That advice sounds pretty much like what we've been saying too. Everyone heals differently...and that you can only do what feels right to you! A lot of people really don't feel reasonably OK until a year has gone by. Then one day it "suddenly" occurs to the person that the back isn't bothering her/him any more.
The surgeon must be under the impression that the physical therapist moves the body for you, instead of showing you what to do and watching you do it to be sure you are moving correctly! In the process, the PT may do some passive stretching and use heat or massage or something that "is done to you" but you should get plenty of work to do on your own.
Glad your x-rays showed progress. Did you see the bone growth?
Thanks for the update! We like to know how people are progressing!!