On July 19, 2007, at the age of 34, I was diagnosed with a benign brain tumor known as an Acoustic Neuroma. The tumor measured about 2.5 cm in diameter.
For weeks after the diagnosis, I was consumed by an obsessive quest for facts, advice, guidance and answers. Very quickly, I learned that the treatment of Acoustic Neuromas is the subject of considerable debate among neurosurgeons. Some doctors recommended brain surgery; others said radiation was the better approach. Among the radiation advocates, there were disagreements about the safest and most accurate technology. After multiple consultations with some of the best doctors in the field, I was left with no clear answers – and no easy solution.
I created this website to chronicle my experience selecting a treatment for my Acoustic Neuroma in the hopes that others diagnosed with this condition might benefit from what I learned.
In the Choosing a Treatment section, I recount in detail how I arrived at my decision to treat my tumor with Cyberknife at Stanford University Medical Center, including a detailed discussion of the medical consultations I received and the research I conducted.
- In the Post-Treatment section, I chronicle my physical progress since treatment. I have updated this section regularly, and my intention is to continue to provide up-to-date status reports on my condition. (Last update: August 26, 2012)
In the Tips for New Patients section, I condense my experience into a few key suggestions and internet resources for new patients.
In Interviews with Doctors, I have posted two interviews that I conducted with Dr. Steven Chang of Stanford University Medical Center in December 2010 and January 2011. These interviews, which together are nearly 4 hours in length, address in detail the subjects of choosing the right treatment, choosing the right medical team, and understanding Acoustic Neuroma-related symptoms. They are intended as a resource for AN patients investigating treatment alternatives or managing their post-treatment symptoms. Click here to listen to or download the interviews.
Needless to say, I have no medical training and am not qualified to offer medical opinions or advice. I am just a lay person sharing my own personal experience grappling with this diagnosis. Please read the full disclaimer here.
In addition, please feel free to contact me with thoughts, comments or suggestions or if you would like to discuss any aspect of my AN experience. I would be happy to correspond or talk with you. It may take a little while, but I do my best to respond to all inquiries as soon as I can.
Finally, if you have found this site helpful, please make a financial contribution to support it. You can donate using Paypal or any major credit card by clicking here.
Thank you for reading, and I wish you (and me) health and well-being on all levels!