My acoustic neuroma was only 1cm when we found it and did surgery. But man that thing changed my life in an instant. It cause a sudden onset of vertigo that was debilitating. I was unable to work, socialize or live a normal life. I named it Felicia so I could tell it “Bye Felicia” because it was that annoying having it in my head. September 22, 2015 I had surgery to remove Felicia. Though my recovery has been a huge challenge I’m still fighting each day to get better and back to life. Here’s a picture of Felicia and also me just out of surgery in the ICU at USC Keck Medical Center in Los Angeles. I was lucky enough to find the two best surgeons in the country to remove my tumor, Dr. Rick Friedman and Dr. Steven Giannotta. I still struggle but at least I am alive and have the chance to live again. For that I am blessed!
Hello my name is Shelly Knowlton and I am a Warrior. I am dizzy and also half deaf and fighting daily against the damage my illness has done to get my life back. Hence the name of my blog. You’re probably wondering why I would choose such a name. Well the answer is Acoustic Neuroma.
If you’ve never heard of an Acoustic Neuroma and chances are you haven’t it’s a very rare brain tumor. It’s a benign brain tumor that grows on the vestibulocochlear nerve in your brain which is responsible for hearing and balance. Because branches of this nerve directly influence your balance and hearing, pressure from an acoustic neuroma can cause hearing loss, ringing in your ear and unsteadiness and other balance issues like vertigo. Also known as vestibular schwannoma, acoustic neuromas usually grow slowly or not at all. However, in a few cases, it may grow rapidly and become large enough to press against the brain and interfere with vital functions. Treatments for acoustic neuroma include regular monitoring, radiation and surgical removal. I of course being the aggressive kinda girl that I am chose surgical removal. I could not stand the idea of something growing in my brain that was not supposed to be there. Unfortunately I lost my hearing in my left ear during the surgery and that hearing has sine been replaced by a constant ringing in my hear called Tinnitus. My balance after surgery continues to be horrible and every day I fight to improve it. These are just a couple of the issues I’ve had from this tumor and surgery.
My hope for this blog is to be a voice for those who suffer from Acoustic Neuromas as well as many other chronic illnesses that are battled daily by millions of people around the globe. This blog is dedicated to the Warriors that fight each day to live. They fight despite the symptoms of their illness that make their life a daily hell. They fight to live the life they deserve. They fight to help others. I was once told by someone I was weak because of my health struggles and that just made me fight harder to prove them wrong. See a person who suffers daily with chronic illness and still finds the will to keep going well they are a kind of strong you can’t find lifting weights in a gym. They are made up of something deep inside that has a strong desire to survive no matter what…They are Warriors!