tam- sorry to hear that your AN is growing back. But you are on it and that is the important thing.
So I would say that my face is 75% back and still going in that direction. I am now 9ish months, but none of these goes quick as I have read. I have read up to a year for getting everything back. I have been doing facial exercises to make sure it does continue in the right direction.
So I did the research and the advantage of the Proton is that the surrounding tissues etc are not as impacted by the radiation over the previous generation of radiation.
You Tube video - I watched this one many timeshttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G8m7RSVuye8
From all of them, the main take away is that the proton ray is more precise and stops at the point of impact (tumor). It doesn't go through the tumor and damage other tissues around. Dr. Jaboin stated that Proton therapy is 96% successful, I love those odds!
Now I will say you are like me and that the facial nerve is all up in there....but I will say as I have wondered through this journey, I have come to accept the left side of my face. It was challenging at first, but as it has gotten better I have also stopped to realize how lucky I am with it dying. Then the fun side of me likes to say, if I want Botox it will be half the cost....only one side of the face needs it! HA!!!
These AN's test us for sure, and it is a battle when you don't see the old you in the mirror in the beginning, but I will say that it will get better if you go with Proton. You will probably have a few rounds of steroids and that is okay too. I found I did 3, wondering sometimes if I should try one more but think it is my nerve getting back to life.
Not sure if I said it above, but when the tumor swelled as it was dying, it stretched my facial nerve. Just like all nerve damage, it just takes time to come back. It will and has most of the way. It did make me look weird in that my eye lid on the AN side would not close but that was cause I didn't have the nerve to counter. It is coming back and no matter what you do, facial exercises I swear by them.
Proton has my vote, and I no regrets on my part.
Please keep us posted and good luck with your decision.