Scooty42's Journey:

Patient: Eye Cancer > Intraocular Melanoma (also called Melanoma of the Eye)

Patient Info: Newly diagnosed (has not begun treatment), Diagnosed: over 5 years ago, Female, Age: 71

  1. 1
    • Scooty42
    • Experience with Intraocular Melanoma ...
    over 5 years ago
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    Misdiagnosed

    Oh No

    I have been faithful about yearly eye exams, and the optometrist I had been seeing for eight years told me I had reached the point where I needed to have cataracts removed. I was also beginning to lose my vision in my left eye and having bright flashing lights. I made an appointment with an opthalmologist who examined both eyes, but he told me that my left eye was "bulging for some reason." I specifically asked him if I could have a detached retina. His response was that "nothing was seriously wrong," and he would know more once he removed the cataract. In the meantime, my vision worsened to the point that I was almost blind, and I went to see a retina specialist. It took him about four minutes to discover that not only did I have a detached retina but that I also had a choroidal melanoma (large) in that eye. Unfortunately, there is no one in my state who can treat it. My first reaction was denial, then intense rage at the opthalmologist, then grief, then depression. However, I have to deal with it and that is where I am now. The treatments are limited: one method is to watch it closely to see if it grows; the second method is called the brachy therapy where they place radioactive beads in the tumor for four to seven days, and the last is enucleation (removal of the whole eye). I have had three opinions, all who want to enucleate. The thought of that renders me weak. What if it pops out on the table in a fancy restaurant?

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  2. 2
    • Scooty42
    • Experience with Intraocular Melanoma ...
    over 5 years ago
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    Birthday

    Celebration

    Memorial Day was my birthday, and the only thought that kept running through my head was "Is this going to be my last one"? There are two types of cancer cells in a melanoma, and one is much more likely to metastasize than the other. For an additional $1600, not covered by insurance, they will tell you. I do not want to know. Taking a day at a time is the only way I can cope with this, and knowing that mine was more likely to metastasize would cause me to live in a state of constant fear. Taking a day at a day at a time is the best way I can cope, and the rest is in God's hands.

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  3. 3
    • Scooty42
    • Experience with Intraocular Melanoma ...
    over 5 years ago
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    Body part/function

    Loss

    Since I have had three opinions and all recommended enucleation, I am going to lose my eye, along with my mind and sense of humor. The unknown is the worst, and I cannot imagine life ever being the same after this. There are are other newer treatments, however, and until July 6 you can bet I am going to be researching them,

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  4. 4
    • Scooty42
    • Experience with Intraocular Melanoma ...
    over 5 years ago
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    Decision Point

    After three ocular oncologists have told me that I need enucleation, I am trying very had to accept that decision. "Enucleation Day" is scheduled for July 6, and each day I try to prepare myself for it. In the meantime, I am going to be researching every other treatment there is, but ultimately it is in God's hands. Cancer is the last diagnosis I ever expected, but this country has to dedicate more resources to defeating this horrible disease. It affects too many people, and in many cases destroys their lives even if the outcome is not death. Every American should do his or her part in this battle.

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