I think I'm one of the "older"
members of the "CK club" on the board, having been treated in November 2001. One of the reasons that I have opted to stay involved the past few years with this forum was to provide updates on my progress ( good or bad) and be of some help to those just starting their journey. So here goes:
Met with Dr. Chang this morning to review the MRI and Audiogram results. Good news always results in a short appointment
and this was a quickie as we spent more time discussing my triathlon experiences this year. Highlights were:
1) Tumor status : The AN is still showing as quite dead and had actually shown some additional shrinkage. This was a lttle (pleasantly) surprising to Dr. Chang as he sees most AN "carcasses" stabilize in size after 3 years. The AN at time of treatment was slightly larger than 2.1 cm and is now around the 1.5 cm size
2) Facial nerve : I had no function problems prior to treatment and the facial nerve continues to be 100% OK
3) Hearing: While I had moderate to severe high frequency loss going into treatment, I still had approximately 90% speech recognition scores. Surgery for an AN my size, even with the sub occipital approach left virtually no chance of saving any usable hearing. While preserving hearing was not as important as killing the tumor and saving the facial nerve, the better possibility of doing so with FSR certainly made that option more attractive to me. Fortunately, my most recent audiogram shows all aspects of hearing at pre-treatment levels and speech recognition in the AN ear was at 100% for the second year in a row.
Needless to say, I couldn't be happier with how things have gone in my treatment process. certainly , for me, this is an early Christmas present
Now for the "bad" news. I will not have an update in 2006. Given the positive results having been maintained for 4 years, Dr. Chang has moved me to the two year schedule, so no MRI until December 2007. Yippee
Here's wishing everyone a happy and safe holiday!