Author Topic: are you still as sharp mentally ?  (Read 5275 times)


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are you still as sharp mentally ?
« on: August 10, 2018, 02:02:30 pm »
I am wondering whether after surgery, you find that mentally, it makes you think slower
 or come up with words ? 


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Re: are you still as sharp mentally ?
« Reply #1 on: August 10, 2018, 09:51:45 pm »
Yes, 3 weeks out from my Translab my cognitive skills are still strong. Fatigue is a real issue though that does impact mental acuity when it sets in.
Diagnosed 1.5cm x .08cm x 1.1cm AN right ear 5/2018
Total hearing loss in right ear at 5/2018 and significant balance issues.
Translab surgery Friedman and Schwartz UCSD 7/18/18
80% tumor removal due to facial nerve adhesion
Balance issues solved, no facial nerve issues.


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Re: are you still as sharp mentally ?
« Reply #2 on: August 11, 2018, 12:25:14 pm »
JD808.  Then I think my verbal skills( choice of words) are affected bec it affected my cerebellum. In my MRI scan after 2 months shows some white area in the cerebellum. It affects coordination.  Sort of like a ministroke. Not everyone is affected the same way. Thanks for your feedback.     


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Re: are you still as sharp mentally ?
« Reply #3 on: August 12, 2018, 06:11:09 am »
yes! i have never been the same.  maybe because of hydrocephallus or other complications. but i had to stop being a teacher. 
4 cm AN removed 12/2000
subsequent brain swelling
removal of part of cerebellum
face, scalp,tongue numbness and partial paralysis
no corneal sensation and no tears-frequent eye issues
cognitive issues
Regrowth (3.1 x ..86 cm) treated by SRS on November 6, 2015


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Re: are you still as sharp mentally ?
« Reply #4 on: August 13, 2018, 11:22:59 am »
Two years post op.  4.2 cm.tumor- sub total. No surgery complications to note.  58 years old.  Athletic.

No!  My memory and abilities are definitely compromised.  Searching for words and typing is a challenge.  It was more significant during the first year,  It's gotten better, but still a problem.  Fatigue and wonky head is with me most of the time.

I think the damage was done by the tumor size impinging on my brainstem.  That's just a hunch.  No one has ever explained the physical reason why? What I keep hearing is that we are all different. With that being said, I am fortunate with the positive outcome.  It's helpful for me to know I am not alone in this struggle.  Thank you for posting.
February 2016- 4.6 cm removed at Sloan Kettering NY by Dr. Gutin and Dr. Selesnick.  Residual left behind to preserve the facial nerve. Two year MRI indicates a shrinking of the residual. Three year MRI indicates no change in size.


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Re: are you still as sharp mentally ?
« Reply #5 on: August 13, 2018, 01:23:00 pm »
Finding words, especially when speaking,  is at time challenging. I passed my 11 year anniversary July 2nd so don't expect any more improvement thanwhat I've had to this point.

I once asked my daughter to sharpen my toes instead of saying tie my shoes. Toes and tie start the same as does sharpen and shoes. Random words that start with same letter or blend will pop out in sentences. Used to be several times a day, every day. Now maybe 3 or 4 times a week. Sometimes it can be funny. Sometimes embarrassing. I just roll with it.

Still have headaches of varying degrees daily. When they're bad I confuse things. I'll be doing something and stop midway to figure out what it is I'm suppose to be doing. My short term memory is shot.

I get down sometimes but for most part just go on with life muddling through as best I can. My post AN surgery idiosyncrasies have become my norm to the point family and friends no longer even comment when I do things that are odd or say things not just right.

And my daughter's locally famous quote, out of  the mouth of a then 8 year old when I'd complain about some post surgery problems, still holds..... "But you're still breathing" and I'm thankful for that.
3mm AN discovered Aug 2004
Translab July 2 ,2007
3.2cm x 2.75cm x 3.3cm @ time of surgery


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Re: are you still as sharp mentally ?
« Reply #6 on: August 13, 2018, 04:49:19 pm »
Where is the "like" button for that post? Thank you Soundy!!


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Re: are you still as sharp mentally ?
« Reply #7 on: September 05, 2018, 02:36:58 pm »
Thank you all for posting a reply. I also am thankful  of result I have even though I have this weakness area . Just help me to be reminded always and not forget about what have happen in my life. Seeing people post even after many years just goes to show the impact it has in our life.


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Re: are you still as sharp mentally ?
« Reply #8 on: October 28, 2018, 08:42:50 am »
Marvin65 - yep, same here. I had more severe cognitive/memory issues initially after surgery. It did get better, but not 100% I still deal/cover it up (at work) and it is hard. Yet, I am still thankful things are not worse.
« Last Edit: December 09, 2018, 08:27:16 pm by ColleenS »
5/2/17 @ Vanderbilt Translab approach with Drs. Haynes & Chambless
Readmitted on 5/7/17 for CFL, lumbar drain; CFL repair surgery 5/14 & sprung on 5/15
10/18 5 Radiation treatments for tumor regrowth
3/19 Pain, swelling, facial paralysis
5/19 Facial paralysis, numbness


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Re: are you still as sharp mentally ?
« Reply #9 on: November 13, 2018, 10:21:38 pm »
Yes, my brain is slower than before surgery on 9/18/18. Sometimes I can't follow what the people say, so frustrated.

I always told myself it took time to get better. I hope so...


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Re: are you still as sharp mentally ?
« Reply #10 on: November 18, 2018, 08:31:20 am »
Marvin64 - I also have noticed it.

With family and friends, we treat it with humor. Sometimes i call it my Lewis Carollisms (speaking like i am experiencing Alice in Wonderland). At work, I have had to be much more selective in what i do and what i delegate (am lucky to be able to do this) and then put a lot more time in being ready for the work. As i can spend 6+ hours a day in various meetings, its been tough.  .

I read a book "Your Brain at Work" a few years ago which i dusted off post-surgery. It has some good tips on how to think / work differently, which i think are even more important for us who have gone through an AN.

I tried Mindfulness, but keep falling asleep when I an app to do it.

But, as stated above, I am thankful to be here, and good health.
5/17/18: 2.7 x 2.2 x 2.1cm
8/12/18 right retrosigmoid craniotomy @UNC
8/15/18: 1.0 x 0.4 x 0.4 cm
3/04/19: 1.0 x 0.8 x 0.5 cm
4/23/19 Cyber Knife treatment
10/23/19 0.7 x 0.3 x 0.8 cm


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Re: are you still as sharp mentally ?
« Reply #11 on: November 20, 2018, 04:23:46 pm »
I had AN surgery using RS approach on 10/26/18 aged 37 years. My memory, cognition and reflexes are same as before it's just element of fatigue. I get drained too quickly unlike before.

I used to do double jobs, full-time and part-time as a freelancer. I have started my freelance work and since 2 weekends I resumed playing an online FPS game and end up in top 3 scorers just like before.

Only concern is facial palsy and eye lid closure.
« Last Edit: November 20, 2018, 04:25:28 pm by MT »
No symptoms except mild hearing loss
RS procedure on 26-Oct-18 (2.7 x 2.5 cm AN)
Deafness and facial palsy on right side
26-Feb-19 MRI showed 0.8 cm of leftover tumor
Slight movement on ~7-Jul-19 but mostly paralyzed

Full story:


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Re: are you still as sharp mentally ?
« Reply #12 on: December 28, 2018, 11:52:34 am »
I was very interested to find this thread as here in the UK I've not been given any acknowledgement of the mental side effects.  I get tired quickly and never wake feeling refreshed, always feeling slightly fuzzy headed.  If I sit down in the afternoon it's easy to nod off.  My memory is shot to pieces and I find it very hard to concentrate.  It's difficult to follow instructions or learn anything new.  As someone else mentioned I try and cover up my lack of word finding and slow reactions. I had successful gamma knife radiosurgery eight years ago and am having three yearly MRI checks.
Gamma knife radiotherapy March 2010


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Re: are you still as sharp mentally ?
« Reply #13 on: January 02, 2019, 05:25:48 am »
I have been recently diagnosed with an AN. Frankly, I noticed less mental sharpness, more fatigue, headaches and constant ringing in the ears, but the biggest concern for me as a broadcaster was my inability to learn easily, recall words and speak fluidly. (The tumor is just shy of 2 cm and is pressing on the brain stem. I'm watching/waiting/researching because it seems there are no good outcomes and I do believe physicians should do no harm. So yes, I have noticed a decrease in cognitive ability, concentration, recall.  Thankfully, I hear we use only 10 percent of our brains anyhow! Best to you.
Diagnosed after sudden hearing loss at age 57
MRI November, 2018 1.7 cm
Steroids restored most hearing; ringing in ear, headaches, tingling on tongue, lips, fatigue, memory loss..
MRI in April, 2019 2.1 cm
Watch & Worry

Cheryl R

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Re: are you still as sharp mentally ?
« Reply #14 on: January 02, 2019, 09:23:55 am »
If the tumor is on the brainstem, then I would be seeking treatment.        If your good outcome is to be like you were pre tumor, then won't happen.    A good outcome can still be having hearing loss on that side.     Many other issues are temporary in many cases,       There are many who do well and most do not stay on the forum and Facebook and are back to their lives with some adjustments.           Those here are more likely to have issues and are looking for others with the same issues.      None of us wanted this to happen.     Finding a dr who does these on a weekly basis is the most important.    Each of us can vary how it goes as the tumor can cause damage to the cranial nerves.             I was found to be NF2 over time and was back to work after tumor 1 and 2.  I did retire as a RN after no 3.               There is life after an AN.         In my case 2 ANs and a facial neuroma.          I wish you well.
                                                                             Cheryl R
Right mid fossa 11-01-01
  left tumor found 5-03,so have NF2
  trans lab for right facial nerve tumor
  with nerve graft 3-23-06
   CSF leak revision surgery 4-07-06
   left mid fossa 4-17-08
   near deaf on left before surgery
   with hearing much improved .
    Univ of Iowa for all care