It's been a long 14 months and I have finally reached a decision to proceed with Gamma Knife. The following pretty much sums up how things have progressed.
April 2012: 1st MRI (without contrast), diagnosed with right side AN 1.8 x 1.5cm. Initial symptoms were some hearing loss, tinnitus and minor balance issues.
December 2012: 2nd MRI (with contrast). There was "no significant change" in tumor size, nothing seemed to be happening. Hearing tests showed word discrimination was 70%. My neurosurgeon and I decided to wait 6 more months for another MRI (with contrast) and see how things were going.
Over the winter my balance issues increased and Vestibular testing in March showed a loss of 30% function on the AN side, and lucky me, my non AN side showed up as slightly dysfunctional. I was still researching my options and struggling to reach a decision between Wait & Watch, Retrosigmoid surgery, or Gamma Knife.
June 2013: 3rd MRI shows AN has grown to 2.4 x 2.1cm. My AN is primarily within the CPA so it has room to grow and unfortunately, did just that. My balance issues are getting worse, my word discrimination is now at 40% and I am starting to have some slight numbness on the tip of my tongue and edge of my mouth. At times my eye feels quite dry and gritty, so I keep the eye drops/gel close by. The tumor growth and increased symptoms became a clear indicator to me that it was time to make a decision.
July 2013: This past week I signed the consent forms at the Gamma Knife Center. Treatment will be early September. I start my Vestibular rehab next week. The research and decision phase is over and I now move into the treatment and recovery phase.
Thank you to everyone on this forum I have corresponded with, and to the many others whose posts I've read during the past year. You have provided strength, education, kindness, and humor, all of which have enabled me to reach my final decision. Time now to take a deep breath and get on with it!