Well, if it helps - everyone on this board understands exactly how you feel!
You will hear this from lots of other people - but I'll say it anyway...
Usually ANs are very slow growing, so your doctor is probably correct that you have time. I would also take encouragement from the fact that he thinks you will have treatment options (microsurgery versus radiosurgery).
You should try to talk to several different doctors who specialize in treatment of ANs. My personal "benchmark" was that I wanted a doctor who treated at least 50 ANs per year and who had been doing it for at least 5 years. From talking to others ANers, I have learned that outcomes can vary depending on the skill and experience of the surgeon/radiologist.
If you can get extra copies of your MRI, it is worth it to send a copy to House Ear Clinic in LA - they will do a free telephone consultation with you (the only caveat here is that House does only surgery, so keep that in mind). Here is their main website:http://www.houseearclinic.com/
You may also want to go to the cyberknife patient forum. You can post questions and their doctors will reply - they are extremely helpful and "user friendly."http://www.cyberknifesupport.org/forum/
I also suggest you take a look at MaryBKAriz recent post about her cyber knife procedure - she gives an extremely detailed account of her recent treatment. It is a fascinating journey and Mary does a wondeful job in telling it. You can find her posts on this forum, under Radiation/Radiosurgery.
And, certainly, if you want to talk about surgery, I am very willing to talk - just send me a PM with your phone number and I can give you a call - or you can call me. You'll find lots of other peeople here who are also very willing to talk and share experiences.
I'd tell you not to be afraid, but in my experience that is kind of pointless advice - what I will say is that you've found a place to ask questions, share fears, vent - whatever you need. And, although it may not seem possible, everythign will be okay in the end.
Debbi - 7 weeks (almost) post surgery