We'll see what happens next month
Bob Seanor's story
My name is Robert Seanor, I am a 49 year old male with a 9mm AN. I have not yet had any treatment.
Back in 1996 I noticed a fullness in my right ear, like wax or water... It would not go away and after a few days I made an appointment with the local ENT Doctor in Pottstown, PA. He cleaned out my ears but asked when was the last time I had a hearing test. (It was like when I was a Boy Scout 30 years ago) So I had a hearing test and found out that I had lost about 30% of my hearing in my right ear. The local ENT Doctor mentioned a bunch of things that it might be, including a type of brain tumor. But he said those were very rare, and in his 15 years of practice he only had two. He then suggested an MRI, "just to be on the safe side".
I went into the Univ. of Penna. Medical Center in Philadelphia for the MRI. One week later, just before Thanksgiving 1996 (nice Thanksgiving) my ENT doctor called to tell me that I had an Acoustic Neuroma. Needless to say I was in shock, but quickly was told: if you were going to have a brain tumor, you picked a pretty good one to have (in essence AN are non cancerous and generally not life threatening). When I look back now, especially after reading so many of the horror stories with the length of time it sometimes takes for the diagnosis, I really thank my local ENT. He was obviously very astute.
My local ENT Doctor linked me up for consultation with the Department of Otorhinolaryngology at the University of Pennsylvania Health System, in Philadelphia. The specialist at the Univ. of Penna. explained all about the tumor etc. I had already done my homework, and we jointly decided that because the tumor was relatively small (9mm), we would benchmark the growth and have another MRI and hearing test in 6 months, in April 97. That second MRI showed no growth or hearing loss...
I have gone back every April (98, 99); both times there was no growth and no hearing loss. I will soon be going again this April. My body (hearing, ringing etc.) is telling me that it may be growing. I noticed that my ear ringing (tinnitus) seems louder and my balance is getting worse (I have a hard time squatting being a catcher when playing baseball with my two kids). But no other symptoms, headache, numbness etc. I think I have made the decision that if my tumor grows to 1.3 centimeter or larger then I am going to have an operation. We'll see what happens next month; hopefully it will still be 9mm. I am glad I have waited this long and hopefully my tumor will continue to not want to get bigger.
Bob Seanor <bsganemo AT aol.com> or <bseanor AT sermatech.com>
(4/00) I had my MRI last week at U. of Penn. Medical Center and go back for my hearing test and then consultation and results of both on May 9th. I would like to hear from who has dealt with the U. of Penn. Medical Center and their comments...
(5/01) Recently had MRI and hearing test at the University of Pennsylvania Medical Center.. Very fortunate that MRI shows essentially no growth; tumor still approximately 8 to 9MM. There is minor hearing loss from last hearing test. Elected to continue to wait and watch. Will not have another MRI until April 2002, unless of course other symptoms beyond minor tinnitus begin to occur.©
Back to Bob's entry in the AN Patient Directory
Last Edited: Friday, November 01, 2002