46 PM CDT

  6. Our thoughts and prayers are with you each and every day, as they have been from the beginning. Your strength, your courage, your attitude and your faith never cease to amaze us. We love you, Dave!
    Cindy Lorang & family
    Walla Walla, W USA - Tuesday, August 17, 2004 4:14 PM CDT

  7. To Dave and Michelle.... From a distance the two of you have taught me more about the meaning of Faith and inner strength than I've learned listening to all the Priest in all the Churches where I have knelt .... May the beacon of your Faith forever be the light that guides your footsteps ...
    Janice Bond
    Ramona , CA USA - Tuesday, August 17, 2004 4:41 PM CDT

  8. Surely God is my salvation; I will trust and not be afraid. The LORD , the LORD , is my strength and my song; he has become my salvation." Isaiah 12:2
    God be with you and your family. I will fast and pray. God is good all the time.
    Ron Huwe
    College Place, Wa USA - Tuesday, August 17, 2004 4:42 PM CDT

  9. Hi Dave,
    You have one terrific wife!! She is an absolute doll!! You are very lucky to have her. I want you to know that there are many many prayers coming your way from Utah!!! You have such a cute little family. We are praying that you will beat the beast!! And good luck with the Gamma Knife!! We are praying for you my friend!!!
    Lots of Love and Hope,
    Danny and Julie
    and Morgan and Mason
    Dan and Julie
    Payson, Utah USA - Tuesday, August 17, 2004 6:01 PM CDT

  10. Dave, Michelle, Kenny, Zach & Kaitlyn - Your strength as a family is tested again and again, but it just seems to make you stronger. Our wonderful miracle man is surrounded by love; that makes him fortunate indeed. If there is ever anything we can do to help, please ask.

    Love you all!
    Deb, Kevin, Jake & Meg Wright
    Walla Walla, WA USA - Tuesday, August 17, 2004 6:01 PM CDT

  11. Dave,
    You don't know me but I know all about you from your wonderful wife. We chat via the brain tumor on-line support group. I have been praying for you for quite some time now. I feel confident that you will overcome these recent challenges. Sending more prayers from NJ!! Your friend, Doris
    Doris Meyer
    NJ USA - Tuesday, August 17, 2004 6:49 PM CDT

  12. Our thoughts and prayers will be with you on Thursday. May the gamma knife do its job well! I wish you peace and joy in the midst of the fight. God bless you and your whole beautiful family, from some comrades in the battle.
    Bob & Anne Wityk
    TImonium, MD USA - Tuesday, August 17, 2004 6:56 PM CDT

  13. Dearest Dave and Family,
    My warmest wishes and lots of prayers and good thoughts coming to you from New Jersey. I hope all goes well.....
    Debbie Bartole
    Trenton, NJ USA - Tuesday, August 17, 2004 7:29 PM CDT

  14. Dave,

    All the very best to you from another BT family... and if your vision gets a bit fuzzy, well, driving is not all it's cracked up to be, anyway! (We visited the neuroroopthamologist for some help).

    Take care :)
    Pam Hirtzer
    Piedmont, CA USA - Tuesday, August 17, 2004 7:29 PM CDT

  15. Dave
    we will be keeping you in our prayers. Hope all goes well.
    steve walk
    WW, WA usa - Tuesday, August 17, 2004 7:34 PM CDT

  16. Scott and I, Ray and Heidi, Chris and Shannon all send you love and prayers for a very successfull surgery. You are such a wonderful family, I know God will carry you through, love Gwen
    Gwen Campbell
    Camas, WA USA - Tuesday, August 17, 2004 7:44 PM CDT

  17. Hi Dave and Michelle, Thank-you so much for the website. Will and I have wondered often how you all are. Will is deployed right now to the Persian Gulf but I passed along this web site and will also cut and paste the information to send him in an email in case he can't access the site from where he is. You will all definitely be in our prayers through this trying and scary time! Our hearts go out to your family. Please know we think of you often and wish we were closer so we could be of more support. For now we know that you are in God's hands and we find solice in knowing that He has a plan for all things. May God Bless and heal you!
    Stacy Mouat
    Jacksonville , FL USA - Tuesday, August 17, 2004 7:59 PM CDT

  18. Dear Dave, Michelle, Kenny, Zach and Kaitlyn!
    We will indeed be praying for, and in the months to follow as well. We are praying for a successful surgery, no side effects and a quick recovery. Dave, we want you back in Walla Walla (with a new brief case) ASAP!
    Kevin, Kirsten and Pribilsky crew
    Walla Walla, WA USA - Tuesday, August 17, 2004 8:41 PM CDT

  19. Hi Meyer Family! We are praying for you- for all of you. May God surround you with peace.
    Tom & Missy Peterson
    - Tuesday, August 17, 2004 8:43 PM CDT

  20. My thoughts and prayers are with you!
    the Ruley's: Vicki, Steve and Marc
    Vicki Ryley
    Walla Walla, WA USA - Tuesday, August 17, 2004 9:04 PM CDT

  21. We want you back in our neighborhood borrowing ketchup and watching trees fall that too much to ask?
    But until then, as God takes you once more into the hands of doctors far from home, we will hold you up in prayer knowing that you know the power of his mighty love. All our love...
    Gary, Judy, Greg and Nick Peasley
    Walla Walla, WA USA - Tuesday, August 17, 2004 9:29 PM CDT

  22. Our thoughts and prayers are with you.

    Eloise Boren
    Bend, OR USA - Tuesday, August 17, 2004 9:33 PM CDT

  23. OK, Dave, you are one of the lucky ones. I'd love to blast my tumor away with Gamma Knife. Glad you can do this procedure. You will be in my prayers and thoughts as you go through this. What a great looking guy you are with that georgeous daughter. Keep On Keepin' On and Kick that tumor's A..!!
    Love and God's blessings,
    Martha Jo Chalmers
    Albany, , CA USA - Tuesday, August 17, 2004 9:40 PM CDT

  24. What a beautiful picture of you and your daughter. You hang in there, keep the faith and keep looking up! You and you family will be in my prayers and thoughts. I play BeeBop at The Club. What a wonderful, blessed family you are!!!
    Roxboro, NC USA - Tuesday, August 17, 2004 9:57 PM CDT

  25. Hi you guys,
    Our thoughts and prayers will be with you on Thursday and the days following. Speedy recovery. We are all pulling for you. Great pictures.
    Love ya,
    Ron & Arlyne
    Ron & Arlyne Abbott
    - Tuesday, August 17, 2004 10:25 PM CDT

  26. You don't know me, but my prayers are with you. I've been through some overwhelming medical hurtles also. Be strong.
    Cambridge, MD USA - Tuesday, August 17, 2004 11:17 PM CDT

  27. Dave ~ We keep you in our prayers always. You'll be in our thoughts and prayers especially on Thursday. Stay strong and keep believing ~ we love you lots!
    Debi and Dan
    Debi & Dan Spjut
    Kelso, WA USA - Tuesday, August 17, 2004 11:57 PM CDT


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