Excuse me, but I just wanted to chime in on the 'watch-and-wait' discussion.
While my AN was so large that microsurgery - as quickly as possible - was the only realistic option, I would have been perfectly content to 'watch-and-wait'
- had that been feasible. Some of the post-op 'horror stories' I've seen related on this forum are definitely scary and would easily make me decide to avoid radiation and/or surgery, if at all possible. That being the case, I can appreciate that while some AN-diagnosed patients opt for radiation or surgery, almost immediately, often out of pure necessity, as I did, others gratefully take the 'watch-and-wait'
option, when its feasible to do so.
I can easily empathize with those who want to 'get it out
' as quickly as possible, even knowing the risks for possible post-op complications. Those folks want the 'peace of mind' gained by knowing there is no longer a foreign substance (AN tumor) in their head possibly growing larger, week by week, month by month. They are willing to undergo the hassles of surgery, hospitalization and possible post-op problems, just to be physically free of the tumor. Even when you have a small-size AN diagnosis, that is an option I can understand - and respect.
However, if the tumor is so small that your physician recommends 'watching-and-waiting'
, I see no reason not to do so. No one really wants
brain surgery performed on them and with the risk of post-op complications looming in the background, I can easily understand why some folks go that route, when possible. I probably would.
Ultimately, it's your life and your personal decision. If one opts for surgery (micro or radiation) and has post-op complications, they knew the risk going in. However, if one decides to take an available, physician-approved 'watch-and-wait'
option and that results in a larger tumor to eventually be removed, that person also presumably understood the risks beforehand and made an informed choice to wait. Either way, it's a very personal choice and will depend on many factors, including tumor size, growth pattern (if any), their general health and even insurance concerns, for some folks. I won't condemn anyone's personal choice here - I just wish I might have been fortunate enough to even have had
[/u] a choice. I didn't...yet things worked out rather well, after all. I'm good with that. Jim