Sunday, January 22, 2006

Doctor, My Eye

There's an old Jackson Browne song called, "Doctor, My Eyes". It keeps going through my head every so often, because I know that after tomorrow's radiation appointment I will have my weekly sit-down with the radiation oncologist, where I will be talking to him about my eye.

The feeling in my right eye reminds me so much of when I have briefly looked at something very bright, leaving my eyes feeling temporarily "burned". But this feeling lingers all the time now. In the outside corner of my right eye, I feel some pressure and kind of a sunburned feeling. And there is a constant ache, like the back of my eye is burned. Fortunately, there is no change in my vision. But this is how things are after three days of radiation. Rays zipping in a precise pattern through my head, including through (or very close to) my eye for three days. This will be a six-week process. I wonder if the continued exposure will just cause me to ache more, of if there is actual damage being done to my eye. It's on the "questions list" that I always bring whenever I meet with a doctor.

Of course, if it is causing damage, the answer shouldn't be to change how they are delivering radiation. The protocol was so carefully developed to be as precise as possible in delivering the optimum dose to the target area while minimizing damage to healthy brain tissue. And I guess, if it means that some of it has to come through my eye, I'd rather have an eye problem than a "can't treat the cancer" problem.

Blindness was listed as a potential risk of this process. Blindness in one eye is at least better than blindness in two eyes. My youngest brother is legally blind in one eye, so he knows what that is like. And he is still a gifted artist and a safe driver and a college student, and he looks and functions just fine. I just hope I don't end up with a scary eye that looks burned. I don't want my children to be afraid of how I look. And hopefully this burned, achy feeling in my eye will subside over time. Hope hope hope. Hope and pray. As long as the radiation still does what it has to do.

"Doctor, my eyes tell me what is wrong
Was I unwise to leave them open for so long?"
(Jackson Browne)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Speaking of Jack Browne, here you go...

"Keep a fire burning in your eye,
Pay attention to the open sky,
You never know what will be coming down.

Keep a fire for the human race,
Let your prayers go drifting into space,
You never know what will be coming down."

Some lines from "For a Dancer" by Jackson Browne