This is my first post, though I've been reading the forum a lot in the last week. Everyone here seems so supportive and the information has been invaluable in my preparation to talk to my doctor about my options. My AN was diagnosed about 2 years ago. It has grown more rapidly than expected. The doctor now indicates it is pushing out the nerve canal and heading toward the brain (or brain stem...I think I stopped listening in there somewhere). I've known it was growing, but until now there was not much discussion of treatment. The doctor mentioned radiation once as a "what if." Now with it approaching the brain (stem), I'm wondering if that is still going to be the best or most logical treatment. I can barely comprehend surgery. The fact that my mother died from a Glioblastoma multiforme brain tumor back in 1983 probably doesn't help, though I know this is by no means the same animal.
I'd be lying if I said I wasn't scared though. I haven't had the best couple of years health wise and I don't seem to have much time to get past one thing before another crops up. I left work last October on disability because of severe depression and fatigue. In March, I finally found out it wasn't depression...it was adrenal insufficiency (Addison's Disease). Another 1 in 100,000 of rare diseases. How's that for "luck"? I was close to an adrenal crisis it had gotten so bad. I guess, under the circumstances, I was doing pretty good just surviving. The lifelong hydrocortisone treatment finally really kicked in about 3 weeks ago. Now, this week, I have this to deal with. I guess, the positive side is that, if this had come up a few months ago...I honestly don't think I could have dealt with it; surviving by resting and not doing anything was a good day. So, it's good that I feel better so that I can deal with this, though I'm not happy that I have to even think about it.
I've read a lot on here about the treatment options; pros and cons. I'll know more after tomorrow when I see what the doc has to say, how big the darn thing has gotten, and how close it is to reaching the brain, etc. I'm very comfortable with my Atlanta doctor. I've seen him mentioned on the forum several times. I'm not so sure I'm comfortable with the hospital though; so, I have to sort that out.
So, I'll probably have more to talk about after tomorrow.