Project Description

myrle-case-studyAt 79 years old, Myrle is not your typical senior. She retired from the financial planning business at 74. After three years of volunteer work, she decided to dive back into the job market, joining Prosperity Mortgage, a Wells Fargo joint venture, at the age of 77. The job had Myrle traveling throughout Delaware and nearby New Jersey and Pennsylvania, counseling other senior citizens about reverse mortgages. 

It was during this time, the fall of 2009, that Myrle started experiencing extremely painful headaches. Myrle has suffered from migraines all her life, but these headaches were different. She paid a visit to her doctor who suggested she get an MRI. The MRI revealed a tumor, a meningioma, located in her brain.

Myrle had a few options. She could undergo conventional surgery, but surgery carried some major risks including seizures and vision problems. She could also take the wait-and-see approach, but leaving the tumor untreated made Myrle uneasy. So she decided to undergo treatment using the CyberKnife® Robotic Radiosurgery System.

This outpatient, non-invasive procedure uses targeted beams of radiation to destroy tumors. CyberKnife radiosurgery would allow for the doctors to deliver the radiation to Myrle’s tumor while avoiding her normal brain tissue to minimize the chance of side effects. Myrle underwent three, half-hour CyberKnife treatments in August 2009.

“It was relaxing,” said Myrle. “I just laid on the table and listened to some nice music while the technicians kept track of my treatment.”

Myrle didn’t experience any side effects during her treatments. After each treatment, she left the hospital and went about her usual day, never missing a beat.

As of Jan. 2011, Myrle’s tumor is stable. It hasn’t grown, and her doctors expect it will begin to shrink over time. She no longer experiences those excruciating headaches and has been able to focus on her active life.

After a year of consulting and being on the road, Myrle decided to take a break and become a freelance writer. She spends her time reporting for a Delaware magazine aimed at seniors and writing white papers, grant proposals, and website content for local businesses. In her spare time, Myrle hopes to start her first novel.