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Larry’s Story

Welcome to my CaringBridge site. It has been created to keep family and friends updated.

My left eye is where the melanoma tumor is located. We treated it with radiation from March 6th through March 10th of 2006. All reports and tests have shown that the melanoma was confined to the eye, which is great news. The support from family and friends has been tremendous!

Thanks again.

--Larry.

January 25, 2006 is the day that my life changed. I went to my Optometrist for a routine eye exam at 1:30 in the afternoon and by the end of that day, I had been told by an Ophthalmologist that I had Choroidal Melanoma, a cancerous tumor, in my left eye. That evening I called my family and told them of the fight I was in for. The next day, a Thursday, I spent the afternoon at Meritcare with my Internal Medicine doctor and they ran a full set of tests to check to see if the cancer had spread to the lungs or liver - or anyplace else, for that matter - as it usually does. On Friday, I had a CT scan and continued with tests to see if the cancer was only in the eye or had spread. The test results were read and it was a clean report - it had not spread, up to this point. On Tuesday, January 31st, we headed down to Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, and met Dr. Pulido, a specialist in eye tumors, and he ran a full day of tests and ultra sound measurements to determine the size of the tumor and to discuss treatment options. All of my children were there with Sheila and me so we discussed the treatment option - remove the eye to remove the tumor or treat the eye with radiation in an attempt to save the eye. I chose to go with the Radiation Treatment. We went back to West Fargo and waited for the radiation disk to be built and on March 6th, I was admitted to Methodist Hospital in Rochester and they did surgery to attach the radiation disk to my eye. I remained inpatient for the week as the disk radiated the tumor and they removed the disk that Friday, March 10th. I had an appointment on April 12th at Mayo to check to see how the eye had healed from the surgery - it healed up nicely. I have gone back to Mayo on July 26th and October 25th in 2006 and now April 26th here in 2007 to continue the testing to see if the tumor did shrink and the cancer eliminated. We will also continue to check to make sure that the cancer doesn’t start up in other parts of my body as it normally does. There is a 20% chance that I will get that cancer within the next 5 years.

Latest Journal Update

January 27, 2015 - Surgery Update

Had Surgery yesterday morning and the Post-Op checkup appointment this morning.  Everything went well.  I do have a black eye and the white part is pretty red so looks like I have been in a street fight!  It was primarily a cataract surgery but my eye has some other problems, obviously,so he had to break up some scar tissue around the iris and also use a gadget to open and flex my iris so that the pupil  would dilate - it would not dilate lately and may not as much in the future as it normally would but this procedure really helped.  They change the lens through that pupil opening so that was an added benefit to having the Cataract surgery.  This flexing of the pupil will allow the eye to“breathe” better so will help keep the pressure down.  Doctor Rodenbiker says I now have a round pupil again!!  And, voila, I do have a bit more vision in the left eye as well.  It gives me just a bit more peripheral vision – not crystal clear but can see motion much more clearly – so that really is a great side benefit.  The cataract was especially dense and thick so he had to use extra ultrasound power and time to break up the sucker and get it out.  If I had good vision in that eye, it would let me see exceptionally better.  I am just so thankful to get back some of that peripheral vision.  I am taking four different eye drop medications and 15 drops each day total – yikes!!   A couple are antibiotics to use until the incision heals, one is for eye pressure, and the other is an antiseptic – all to make sure the eye doesn’t get infection or other problems. I have to wear an eye shield each night for a week so I don’t accidently touch the eye in my sleep – crazy what we sometimes do in our sleep!!  I will probably stay on the pressure reducing drop for a long time.  If the scar tissue contnues to cause more issues, we will  mave an additional surgery to deal with that at that time.  For the time being, it is doing very well and that makes it so much easier for the doctors to see into the eye where the problems are and monitor the situation better.  Getting even a tiny bit of vision in that eye is such a great thing.  Thanks to all for your support.   

Comments

5 Comments

Mark Simmons
By Mark A. Simmons
Great news for you Larry!!! Hope to see you soon!!!
Rich Mattern
By Rich
Glad things went well Larry
Vicky Frigen
By Vicky Frigen
Thanks Larry for the journal entry. We are so glad that you can see better out of that eye after removing the cataract. Take care brother and remember that we are praying for you! Keep up with the posting.
Ken and Vicky
MarY Jo Slavik
By Mary Jo
So glad that things are going well!
Jean Griffin
By
That is great news Larry! Some vision is better then none! Thanks for the update and we all have to have lunch soon!! Jean