Wow what a week it has been...I am creating this page because I need help. I am 33 years old. Over the past year or so I have been experiencing progressive hearing loss in my right ear. It was assumed based on my family history that it was likely a degenerative genetic condition (All the men in my family for several generations have had early onset hearing problems). The doctors recommended I get an MRI but there was no rush.
Well last week I finally did get that MRI and I have what is called a Vestibular Schwannoma. In simplest terms, it is a brain tumor of sorts. It arrises from the 8th cranial nerve sheath and can cause complications with hearing, facial paralysis, balance and coordination. Right now it is approximately 15 x 17 x 27 mm (about the size of a grape) As it grows can eventually start pressing on more important things like Brain Stem. If this happens it can kill me. RIght now it is just starting to show some compression on my mid brain. I want it out.
The options for treatment are either surgery (a craniotomy) to remove the tumor, or what is called Gamma Knife Radiation therapy. While I am not sure what treatment will be pursued, for either one the treatment, combined with the necessary hospitalization, post operative care, prescriptions, rehabilition....I am anticipating a high "Out of Pocket" cost after insurance. That, combined with missed work wages and living off of short term disability...my girlfriend and I both dont make that much, and the potential financial toll of this is making our heads spin.
I am meeting with what will likely be the first of several Neurosurgeons to discuss treatment options, but I figured the sooner I start reaching out, the sooner I can get the help I need. With any luck I can be on a more stable financial footing and move forward with treatment in the weeks to come with your support. Anything anyone can contribute would be so appreciated. You are all amazing human beings. Take nothing in life for granted.
- Chris Greenwood
- Giorgina Marie
- Jennifer Sager
- The Dawn Kemper
San Francisco, CA