Tuesday, February 7, 2023

February: A New Month


im ok

So…retina specialist yesterday. My ophthalmologist initially diagnosed my blurry vision as posterior vitreous detachment (PVD), creating large floaters. As it turned out that much is true - but likely the result of, not the source of, the problem. Long story as short as I can make it: one of the immuno-therapies I was using (Keytruda), while doing a good job of keeping the cancer at bay, began to attack healthy tissue: my eyes

My sight grew worse week by week so I kept returning, at the behest of my oncology team, to return to the ophthalmologist. When I could no longer read anything on the eye chart further checking ensued. It revealed rather severe uveitis – general eye inflammation - and the Doc put me on steroid drops multiple times a day and consulted with my oncologist as he now suspected Keytruda was the culprit. Next visit still inflamed so he did a retinal scan and found they too were significantly inflamed and added a NSAID drop along with the steroid. At this point Raj, who had been consulting with an ophthalmologist friend (whom some of you may know) for weeks, insisted on a referral to a retina specialist, who I saw on yesterday.

She found I still have uveitis, retina inflammation and also blood vessel inflammation but saw significantly improvement since my first scan and she was optimistic about reversing the situation . I ith the continuation of steroid treatment. I was expecting to need steroid shots in the eye but she feels I was responding well to the topicals and recommended staying the course for another month and see if the situation continues to improve.

My vision has improved a bit, but as both docs told me it will take awhile as it didn’t happen overnight. Yes, I know. I’ve been complaining of blurry vision since early September when the initial diagnosis of  PVD was made.  In a perfect world it would have been diagnosed then, the Keytruda link made and the infusions stopped earlier to avoid more damage. But who knows, maybe the drug did more good than bad in the intervening months and continuing it was best in the long run. I realize I’m putting my rose colored glasses on but like I said, who knows?


Besides, I have bigger fish to fry.

No news on the cancer front just now but I have another round of tests: echocardiogram, brain MRI and body scans, scheduled in a couple of weeks and we’ll take it from there. I still have balance issues and very low energy but am working on that. I thank God that my sight is beginning to improve a bit even though I have a long way to go. It had gotten to the point that I could no longer read even headline sized text  and the rest of the world was just a blur. So I’m grateful for every little improvement, which feels momentous .

I am  most grateful to everyone who has said a prayer and/or sent good thoughts and positive energy my way. You’re keeping me afloat and I’m sorry I can do so little in return other than to say thank you.

calvin hobbes if things last forever appreciateYou don’t appreciate your sight until it’s no longer there