Author Archives: Robert Lee

5 years already. Time for a new eye!

It’s hard to believe that it’s been 5 years since my enucleation.

So much has happened in my life and so much continues to get better and better.

My annual checkups show no signs of mets (thank God), my right eye is as good as ever (although I do need a new prescription, getting older dontchya know) and life just keeps offering opportunities that are too good to let slip by.

My first appointment for my new eye was earlier today. It’s great to find a caring and respectful ocularist that understands the impact this whole experience, since 2003, has had on me.

In just a couple more visits I’ll have a new and improved eye! Yup, I’m EXCITED!

If you are in need of an ocularist or need a “polish and clean” look up Darren Hall of Hall & Associates in North York, Ontario. I don’t think you’ll find better!

2016: Year of the Eye

It’s now 5 years, almost, since my enucleation and ocular prosthetic being made.

My health is great, scans and follow-ups all show no recurrence of cancer, no mets and all that stuff that could appear.

Now that I am living in a new area the search begins not only for a professional to craft my new prosthetic eye but to find the funding to help pay for it.

Luckily the Ontario government has an Assistive Devices Program (I hope it’s still active) that pays up to 75% of the cost. The first eye cost over $2,000.00.

The challenge is ahead to get this done sooner rather than later since I don’t know the process. Wish me well.

2015 Has Been Great So Far!

Rob 2015

Rob 2015
Life throws a lot of curves. Sometimes it’s a ball into the dirt, sometimes is a slow hanger over the plate that is hit out of the park.

It’d been a while since I have hit a home run.

Since my ocular melanoma diagnosis in 2008 I’ve been thrown a lot of pitches into the dirt – unhittable and with life-changing consequences.

But where you were only has one path and it’s taken you to where you are today.

All the people I know that have woken up one day only to be told the same awful news I received so many years ago have one thing in common: to be counted as a survivor.

Our time may be measured in months or years, but we struggle each and every day and we continue as best we can to keep our “survivor” status.

It is a time in our lives that crosses the need to be strong and independent, and consoled with understanding and compassion. My heart goes out to every person on this road, no matter the cause.

August 2016 will mark 5 years since my enucleation, 8 years since my diagnosis and 13 and a half years since I started this journey.

I’m still at bat.

I have learned that there is no strength in denial. Every year I have my annual tests and every year I come close to giving up. Except this year. 2015 was a watershed moment for me. I found support and caring within my family that I did not notice before (I’m pretty certain it was always there, I was just too blind to see, no pun intended).

I am in a new and loving relationship that provides the normalcy I needed to not feel like a “one-eyed wonder”. Thanks to my awesome prosthetic most people don’t even give my one-sightedness a second thought as it quickly becomes a non-issue for my friends. I try hard to not remind them when I bump into them on the left.

Struggle is a part of life. But it need not take over your life.

I hope that you are not walking with me on this particular journey. But know this: you are not alone.

2015: The Year of Promise?

It’s been many months since I’ve added to my blog. In all honesty I haven’t had a lot of good to report in my life.

In 2014 my divorce was finalized. It was hard.

I searched for work, found jobs and left them. I am working now in a growing company and that offers me some much needed positivity.

Since moving east more than a year and a half ago I am still waiting for my medical records to be transferred to my doctor where I live now.

A recent MRI shows several “spots” on my liver which causes me great concern (I’m already past the 5 year survival rate of my cancer) and without my medical records and past MRIs my doctors here are starting from scratch observing my cancer. Previously there were 2 spots on my liver, thought to be common blood clots and not worthy of a painful biopsy.

I know that it could be months, and not years, for a deadly turn of circumstances and am hopeful that my recent campaign of daily faxes for a medical records transfer to my previous doctors has brought my history to my current physicians so that I have a meaningful discussion with my doctor at my appointment which is next week.

Many of you will understand the pressure this brings on a person and I hope that if you are in similar circumstances you can offer the patience and understanding that someone in my position needs.

Losing an eye is not the worse thing that can happen to a person although it does bring its own challenges (and I’ll never enjoy a 3D movie!) so I do not seek out pity.

Like others in my situation I am looking to close out the bad thoughts of what could happen by having the medical information of my situation available that will help to determine my future.

And that I can plan a happy life starting in 2015.