The day we learned how to apply and change Optune arrays was like a festive party. We had a new weapon in our fight against GBM. And we added nCompass to our team.
Three or four days later, the day of our first scheduled array change arrived. On that day, our living room was empty. Reality set in. It was just Darrell and me.
As we began that first array change, my joy turned to fear. Despite the training we received, I was afraid. What if I didn’t do it right? What if my actions caused Darrell’s GBM to get worse? I put a lot of pressure on myself to follow all the directions, array placement maps, and rules.
But then I remembered the process we learned. I wiped my tears, followed the maps. I took my time and 40 minutes later, with the array change complete, Darrell powered up his Optune. The treatment light blinked on, and we went about our day.
After about three changes, we hit our array change stride. I began to relax and feel that—within recommended boundaries—array changes could have an artistic element. As long as I followed the array placement map and directions, Darrell was comfortable, and the Optune light came on, I knew I completed the array change successfully.
In time, we came up with our own array change hacks to make the process smoother and more fun. We discovered that Darrell relaxes better while watching reruns of his favorite detective show.
And the day we developed our double-team approach—where Darrell shaves his head while I prepare the arrays—we cut our change time down to 20 minutes. (Of course, everyone develops their own technique, but this works well for us.)
Travel and array changes
Travel was—and is—essential to us. When we wanted to take a cross-country train trip just one week after Darrell started Optune, we called nCompass and learned about the resources available for distant array changes. They gave us some tips and sent us on our way.
On that first trip, we learned that Optune is portable in every sense. We took Optune with us and have now changed arrays in several countries, in many U.S. states, and in dozens of cities.
We’ve changed arrays at our mountain cabin, in faraway hotels, and on trains and ships. All we need is rubbing alcohol, gauze, our Pitbull razor, arrays, and array placement map. With a small Optune travel kit, the party comes with us. We are the Optune party.
Hundreds of array changes later, we keep changing arrays…our way. Darrell gets out the equipment and prepares the arrays, we shave his head together, I place the arrays, and I manage the array maps.
I’ve learned to cut around the discs when Darrell’s scalp is irritated, and we’ve added some ointment approved by his medical team to ease those skin irritations. (Of course, this is Darrell’s experience and you should always talk to your doctor about any side effect you or your loved one may experience with Optune.)
But mostly we just keep on changing, using the same techniques we learned and then fine-tuned a little over time.
Throughout the years, what we learned about array changes is this:
We are never alone. nCompass support is just a phone call away.
The Optune materials are straightforward and portable.
We can change arrays on the go.
We have our own style, just like every other Optune team develops its signature style.
Where there’s a will…there’s an array!