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Cedric's Story: Using Gamma Knife for Glioblastoma

Cedric Reynolds says "There is no doubt in my mind that the Gamma Knife saved my life." In 1999 he had an accident on his dirt bike and hit his head. Luckily he had his helmet on.

"Months after the accident I still felt dizzy every time I would look up. I knew something was wrong. An MRI showed I had a brain tumor. I was told I needed to have it removed right away. It was October 1999 when I had the brain surgery; the pathology came back - Glioblastoma multiforme, called GBM for short. It was rechecked and no change; after the operation I was still positive for GBM.

I was feeling sorry for myself at first, because my doctor said at best I had 11 months to live. I knew my diagnosis did not give me a lot of time on this earth, and I made the decision to educate myself and take control of my body. I was determined to get this tumor out of my head. I surfed the internet and read all the information I could on brain tumors. I found out about Barnes-Jewish Hospital and the Gamma Knife Center."

After he completed his whole brain radiation treatment, Cedric consulted a neurosurgeon at the hospital to see if Gamma Knife could eradicate the tumor altogether. "He presented my case to the tumor board advisory team for a plan; I was set up with an oncologist for chemotherapy, a radiation oncologist and my neurosurgeon to do the Gamma Knife procedure."

"My pathology slides were checked again and the GBM was still present. I started on chemotherapy (temador and accutane), in the Spring of 2000 and then had the Gamma Knife radiosurgery."

It has now been over four years since Cedric had the procedure and he is doing very well. "All of my MRI scans since the Gamma Knife has showed no recurrence, including my last one this Sept. 2004. I still follow-up with chemotherapy and continue to take accutane."

"I have worked at a government information system for many years," he says. "Although I was off for only a short time after surgery it was difficult at first to maintain my job. I had a lot of hurdles to overcome, not only in believing in myself but also I had to regain the confidence of my colleagues. But now I do everything I did before the accident. My hair has changed color but more important, my attitude on life is much better. My sense of humor is greater and I see life differently. The one thing I still want and look forward to, is getting married and having children."