Got past the embolization - which is often a same day procedure but turned out to be a 3 day mess of nastiness for me when I woke up in pain that got worse as time wore on.
Interestingly, my pain problem was more with my scalp than anything else, probably because the blood vessels they'd been working on in the embolization were very near the surface of the skin.
It felt the same as when my mother would accidentally french braid my hair too tight and it pulled hard enough to hurt my scalp or like someone had grabbed a big handful of my hair and pulled really hard. They did a quick CT scan when the pain got so bad I needed medication for it and found there was no new bleeding (thankfully).
They let me out of the hospital 2 days later and abrasions did appear on my scalp a few days after that, so I at least know I wasn't imagining it all.
The worst part (other than the pretty intense pain while I was in ICU) was the collateral damage that seems to be part and parcel of any medical procedure - I had been stuck 4 times in one arm and 3 in another as they attempted to put in 3 IVs and one arterial line. One of the IVs blew the vein and when a nurse tried to flush it before realizing it was blown out, I thought I was going to go through the roof it hurt so badly. I had a hard time closing my fingers or bending my wrist on the arm with the arterial line after they took it out(they had put it in after I was out cold, but I could see the bruises where they had tried for the line and missed).
The thigh bruising wasn't as bad this time as last time - I still had a lovely rainbow about 6 inches by 8 right where the thigh meets the pelvis from the angiogram they had done 10 days earlier when they did the brand new angiogram, but there seemed to be a lot less bruising this time around.
I put my foot down, though, when the doctor wanted to schedule my gamma knife for 5 days after they let me out of the hospital from the embolization. At that point I felt like someone had beaten me to a pulp and the gamma knife would require more IVs in places I was still sporting bruises from previous ones, another angiogram in the same thigh and getting local anesthesia in a scalp that was raw and abraded from the embolization. Not a chance, I told the scheduling nurse.
I think sometimes they forget there's a real honest to goodness person who may be in pain on the other end of that scalpel they're wielding so diligently.
So my gamma is now scheduled for late March. After that, I play the waiting game to see whether any of the really nasty side effects (seizures, tissue necrosis) show up and if the radiation actually kills off Aaron Echolls.
If it doesn't totally take Aaron out in the 2-3 year window we have, I will most likely opt not to continue with any other treatment at that point (unless they've come up with something super non invasive).