I first posted here 2 years ago when I had my AN surgery. Wanted to give an update, and I have a couple questions if anyone else is in my (shrinking) boat.
I had my initial surgery (retrosig) at MD Anderson. Dr. Demonte got the vast majority of it out, but could not get it all due to adherence to the facial nerve. The hope of course was that the remainder would not regrow, but it did. 4mm of growth was observed in the past year, which they say is faster than average.
However it was still much smaller than before, so this time radiation was an option. So, this Monday (Mar 4th) I had Gamma Knife, also at MD Anderson. 40-minute exposure to Cobalt-60. It went fine, as far as I know. Only side effects were a few days of fatigue and moderate headaches. Of course, it remains to be seen if the treatment actually worked, i.e., killed the tumor. So here are my questions; maybe y'all can shed some light.
1) What are the odds that the GK will kill it or at least stop it from growing, such that no further surgery or radiation is required? My oncologist Dr. Chung said 85%. Does that jibe with any stats y'all have heard?
2) How long SHOULD it take until an MRI will show signs of tumor death? I have an MRI scheduled for June 3rd. Is that too soon to know?
3) If it doesn't work long-term, and regrowth is observed in the future, is it possible to get GK repeated as necessary? (Perhaps the feasibility of that depends on the time between treatments.) Or at some point is GK taken off the table and a second surgery become necessary? I want to avoid that at all costs because I suspect facial paralysis would be likely this time around.