My name's Dave. I live in Minnesota. I've been using the Optune device for a little over four months now. I do everything I was doing before Optune—still doing dishes, still doing laundry, still vacuuming, still chasing kids, still being Dave.
We decided to go to a bar Monday night and, like everybody else in the 90s, that’s where I met my wife. We just celebrated our 25th, last week. I was just kind of not feeling normal. I was standing in one place for about 10 minutes, and I asked Wendy “How long have I been standing here?” and she's like “I don't know.” I'm like “Well I can't really move my legs.” Then it was a holiday weekend I really took a downhill, kind of had a really rough week, and I didn't feel good. I was just not feeling well.
And a doctor said, “Let’s schedule you for an MRI.” They sent it over to my doctor—or the doctor that had requested the MRI—and she said “Is your wife present? I'd like her in the room when we discuss this.” When Wendy came in, the doctor said “Yes, there's a mass on your brain about the size of a golf ball—a little bit larger” and jaws dropped, and we basically were scheduled for surgery the following Monday.
There wasn't a lot of emotion at that point except for shock because I was more worried at that point about letting his family know and getting our girls in the loop and those sorts of things.
The girls was a little more difficult. We've kept nothing from them the entire time we've had them, and this is something that they needed to know about. They needed to know that, you know, this is not something trivial. This is life-changing for all. Treatment plan after that was daily radiation therapy coupled with the chemo. Once that came down the line and we were done at the radiation therapy, the Optune device was mentioned as an option. Our prognosis is not the best. If you're going to be provided options, you need to explore those options. The goal and game is to keep things at bay.
The doctor gave us the website. I really didn't have any qualms about starting it again. It was an option, and that's all I wanted was “Give me options.” The first couple of days were, you know, just getting used to it because you're working with a machine that you have the basics for, but you're not, you know, “what can I do, what can't I do, do I need to turn it off if I'm in the bathroom, what if…” But then it's just a piece of you. It's like carrying your murse. We'll call it a murse, not a purse.
Initially I thought it was just overwhelming because I knew that it was going be me that had to apply the arrays, and that's sort of intimidating.
Wendy does my array changes and, you know, every three to four days is when we do it, and Maddie—our middle daughter—also knows how to do the array change. I haven't quite attempted it myself, but I think I could give it a go if, you know, worst-case scenario. You have the map, which is really nice the first few times. It shows you where to put them. It’s, start to finish, half an hour, so it's not like it's an all-day project, and you're back on the road again. Your scalp does get a little dry. I've noticed the last few changes I think, so I see my doctor on Thursday, and we're going to see if there is some kind of lotion.
The compliance piece is 75 percent, which of course—I have an English degree—but I think it's about six hours of downtime a day. It's just a matter of timing. If I know Monday nights I have golf league and I know Monday night I'll want to be free from the device, then I will build up hours and then I know I have that three-hour window to go play league golf, and I'll come back, get cleaned up, put arrays back on. You just get used to taking it with you. It's very portable. That's what you want is portable. You don't want to be tied down.
I sleep in it every night. I do wear the hat at night just because, you know, you roll around, you curl up one and it's—you get an error message. So, I do wear my mesh hat at night just to keep things in place.
I didn't think he'd be able to sleep. It's been amazing to me how it actually has become part of our life.
The doctor said, you know, “As long as you can tolerate it and you're not hurting yourself.” The challenge is really more weather-related—again, depending on your climate. Here, you know, with the humidity and the heat, every couple three days, a change is going to be needed. You know, people stop me all the time and ask, “What do you got there?” They think it's cool.
Maddie is working. Em just got a brand-new job. She's the oldest and got engaged over Easter weekend. So, we are very much looking forward to a wedding in November, which we will do a shower for at the lake, right after we finish up prom with 50 of my closest in-laws. You know it's going to be interesting to see how this all goes down.
Before we started the Optune treatment plan, we went to Jamaica with my brother and sister-in-law and we were sitting there and, you know, there's fathers walking their daughters down the beach on the hour every hour—all day long it seemed like—and that's an opportunity I need to have.