Don urged me to share my experience. I'm sure there is a lot more I could add and I am happy to answer any questions, but thought I should add to the boards with how things went for me. (your own experience may vary!)
I was diagnosed in Feb 2019, had Gamma Knife with Dr Link at Mayo in July 2019. The growth was believed to be aggressive, so a higher dose was radiation was used.
Annual MRIs since. 2 years ago were showing signs that were questionable for failure, and this year failure was clearly shown. So I needed a new game plan. Hearing was already gone on tumor side, so the most direct approach (translab) was the best.
Pre-surgical appointments were the day before surgery (1/16). We rented a house in Rochester, 1 block away from St Mary's Hospital, 3 br, 1 and 1/2 ba with full kitchen, dining room, etc. Would HIGHLY recommend this for anyone having surgery at Mayo. There was off street parking and walking distance to the hospital. No paying for parking, etc. Grocery store also walking distance.
Reported to the hospital at 5:50am. Was prepped and ready for surgery about 7:30. I was out and in ICU about 3:30.
They believe they removed the entire tumor (YIPPEE!) and although I was afraid of post surgery complications, things were not as bad as I had feared they would be. No one can tell you how much balance vision etc will be affected. The first day the room spun with each blink, but by the second day I was doing much better. I walked frequently, taking 2 laps around the floor as often as I could.
The care teams came by to check me frequently. I was able to go home Friday (surgery was on Tuesday).
I understood others had issues during surgery with positioning and therefore back/hip problems upon waking. I only had a sore on one heel and the other outside baby toe. Both of those were gone by the next day and did not affect my walking/recovery.
My neck was super sore, and my nurse Samantha (shout out to her!) got me a heating pad for the shoulder/neck area. By the next am its was so much better.
Balance after was not great but not to the point where I needed help. And it just gets better the more I move. My sister has been walking me most days, 2-3 miles. It will take time, but I feel like I will get back to where I was prior to surgery within 2-4 months.
Dr Link and Dr Neff and their teams were the best. I had every confidence going in and I was not disappointed. They were very kind, considerate and I felt they really cared about me.
I have a baseline MRI scheduled in April, and then they will not need to see me for 2 years!!!
I'm happy to pass on any information you want to know about my experience.