Today is August 13 2006. (Despite what the timestamp says! I’m just working through this thing.)
Not that I have a fear of triskaidekaphobia but it seems to be a fitting day for my first post to a website dedicated to a condition that is changing my life.
My name is Rob and I have been diagnosed with ocular melanoma.
I was diagnosed with ocular melanoma on July 4 2006. That was after 3 years and 3 months of a marked loss of vision in my left eye with no explanation from any of the doctors I had seen in the months following this change in vision (March 28 2003). My opthamologist found an unexplainable, unidentifiable growth behind my left eye. I should add that I am in Kamloops, BC, Canada and even though I have a great local doctor (one of the best in BC) he is not an oncologist so I am traveling every few months to Vancouver BC to be treated.
A hint for you: if you go and see a specialist referred by your opthamologist and he says “I don’t think it’s a freckle” find someone that has a definitive answer. Fast. Who knows how much of my vision may have been saved if this was caught 3 years ago.
I don’t expect many visitors to this little spot on the Internet. After all, about 7 people out of a million are diagnosed with this type of cancer every year. That means, in Canada, about 200 people will be told they have ocular melanoma this year. And the next year. And the next. Sadly, about half of these people will die from the melanoma because it won’t be detected or it will be detected to late.
And they won’t understand what to expect and their doctors will not be able to fully prepare them because they see this particular type of cancer so infrequently. So hey, you’re an odd duck… like me.
I will be sharing links, information and my own story as time progresses. After all, since you’ve read this far, we’re in this together so I look forward to you visiting regulary and sharing your comments with me.
Even if just to say “Hi” or “Hang in there!”.
I appreciate it, really.
PS. I’d like to thank my family doctor for inspiring me to create this website.
PPS. Get your eyes checked at least every two years, even if your vision is fine.