Chemo and eyes!

Gwen has already had a busy week, and it’s only Tuesday! She had round 3 of chemo yesterday. The process went more smoothly this time. She got benedryl via a pill this time, and she felt much better. She was in a new room as the hospital has expanded their infusion area. She said it was quieter because there are no TVs in the new room. She occupied herself by chatting with “Helen” and mom, using her tablet, and doing some thank you note writing with mom as her helper until Gwen fired her for being too slow.

She went straight from chemo to track practice, of course! The first meet is tomorrow, and she really wanted to help her jumpers! Such dedication. Mom got to be an assistant at practice, too, as she was on Callie duty.

Today, she had an appointment with the eye doc at Duke, Dr. M. Is last name is too difficult for even his colleagues to pronounce, so they all refer to him as Dr. M. Gwen was pleased that he had heard the news that she was mutated and feels it must mean her lung doctor was really excited that the mutation had been identified! I think it is awesome that they are in such good communication with each other.

The following synopsis of the appointment was written by my guest blogger who has no idea that she is guest blogging, our mother who was at the appointment:

Gwen saw her ocular oncologist today.  Today’s eye sonogram showed that the mass is wider, but not as thick, it is less elevated, has less fluid in it, and its
rate of growth has slowed. Overall, the doctor thought the chemo was doing some good-he used the word “encouraging”.  He is leaning toward doing a cold laser treatment of the eye mass which will clot blood in the blood vessels and shut off the blood supply to the mass. This procedure would not cause any further vision issues. He just needs to confer with the medical oncologist to see if the targeted pill treatment will arrive soon enough that it would make sense to wait and let the pill do its work (because it has passed the blood/brain barrier in others and therefore should help the eye)and leave the laser treatment in our back pocket if needed. The decision should be made in the next day or two, so stay tuned!

I think “in our back pocket” has been the most frequently used phrase throughout this process. These docs like options and like them kept in pockets!

Thanks, Mom, for emailing this info this afternoon so I didn’t have to type it all – it is already past my bedtime. And thanks for being Gwen’s assistant even if you are slow at writing.

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One thought on “Chemo and eyes!

  1. I wonder if the cold laser treatment is something similair to what I’ve had done for diabetic retinopathy (sp?) Retinopathy in the eyes causes extra blood vessels to form, so they go in and zap them. I was also treated with a colon cancer drug via shot in the eyeballs to clear up the scar tissue that can happen as a result of the laser therapy. To be honest, it’s a creepy procedure, but it doesn’t hurt too bad. We always made it a challenge to see how many zaps I could take before asking for a break. I recommend bringing something to listen to while the doc is zapping her eyeballs… it helped me kind of zone out. Sending much love to you and your family! ——Nicole Miller

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