Thursday, November 13, 2014
It's a Good Day!
Just one week ago today, I went in for what I thought would be a normal eye exam appointment. My eye sight has always been stellar. In fact, I wrote on my donor card, "you want my eyes." So I thought this visit would be like any other, "hi, how are you, an exam and then great to see you,we'll see you next year."
Once my eyes were dilated, I realized that something wasn't right. She kept going back and rechecking certain areas. When the light was turned on, I could see that she was quite disturbed. Finally, she pulled out a chair and sat down, very uncharacteristic, and then preceded to tell me that there are freckles on my retina, both the left and right, they had grown and she needed to send me to see a specialist. Needing to know more, I began to ask questions and finally asked, what does this mean? She took a deep breath and said, "cancer."
I left the office with my referral in hand and in a total state of shock. How could this be? I've had no pain, no change in my vision. I thought that maybe the eye infection I had earlier this summer had something to do with it, but no.
The next morning I made the appointment and was quite happy and surprised to get an appointment so quickly. But, of course, in the meantime, I began to research everything I could about the situation. The worst case scenario would be removal of the eyes, but even without that, blindness would be something that I would be facing. I cried all day Friday and all day Saturday. By Sunday, I was still crying, but I decided to turn my thoughts to the positive as it looked like that at the very least, I would have time to prepare.
During the appointment, my eyes were once again dilated. Pictures were taken, an ultrasound was done. The doctor did a lot of looking, and then asked me if there was a history of cancer in my family. My grandmother died from colon cancer when she was quite young. He then told me that what I have are moles on my retina, one that is quite large on the left and 2 on the right. He also said that there is a direct relationship with the moles on the retina and colon cancer. I was shocked.
Due to the history of my grandmother, I have had 2 colonoscopies, one just this summer. Both have been fine.
In the end, the moles are not malignant!!! Fabulous news :). The down side is that they are there and there is nothing I can do about it other than do as the doctor tells me to do and come in faithfully every 6 months and be monitored. I also have to be quite vigilant about doing a colonoscopy. In the event that the moles do develop into a malignancy, there is treatment. The mole that is in the center of my right retina is the one that he said could be most problematic in regards to loss of vision.
For now though, I feel as though my vision has been restored, as if a miracle has happened.
I decided to share my story in the hope that it might encourage someone to have their eyes checked and in general to be more vigilant about their health. Please have your eyes checked and by all means allow the eye doctor to dilate your eyes. Think about your life and how dependent you are on your eyes. The investment of a small amount of discomfort could actually save your sight.
To loosely quote Lou Gehrig, "today I truly feel like the the luckiest woman in the world." The messages that have been left here on the blog, emails that were sent and phone calls made were just overwhelming. How could I possibly be so lucky to have so many people all over the world care so much about me? Yes, I am so very grateful that I will continue to have my sight, even if it turns out to be for just some time, but I am also so very grateful so all of you. Little did I know when I began this blog 5 years ago that my life would be so richly blessed.
Tomorrow is Friday and to celebrate, I will be back with a new Fabulous Free Pattern Friday post. I think you'll like it :)
Until then, I hope you can say with me, "I love this day!!!"