Thank you Connie,
Well, I saw Dr. Chang (Stanford) on Friday and came away relieved and pretty much convinced that radiation (CK) is the way to go.
One of my concerns was the difficulty of a follow-up surgery after radiation if needed. Dr. Chang said that regardless whether we "cut" or "nuke" first, a follow-up surgery is always more difficult in either case.
As for my concern about my "alien" resting against my brain, he says I have plenty of room so the swelling after radiation isn't a problem; it conflicts with the gentleman who gets paid by the people who do the MRIs, Adam Attoun . . . I think I'm going with Dr. Chang.
One interesting factoid he gave me is that might be of interest to others is, in his opinion, one of the most difficult things for patients to understand is that the symptoms are not related to the size of the tumor. Now I get why tumors can get so big: 4 cm, 8 cm. Wow. Mine's 1.7 X 2.5 cm and it bugs me. How can a tumor get to be 4 cm? I'm blown away by Jim's 4.5 cm and Satman's 8 cm beast.
The other thing he said is that it generally takes approx. 2 years to die completely, but if it dies too fast the symptoms get worse (they can be controlled with steroids), but the point is that there is a correlation between the tumor death rate and the symptoms.
And finally, for me, there actually exists a very slight possibility that my hearing could undergo some slight improvement. If I have the surgery, it's pretty certain that they'll do a translab and, as you know, my hearing loss would be total fer sure, fer sure.
So it looks like I'm going to focus on CK.
I really liked Dr. Blevins and felt perfectly comfortable having him do my surgery - if I was going to go that route. If I see him again, I will most certainly pass along your regards.
Thanks to all for your input. It continues to be invaluable. But most of all, it's really helps to know I'm not alone in this.