In a couple of hours I begin my first of five sessions of Cyber Knife. I will start my story from the beginning of when things started to go wrong.
We had a family trip in the mountains of Colorado about four years ago. I thought the elevation change was causing my right ear to feel full of pressure and my hearing muffled. When we got back down to sea level, the symptoms did not clear. Once back in Arizona, I saw an ENT to evaluate my symptoms. I was given antibiotics, nasal sprays and told that my allergies were causing the problems. I also started eating raw honey to help with the local desert allergies. I tried various homeopathic remedies and still nothing worked. I was of course concerned and frustrated.
I essentially suffered with a loss of hearing and balance issues until January of 2017, when I decided to see another ENT. My hearing test indicated a possible tumor, and the MRI verified that an acoustic neuroma was present on the right side of my brain. The tumor measured 1.59 cm x 1.40 cm. I was referred to a neurosurgeon at Barrow Neurological Institute in Phoenix, and I decided to Watch and Wait with the approval of my doctor. My next MRI in April of 2017 showed no growth of the tumor. I took another MRI in September of 2017 and still no growth. Over the next six months I started having some facial numbness and a loss of taste on the right side of my tongue. I took my next MRI on March 5, 2018, and the tumor grew to 2.07 cm x 1.70 cm. My neurologist told me that growth of these AN's can occur at anytime. They can remain essentially dormant for long periods of time, even years, and then take off growing again. It is impossible to know how long my AN was stable with no growth prior to my latest MRI.
In a couple of hours I begin my five day adventure with the Cyber Knife machine. I will continue posting as the days go on.