On April 27th 2015 I was diagnosed with a choroidal melanoma. Eye cancer.
I had never heard of cancer of the eye before and was completely unprepared for the impact this was about to have on my life and all the poor buggers that were about to be dragged through this draining episode with me. Including my husband and three daughters.
It all started when youngest child started blinking. A lot. She assured me that there was nothing in her eye so I ignored it for a week and then decided to get it checked at the opticians. A decision that perhaps saved my life. Whilst making an appointment the receptionist asked if I would also like an eye check. I have never worn glasses before and up until then had fantastic eye sight. But since hitting 40 I had to start admitting that my arms were no longer long enough. The medicine boxes, ingredients on packets and anything else with annoyingly small print was now just a blur. The kids were self medicating as I handed them boxes of paracetamol and asked them to tell me how many they could take. So sensibly I agreed and started to think about what shape of glasses would suit me. If you google celebrities who wear glasses, images of Jennifer Anniston or Ann Hathaway looking amazing pop up. Women in their forties who wear glasses can look stunning and sexy. I may have a couple of double chins and not look remotely like a hollywood star but I could nail it too. I hoped.
Anyway I had jumped the gun, as glasses were not going to be on my shopping list. The optician had spotted something in my eye that she wanted to get checked. This was a Friday. She asked if I could see someone on the Monday before I went on holiday. Now if someone had spotted a suspicious lump on my breast, or had seen a suspect mole, or noted something odd on a chest x-ray, I am sure I would be like most people and scream CANCER and book in that Monday morning without a second thought. Crumbs if I even had an ingrowing toe nail I would have hot footed it off to the chiropodist to get it sorted. But the eye?! Well that could just wait. I didn’t have time, I didn’t see the urgency and I had never heard of eye cancer.
So without a worry in the world I went off with the family to Belgium to eat waffles and drink beer. Oh and to also support my husband who was doing a cobbled cycle near Ghent, the real reason we were going. I didn’t realise at the time that this was the last care free holiday I would have. Things were about to change.