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Here's lookin at you, kid... sort of

D Lewis's picture
D Lewis
Posts: 1523
Joined: Jan 2010

Ah, radiation and chemo; the gifts that keep on giving. My ophthalmologist told me Friday that I have 'radiation-induced' cataracts...

After a peek at the eyes, he noted that my cancer had most likely been base-of-tongue (correct) and he was seeing the result of radiation scatter. I was a stage 4, with multiple lymph node involvement on both sides of my neck, so I can imagine the radiation was scattered just about everywhere.

A pre-existing medical condition with my eyes makes me a 'high risk' cataract-surgery patient, so his recommendation is that we wait for six months before taking any action. That is, unless it gets really bad before then. Not sure what that means. And, how does one know what to look for, if one already isn't seeing all that clearly?

On a more positive note, he told me that he could substantially improve my dry-eyes issue by inserting little plugs into my 'eye drains.' This apparently, will allow tears to remain in my eyes longer, rather than draining out throught the bottom.

I'll be going ahead with that one next week. Anyone else have this done?

Deb

CivilMatt's picture
CivilMatt
Posts: 2909
Joined: May 2012

Hi Deb,

I am glad you are doing well but sorry about the cataract problem. I am also stage IVa with both sides of my neck treated (even though only the left side had cancer). Hopefully, unintended parts of me did not receive to much scatter radiation.

My wife had the plugs when she was preparing for laser eye surgery (to get rid of contacts). No big deal (I am guessing).

Best,

Matt

katenorwood
Posts: 1820
Joined: May 2012

Deb,
I know that if you get the surgery too soon that it causes complications. They have to wait until a certain portion is covered (eye) before they do the procedure. Eye plugs hunh ? Never heard of those...I use plain eye drops (oc) and seem to work well. Also rads. really do a number on our bodies. Good luck, keep us posted. Katie

KTeacher
Posts: 911
Joined: Jan 2011

Sorry to hear about the gift that keeps on giving but thank you for posting. I have been having horrible vision problems for the last few weeks, getting a little nervous. Had seen my eye doctor in June and new glasses in July, problems started about a month after the new glasses. I have some appointments in the next week for other gifts, peridontal tooth extraction on Friday and hearing test on Monday--two weeks for the eye doctor. I should have been done with this in July but doctors had cancelled appointments, now I get to plan for subs.

BTW, did you stay up in Sonora for the appt. or go down to the big town?

D Lewis's picture
D Lewis
Posts: 1523
Joined: Jan 2010

Bummer. Sounds like we're heading down the same path. I was able to see a very good Board certified Ophthalmologist up here - he's part of the Adventist Health System and our kids actually went to school together.

Deb

George_Baltimore's picture
George_Baltimore
Posts: 303
Joined: Jun 2009

I had cataract surgery the next year after my cancer treatments. I was never told there could be a correlation between the two. I was scared to death about somebody coming at my eyes with a scalpel. I am SO glad I had the surgery. I went from wearing glasses to not needing them. Two days ago, I had an eye exam so I could renew my driver's license by mail. I passed with flying colors still not needing glasses. Thank God for lens implants.

Pam M's picture
Pam M
Posts: 2194
Joined: Nov 2009

I had never heard of radiation-induced cataracts. I'm sorry that you have now.

I have no experience with eye plugs, but have heard good things.

What is the doc hoping will happen in the next six months? I'm sure you must be frightened and frustrated - hate that you've got this flavor icing on your cancer cake.

Greend's picture
Greend
Posts: 679
Joined: Feb 2010

I'm having right eye surgery on Oct 4th. HMMMMMMMM Didn't have anything else to do that day so I may as well go back to a hospital. :>)

D Lewis's picture
D Lewis
Posts: 1523
Joined: Jan 2010

Let me know how the eye surgery turns out for you. I have unstable retinas, hence the doctor's concerns.

Deb (with plugs impending)

hawk711's picture
hawk711
Posts: 525
Joined: Jan 2010

I had to have eye surgery for a torm retina right when I was ending treatment. Dr said it probably tore from the pressure of my vomiting so much during Chemo and rads. Nice thought don't you think?
Anyway, I also have tons of "floaties" in both eyes. Never had them before rads so I'm calling foul on the rads. I think they cause alot of eye problems for us H&N people. I'm not a dr. but I have heard many stories to show that it is more than coincidence.
good luck
Steve

Greend's picture
Greend
Posts: 679
Joined: Feb 2010

I will let you know but don't anticipate (fingers crossed and knock on wood) any problems.

Denny

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