Monday, August 16, 2010

"You Ain't Seen Nothing Yet"

(by BTO) You



My mister had appointments with both his ocular oncologist & the retina specialist the other day. We got some good news & some bad news... The GOOD NEWS is that the tumor has shrunk some more. Dr B seems pleased with the progress, so that's great. As I'm sure I've said somewhere along the way, it will never completely go away. But slow shrinking is good! He double-checked that we're still following up with a medical oncologist & getting regular PET scans & such. He stressed the importance of the scans & said he wants to see Chris is December. I think that may be the longest stretch we've had between visits to see him.

The BAD NEWS is that it looks as if the vision in my mister's affected eye will never get better. This is the first time we've heard a doctor say this. His acuity is now to the point where he's not even fully counting fingers from a few feet away. (As in, off the charts. As in, guessing at fingers. As in, worse than 20/400. As in, he can't even see the chart, even with the pinhole occluder). So, that's a bummer, but I guess there are worse things in life than being half blind. For now, we are doing what we can to save what little peripheral vision he has left. Dr C showed us pictures & explained a bunch of stuff that is now only barely making sense to me after a hundred doctor visits. Basically, his eye pressure is high; and if we can't lower it, there's the danger of bursting what healthy capillaries he has left (those that weren't as severely damaged by radiation) & causing damage to the optic nerve. So, he has a new type of eye drop that will hopefully lower the blood pressure in his eye. (Did you know that they can measure that? I really never knew what they meant about the pressure until this visit). I think the most frustrating part of this particular news is the fact that we have spent so much money trying to save his vision over the past couple of years. About 1/4 of our remaining debt can be attributed to vision-saving expenses. Though that is frustrating, I have no regrets because vision is important for most people ~ especially for a web programmer! Fortunately, he has two monitors a piece (at work & at home), including a couple of huge ones ~ like a 24" iMac & 30" HP. So, those help reduce some of the strain on his good eye. Neither doctor expressed any concern about the cataract I mentioned in the last update, so I guess we don't have to go through another eye surgery quite yet!

Sorry to cut things short today, but I need to put on some makeup & head out to see my dad! He is still in the hospital & will be for at least another day or so. Before I left the house, he called to say it looks like he'll get to go home today!! His pain is under control, but he still wasn't eating well until this morning. He had to accomplish both pain management & the whole eating/digestion process before he could be discharged. His vitals are good, & his incision looks good, so by the time he gets out he should be well on the way to recovery! I appreciate your continued prayers, because he still has a long road ahead of him.

I hope y'all have a wonderful week!

Amy

4 comments:

Brooke said...

how do you deal with it all? glad to hear that the tumor is shrinking though :)

Messy Mom said...

Well as for the good news. Praise God I am so glad to hear that. Will glasses not help with this particular vision problem? I feel for you guys. I have no idea what it would be like to have a spouse with cancer :( but I always relate to your stories on a different level because of Zion. The surgery, the medical bills, hope, discouragement. Every time we go to the doctor I just want to hear him say "okay he's all better, he will never have to wear an eye patch again, and his vision is improving", but it's always so complicated. So complicated in fact that when people ask for progress updates I don't know how to explain because I really don't even understand it all myself. Sorry for the lengthy comment.

RR Mama said...

Awesome news on the tumor shrinking and on your dad getting to go home! Woo Hoo!! Keep praying!!! Give yourself a big hug too. You have been dealing with so much and always stay positive!!

Amy said...

To answer Messy Mom's question: Unfortunately, glasses won't help. I asked that, too, and the surgeon explained that a lot of the blood vessels are irreversibly damaged by radiation. :(