Welcome to the forum.
I am sorry for the reasons you have had to join us but nevertheless glad that you found us Ã¢â‚¬Â¦ I hope you will fill find this forum most supportive and come to appreciate the wealth of knowledge fellow AN patients have gained, with their own experience, and share with us all. As you feel bombarded with so much information at once- try not to get too overwhelmedÃ¢â‚¬Â¦. AN tumors are typically very slow growing.
Your tumor, 4mm x 2.5mm, is at a size where you DO have time to do some research and make well informed decisions.
I had surgery in August and ordered information booklets from the ANA after I got home from hospital. In hindsight I wish I had ordered these and read these before
Here is the link. The booklets are not expensive and arrived within the week I ordered these (within the USA)https://secure.baxinternet.com/~anausa/for_sale.html
I recommend that you obtain more than one opinion. Some neurotologists and neurosurgeons have more experience than others - with AN tumors specifically. You will realize this after a few interviews...You only want a team with lots of experience!
Here is a list of surgeons with the ANAhttp://www.anausa.org/physician_list.html
Here is a good list of interview questions to start with.http://www.anausa.org/questions_for_physicians.html
I chose surgeon #8 of the 9 I interviewed. He and his partner shone and it was obvious in how my questions were answered (and his background checks) that he was going to be exemplary to work with. (And he was!) Not only is it important that you chose a skilled surgeon but also someone that you are comfortable working with and you know will be honest, sincere and upfront with youÃ¢â‚¬Â¦ and truly has the best interests of "the patient" at heart.
Do not read everything on the forum- it will be overwhelming and scary.There are many successful stories on the treatment of AN tumors.
Often those people with success put their AN stories behind them and Ã¢â‚¬Ëœkeep moving forwardÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ with their lives Ã¢â‚¬â€œ never to be heard from again (here on the forum.) Often they have a very good and caring support network that helps them through. However not all have that support but do very much find it here on this ANA forum. It is very important to start building up a support network now (pre-treatment).
You will find all sorts of various people here in the forum with experience as diverse as they are. Nevertheless there are many good and caring people here.
It is very important to understand that Ã¢â‚¬Å“sizeÃ¢â‚¬? is not the only consideration. AN tumors are sort of like real estate Ã¢â‚¬Å“Location. Location. LocationÃ¢â‚¬? Ã¢â‚¬Â¦ I had a giant tumor with minimal hearing loss and symptoms before treatment- others with small tumors have been debilitated by hearing loss and vertigo. Each case is uniqueÃ¢â‚¬Â¦ as are the treatment and recovery outcomes. (I did not have the radiation options as mine was too big and already pressing the brainstem.) Again- remember that typically Acoustic Neuroma tumors are NOT fast growingÃ¢â‚¬Â¦ so do not let any surgeon pressure you into abrupt decision making. You DO have time to weigh out ALL your options, research various medical institutions and interview a variety of surgeons.
Find out from your medical insurance how many opinions you can obtain.
Also know that this resource is availablehttp://www.healthgrades.com/
Read up on the watch and wait forum.http://anausa.org/forum/index.php?board=19.0
It is also important to plan a surgery time, Ã¢â‚¬Å“ifÃ¢â‚¬? you ever go that route, which best works for your family and support system.
Information is powerÃ¢â‚¬Â¦ just try not get too overwhelmed by it all at once.
Educate yourself (and your family) so that you can make good and informed decisionsÃ¢â‚¬Â¦ and can plan life accordingly. Having a good support net-work of caring and understanding people is key for post treatment recovery. There are also ANA support groups in various geographical locations that meet in person. Once one joins the ANA (as I did 2+ months post op) - then all the information of resources available in your location are sent to you. In hindsight I should have joined the ANA Ã¢â‚¬Å“beforeÃ¢â‚¬? my surgery.Seattle has a support groupÃ¢â‚¬Â¦
and closer to where I am Portland also has a support group. Last fall both groups met up in Tacoma (?) for lunch.Know that there is support here- and you have landed a great website.
Keep moving forward.
Daisy Head Mazy
(Formerly called Ã¢â‚¬Å“4Ã¢â‚¬?)