Thanks for the prompt response! I'll probably be going to Sacred Heart in Eugene. I'm a Medicare patient and disabled. I also live alone and have no local support...so traveling isn't really a viable option. Your tumor was pretty large...what was your post op like? What can I expect in the first few days? What is the length of time for surgery, realizing again, this is all dependent on many factors. I watched youtube and that was fascinating. Lots of people, lots of outcomes. Somehow I had it in my mind this was gonna be a no brainer, easy breezy surgery. I'm thinkin I was in deep denial! I'm super proactive and want to know everyone's story!!
Hi again, Debbi ~
My large AN was 'debulked' (basically hollowed out and it's blood supply severed
) and was approximately 2.5 cm after the neurosurgeon was done. My pre-op symptoms, i.e. dizziness, intermittent 'stabbing' pain at the AN site, loss of the sense of taste (and 35 pounds
) as well as heavy fatigue all disappeared almost immediately after the surgery (the AN had been seriously pressing on my brainstem, hence, the urgency to debulk it
). I later underwent 26 FSR treatments (low-level radiation
) to destroy the remaining tumors DNA. Apparently, it all worked. My last MRI (2008
) showed tumor necrosis (cell death
) and the beginnings of shrinkage. It's 5 years since my surgery and I feel great!!
Immediately following the surgery I was super-tired and slept - a lot. By Day 3 post-op, I began to eat and sit up in a 'recliner'-style chair for 30 minutes at a time. By Day 4 my appetite was returning, my double vision abated and I was sitting up for 45 minutes and attempted a few strolls around the hospital hallway, with my wife holding on to me (unnecessarily, as it turned out
). By Day 5 I was feeling pretty good and anxious to go home. My doctor released me but the hospital insisted that I pass some balance tests, first, i.e. walking up and down stairs, walking a straight line, etc. I passed and was released. My wife drove me home (30 miles) and we stopped and had a nice brunch on the way. Once home, I was still a bit fatigued and mostly sat around and watched TV or napped. Within about 5 days I was feeling stronger and we began taking 2 mile walks at a nearby park. My doctor gave me permission to resume driving within two weeks of my hospital discharge. As the weeks rolled on, I did more and more (but no heavy lifting
) and within a few months I felt pretty much 'back to normal'. Fortunately, I was retired and did not have to deal with returning to a work environment, as many AN patients do. I had lost all hearing in the AN-affected ear prior to the surgery (the price of denial and procrastination
) and, as expected, the hearing did not improve, post-op. Frankly, I didn't really expect that it would but my neurosurgeon did hold out a tiny hope that it might. Oh well. My experience was one of the better ones but not really an anomaly Some AN surgery patients do experience headaches (I had none whatsoever - before or after surgery
) and some have to deal with facial immobility (one sided
) which can be problematic. 'Dry eye' is a common issue for many and of course, being SSD (single side deaf
) is always a challenge. If you desire even more details on my AN surgery experience, please send me a PM and I'll try to accommodate your request as best I can. One thing I can tell you with certainty: AN surgery is not 'easy breezy' by any means - but it isn't the end of the world, either. You'll get through this, Debbi and we'll be here to support you - all the way. Jim