MRF Blog

#EyeGetDilated for Families Affected by OM

November 19, 2018 | Categories: Ocular Melanoma, Patient Stories, Prevention

Guest blog post by CURE OM community member Joseph Boyle:

Hello, my name is Joseph Boyle. My relationship to ocular melanoma (OM) isn’t necessarily a positive one, but then again it never really is. I first learned about this disease when my dad was diagnosed with it in 2008. It was at this point that my family and I researched as much as we could about the cancer. Little did we know how devastating it truly was or what the future held for my dad. The number of doctors, treatments, and hospitals my father had to visit to treat this cancer throughout the years was almost too much to count; it’s not something the average person could have handled.

This disease has affected me in more ways than I can imagine. I watched my dad fight for his life over a period of eight grueling years, even though you’d never know it based on his consistent positive attitude and demeanor. He unfortunately lost his battle to this terrible disease in January of 2016. After this awful event, my life has never been the same. There are so many times when I want to ask for his advice or to just spend time together, but unfortunately that will never happen again. Now that I’m approaching three years since his passing, I’ve gotten a lot better emotionally, but I’m not going to lie to you and say everything is perfect because it’s not. Even though you never get over it, you do learn to live with it.

While OM is extremely rare, this doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t get your eyes checked every year. It’s not only important to make sure you don’t have the disease, but to at least reassure yourself that your eyes are healthy. Just like you would get a yearly checkup at your neighborhood physician, dentist or dermatologist, you should do the same for your eyes. And if you’re part of the population that has never had a dilated eye exam, I would highly recommend scheduling an appointment as soon as possible. Even though it might not feel like it at times, your eye health is just as critical to your overall well being as is any other organ in your body.

Ocular melanoma is the most common form of eye cancer in adults, affecting approximately 2,000 new families each year. A yearly dilated eye exam is an important way to monitor for a number of eye conditions, including ocular melanoma. If you haven't had a dilated eye exam this year, schedule your appointment soon. To support the work of CURE OM, please consider a tax-deductible gift today. 

 

 

Comments

Sara Weems - (11/20/2018 - 3:33pm)

Joseph, I was priveleged to know your Dad. I met him when your parents were dating. I was honored to attend the wedding of your Mom and Dad. In those two brief meetings I can tell you your parents love and devotion for one another was not something I had witnessed before. Your father adored your mother even back then. Seeing your Mom's Facebook posts now are such a wonderful testiment to her adoration and devotion to your Dad and the marriage and family they had created.
And now reading your essay about him and OM it is evident what a strong, loving family you 3 had built. I believe your Dad was and is so proud of the young man you have become. Though I've never met you in person and it's been years since I've seen your mother it is obvious the true love and devotion you have for your parents. What a blessing you are. Thank you for sharing your story.

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