I was tempted to suggest you go around singing "Who's Afraid Of An MRI?" (to the tune of "Who's Afraid Of The Big, Bad Wolf"
) but decided that might seem flippant.
In all seriousness (and in my opinion) just about everything
associated with an acoustic neuroma is vexing to some degree. The fact that the majority of our pre-diagnosis symptoms are either invisible or attributable to other sources is problematic. Once diagnosed, the relative rarity of an AN and subsequent lack of understanding of the medical aspects (by some physicians) and the lack of understanding by friends and family can also be a burden. Now, post CK, you're worrying about what might (or might not) happen in the future as a result of the radiation. Although this is unproductive, it's also quite normal. Although I've undergone both surgery and FSR, I have no guarantee that re-growth won't occur, but I decided some time ago not to think much about that until an MRI shows re-growth and/or my former symptoms return. Because they haven't and my last MRI (8/08) showed necrosis and tumor shrinkage, I'm pretty confident that my AN is finished. I refuse to think otherwise. Why should I? In fact, in your case, why shouldn't
you think that your AN is also a goner?
I was required to have an MRI 6 months post-op - and it showed nothing. I had another at a year post-op - and it showed some 'enlargement' of the remaining tumor. My neurosurgeon, a cautious fellow, ordered another MRI be taken 3 months later. That MRI showed a decrease in tumor size, confirming his suspicion that the enlargement shown on the 1-year MRI was due to swelling of the remaining tumor as an after-effect of the FSR. I had another MRI 3 months after that - and it showed the beginnings of necrosis. I had my 2-year MRI scan on August 1st, 2008. That one showed continued necrosis and some tumor shrinkage, so, my vigilant neurosurgeon has moved my MRI scans to an annual basis, which, considering his cautiousness, tells me that I'm probably 'out of the woods'. He would never say that, it's just my assumption - and I'm sticking with it. We choose how we'll 'feel' (emotionally) about any issue - and I choose optimism.
I understand and can empathize with your emotions but I suggest you wait for the MRI and if there is
something to worry about, do it then
. In the meantime, don't allow tomorrow's (possible) worries affect how you feel today. Enjoy your good recovery. The follow-up MRI is simply a precaution. If you have no symptoms, you're likely going to continue to enjoy a smooth recovery. Of course, swelling as the tumor dies can
occur and cause some problems, but until that happens, and it may not, don't let these concerns control you. Enjoy the days and be thankful for an apparently excellent outcome from your CyberKnife procedure. I'm very thankful for my good surgery/FSR outcome and I enjoy every day. I hope you'll choose to start doing the same. Jim