CLARIFICATION: PLEASE BE AWARE THAT DONATIONS UNDER THE "TRIBUTES" TAB DO NOT GO TO SUSAN. These donations go directly to Caring Bridge to fund their website. Tributes are more then welcome, if you are looking to support Caring Bridge in Susan's honor.
May 2022 - I decided to restart the use of my CaringBridge site because there is a new chapter in my medical story.
In March of 2022, after at least 4 years of undiagnosed symptoms, I finally found a doctor who would listen to me. After a successful gallbladder removal surgery, and recovery, I was looking forward to a new push toward healthy living and finishing my recovery from mold illness.
In April 2022, I went for an annual eye exam. During the exam, they found a freckle on the back of my right eye. Evidently it was seen in Vermont in 2018, but no pictures were taken of it. The doctor said to come back in 3 months, and he would check to see if it had changed at all. If any floaters or flashes appeared, I was to return immediately.
Two days later I had a floater. The next available appointment was with a different doctor at a different office. She was less concerned about the floater, but very concerned about the freckle. She set me up for an appointment with a retinal specialist two days later. That specialist was also concerned and referred me to NYC to see and ophthalmological oncologist. When I called for an appointment, they had just had a cancellation, and I was able to get in to see him less than a week later.
Yesterday (5/18) I went into NYC to meet with an eye specialist. I have been diagnosed with melanoma on my right eye. A freckle near my optic nerve has gone haywire and is now cancerous.
It has been caught early, so there is every hope that we will be able to contain it. (This kind of cancer can spread to the lungs or liver if not contained.) I have already started a three-part laser treatment where every two months I will receive a laser blast to the lesion. The laser heats it and kills off the cells. At that next appointment, in July, we will determine if I also need to have radiation treatment which will require a surgical procedure.
Physically I currently have no impact from this cancer. Eventually I may have some impact on my vision due to treatment, but the extent of that is yet to be determined. My biggest struggle right now is emotionally and spiritually dealing with the news and the renewed realization that my future (as always) is in God’s hands, and I have no ultimate control over it. I have deep faith in God, but it still feels scary.
To be honest, this is a really hard thing. I have been through a lot in the past year, and to face yet another medical problem is overwhelming to say the least. When I face circumstances that feel too heavy to bear, I have learned that practicing gratitude is the best way to deal with it, so here is a short list of the gratitudes so far...
I am grateful:
1) that for the first time in my life, I have insurance that covers vision care,
2) for an eye doctor who pushed for me to get this checked out as soon as possible, (and I just found out that she is rarely in the office where I saw her! and that her dad had a stroke, so she has been off from work since the day after I saw her!)
3) for the retinal specialist who pushed for me to go to an oncologist as soon as possible,
4) for a cancellation that allowed me to be seen so quickly by the oncologist,
5) that I currently live on Long Island with easy access to this top-notch NYC specialist, and
6) that I have family and friends and a church community to support me with prayer and love.
Prayers are much appreciated, and connection thru FB, email, or phone is also welcome.