When we last connected, I shared my discovery of a weird chemo side effect: the oil glands in my eyelids have become clogged and consequently, swollen. I had hoped that this would be an easy resolve. However, after daily trips to eye specialists all last week and many, many, many hot compresses, I am reporting that this “little” problem, has turned out to be unrelenting and therefore, pretty challenging. 😜As a result, I’ve been forced to stay home and nurse my eyes, rather than be out frolicking during my “good days” between chemo sessions. Boo!
My UCI eye specialist has seen this condition many times before, so it is comforting to know that I don’t have some kind of unusual disease. Also comforting is that, while my eyelids are a mess, my eyeballs are healthy. That’s a relief, because even though my eyesight has been compromised, it is only temporary.
We had the option of having my eyelids “nicked,” which is a procedure where they anesthetize and lance the underside of my eyelids and remove the swollen glands. However, if I did that, my eyes would be even more swollen temporarily and bruised.(Heck, I’m reaching new lows in my appearance, so what’s one more unsightly look?) But the bigger issue is that such a procedure could possibly delay my upcoming chemo and it may or may not resolve the nagging swelling. The doctor gave me the option of how to proceed, but seemed to lean towards letting the eyes resolve themselves. So, I am praying and treating and waiting…and praying and treating and waiting…
One good piece of news about this is that my left eye, which was the most swollen, did finally drain by itself and my eyesight improved, but when that eye resolved, right away my right eye swelled up…Oh Swell!! (Sorry, that was just too easy!)
I had a brief reprieve in the action. After we opted to decline the “nicking” procedure and left UCI, my buddy Holly and I were able to go for a long lunch and a movie before my right eye flared up.
Thank you Holls for accompanying us to the doctor and taking me out for a fun mini escape.
In the midst of all this, I have learned to be ever grateful for moments like this, when I can enjoy the simplicity of leisurely friend time. I am also keenly aware of how blessed I am to have my Greg and my sister Marcia, who consistently drop everything to get me the care I need and for my family and friends who faithfully check on me and stand ready to help me however they can. I want to call you out by name, but you know who you are!! Thank you for your prayers, your texts, your phone calls and for your endless support and understanding!!
Assuming my white blood cell count is holding steady, and providing my oncologist allows me to move forward even though my eyes may still be swollen, my chemo session #4 is this Wednesday. After that, there are only 2 more treatments and 6 more weeks left. At this visit with my oncologist before the infusion, I should be receiving my results from last week’s MRI, which will give us specific measurements of my half way progress. I am eagerly anticipating great news!!
Thinking back to my analogy of my marathon runs and how hard it is when you “hit the wall” at about mile 20, I’m hoping that this setback will be short lived and once I get past this, the rest of my run will be on a downhill and I’ll be able to easily slide across that finish line.
That’s it for now! Another hot compress is calling my name!! Until next time 🙂