Just when you thought it was safe to go back into the waters...
Rich went to his Dental appointment as was scheduled. During our short two visits to Palliative Care, Rich had complained about 'floaters' in his eyes.
Dr. Loconte didn't give it a thought, they seemed more concerned about his overall well being. Let's just say that Palliative Care is a good thing, but it didn't work out for Rich very well.
After his Dental appoinment, Rich walked over to see the Eye Clinic. He thought he'd see if he could get an appointment to see an eye doctor about the floaters. They seemed to really bother him quite a bit.
As luck would have it, an appointment opened up and 'could he please wait for the doctor?' Rich agreed, it was rare that you ever got in on a same day at any clinic at the VA.
The UW eye doctor showed up and listened to Rich's complaints. Rich's eyes were dilated and examined. He told Rich about the floaters. If they got worse or he saw flashes of light, he was to 'get in' immediately.
Then he asked Rich if he'd had any family history of skin cancer.
I think that took Rich by total surprise.
The doctor said that he was scheduling Rich for a biopsy in a few weeks as he had skin cancer under his eyes. These areas would be removed as cancer near the eyes was not a good thing and they didn't want it to spread to his sinuses nor his eyes. He told Rich what kind of cancer it was called and that ... he the doctor was 99% certain that these spots were cancer.
And by the way his drooping eyelids would require surgery as they were blocking at least 30% of his vision.
When Rich got home, he walked in the door and said "I saw an eye doctor today, they are going to do surgery on the lids so I can see better and did you know I have cancer under my eyes?" He paused and thought a moment.
"I think he called it 'Eye Cancer Lymphodemia'."
I shook my head and said, "I doubt that is what it was called!"
Then I did some research and found the spots that Rich was talking about. Indeed when I compared them to Basil Cell Carcinoma 'on the face and below the eye' I was surprised.
Indeed I could see it plainly.
And we wouldn't have had a clue except for a cancellation on the 13th.
Now we have another wait and see. Another cancer diagnosis that happened on the 13th of all dates.
However this cancer...if it is Basil Cell Carcinoma and it has not spread deeply into the tissues, has a 99% survival rate of 5 years or better.
And so it goes.