Grateful that GK Was Available
Bobbie's story

I am Bobbie Towbin, age 60;  I am a senior associate director of a regional office of a national non-profit agency.  In Juny 1998, I was diagnosed with a l.5 cm AN on the right side, after having high-frequency hearing loss, tinnitus and slight balance problems.

I was fortunate in having a family physician who had, in the past 2 years, had 3 patients with acoustic neuromas - he had none in the previous more than 25 years of practice. He gave me all the right information to allow me to
make an informed decision, including patient names and phone numbers where I could reach them.

My brother, who died of a malignant brain tumor the previous December, had been chief of radiology at St. Anthony's Hospital in Denver, CO. His friends and colleagues told me to either wait and see or have GK.  The otolaryngologist who performs only invasive surgery told me to have the surgery.  I found the Acoustic Neuroma Association on the web. Once I read the guest book and saw the results that surgery produced, there was no contest.

I had GK surgery on 9/1 at the Gamma Knife Center at St. Anthony's Hospital in Denver. My doctor was Herb Fried.  Following surgery I had a headache that lasted about 4 weeks - although I am prone to migraines and tension headaches anyway. I also experienced fatigue for about 4 months and slight depression for about the same period of time. No other problems and I consider those very minor considering what I read about and to those with whom I have spoken who have had invasive surgery.

I am furious that the issue is so politicized and that the surgeons who are not trained in GK or other forms of radiosurgery do not give accurate information. I am also aghast at the information that ANA puts out!  Their site even says that radiosurgy is only available for those who are not candidates for surgery!  All of this is to say that I am grateful that I had the GK so available.

I have spent a lot of time telling people to look into the options. I did a lot of research before choosing my treatment, and I would be glad to answer any questions.   I can be reached at <ebtow AT aol.com>.

Bobbie Towbin  <ebtow AT aol.com>
April 1999


Update

(10/99) My MRI one year later shows the tumor a hair smaller and a hole in the middle - and indication, I understand that the tumor is shrinking and hopefully, will collapse in on itself. A hearing test shows my hearing slightly worse in the lower frequency range. I had no facial weekness or other complications.

Back to Bobbie's entry in the Patient Directory

Last Edited: Wednesday, October 30, 2002