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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

Annual Checkup - Year 8

July 18, 2014 Update - Had my Annual Checkup at the Mayo Clinic today - eight years down and four to go.  It was a long day of tests and scans but the results were all good - the tumor in the eye remains "dead" or at least dormant and no sign of any other cancer that has taken hold or spread.  That is always great news and a relief.  The lungs and liver still look cancer free so a good thing.  The only issue is still the high pressure in my left eye - the one I have lost my vision in - as the cataract has some surrounding scar tissue that is blocking some of the venting for the eye and allowing pressure to increase.  If too high, it will be damaging to the eye and become quite painful.  Dr. Smith will discuss wth Dr. Pulido and we may need to do surgery to fix including removing the cataract but that scar tissue is a problem.  In the meantime, I will be taking a couple more eye drop medications each day to help with the venting of the pressure.  Overall, a very good day.  My last appointment of the day with Dr. Smith was scheduled for 3:30pm but didn't get in until after 5:30pm - very busy around here.  Thanks so much for all of you who continue to offer support and follow these updates - means a lot to me!  Take Care.
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Comments

6 Comments

Vicky Frigen
By Vicky Frigen
Great News regarding your checkup at Mayo!!
Thanks for keeping us posted. Take care Brother!
Karla Cross
By Karla Cross
Hi Larry, I was glad to learn of the good test results you received on your annual Mayo Clinic checkup!! Yay!! I'm so happy you are still cancer free and pray that that continues. Sorry to hear that your left eye has some troubles and I hope you will not reach the point where you experience pain. I hope you were able to celebrate the good news you received. Take care.
Sharon Schacher
By Sharon Schacher
Great news - God is so good. Blessings to you
Rose Noesen
By Rose Noesen
Great news
Cathi Chial
By
Yipeeeeeeee!!! Good news. Safe travels. Luv from Cathi and Larry
Sheryl James
By
So happy to hear good health continues for you. Always offering up prayer. God Bless.