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# 34 Post Treatment -

All went well with the treatment. After so much study of treatments, it was almost anti-climatic. I had my three days of treatment and we flew home to Illinois. No problems. I did feel extra tired and needed extra naps. Other than the tiredness, I felt good.

I was excited to see future MRI’s. Would they show the tumor getting smaller and dying? I would have to wait. It’s hard waiting. Any little symptom and I worried the tumor was growing, or I might have swelling from the treatment. I prayed more often and my trust in God grew by leaps and bounds. Whether the tumor died or not, God would be with me.

After six months, I finally had a post-treatment MRI. YES!! The tumor is dying and has gotten smaller. The original size was 1.3 cm by 7 mm by 5mm. Six months following treatment the size measured 1.2 by 6 by 4. Now, this might not sound like a big difference, but it meant the world to me. There isn’t any extra space in our brains for tumors.

By the way, I have had my follow-up MRI’s in Illinois and Missouri. Different radiologists and neurologists can look at the exact same MRI and read it a bit differently. This used to confuse me. When the MRIs were big pieces of film, I learned how to read and measure them myself. That’s a whole lot harder to do with a disc. In fact, I can’t. I used to mail the films to California for their readings and was always amazed when they read them a millimeter or two different from each other. Now I don’t have to mail films. It all happens electronically.

My treatment was in 2005. Now, not quite thirteen years later, my latest reading is 8 mm by 4 mm by 5 mm. Yipee. When I asked if I need to continue getting the MRI’s, the answer was I can wait three years for the next one!! More good news.

Now for the bad news. Six months after receiving the radiation, my hearing took a nose dive. With prednisone, some hearing came back. I wanted to continue on the drug, but the doctor said no. Too many side effects with that drug long term. I didn’t care. I wanted the drug, but he said, “No. too many side effects.” If it were up to me, I wanted to stay on the drug. I couldn’t talk him into it.

Most often, someone diagnosed with an acoustic neuroma has had a hearing loss in one ear only – Single Sided Deafness – SSD. It can be a sudden loss but usually is slow. Because my tumor was mostly on the balance branch of the 8th cranial nerve, I had good hearing. My problem, as you might recall from an earlier post (#2) was balance, not hearing.

From: American Hearing Research Foundation.  This website has lots of good hearing information.

Without the prednisone, my hearing continued to decrease. Today, I’m deaf in my right ear. Would I have had the treatment if I had known I’d lose my hearing? Yes. It’s a good feeling to know the tumor is dead. That knowledge is worth the loss of hearing – to me.

I would hate to have not had the treatment and lose my hearing. Then my question would have been Would I still have my hearing if I hadn’t had the treatment? That question would have been a tough one. I’m glad God directed me and nudged me to the treatment.

I once heard someone at a symposium say, “Hey, with an acoustic neuroma, you lose your hearing. With or without treatment. Doesn’t matter.” From everybody I have talked with, this is true.


Readers, do you know someone with an acoustic neuroma who has good hearing on the acoustic side?


Dear God,

You tell us to ask for what we want, so I will come right out and ask for my hearing to return. I thank you the treatment killed the tumor, but did it have to take the hearing?

Forgive me for trying to second guess your ways. I’m trying hard to trust you. I know you didn’t promise it would be easy to trust. But this is hard. I have two ears. One of them works and that should be good enough for me, but it’s tough having this SSD. With you beside me, I can handle it. Amen. 

God is our refuge and strength, always ready to help in times of trouble. Psalm 46:1

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