Radiation Damage Rather than Cabcer Naybe
This afternoon, on being driven home from the hospital, I was so intent on thinking about my eye surgeon's input that I totally failed to notice that I was being driven across the Harbour Bridge, which is a bit like failing to notice being driven across Sydney Harbour Bridge or the Golden Gate Bridge.
My eye surgeon's tentative hypothesis is that my eyesight problems reflect radiation damage caused by radiotherapy, rather than a return of cancer.
If cancer, he would expect bilateral effects. However, while damage to the right eye is progressive, the right eye now blind but for a little peripheral vision, the left eye, according to my eye test, is stable.
My own subjective impression that the left eye is deteriorating is quite possibly a consequence of the fact that the right eye has more or less failed.
When I had cataract surgery on the right eye, the natural lens was removed but the natural capsule was retained, and was used to stabilize the artificial plastic lens that was inserted into the eye. The capsule has apparently degraded in some way, becoming pitted and dirty, but that does not appear to be the cause of the defect in the right eye.
The optic nerve is observed to be paler in the right eye, and optic nerve problems are not usually reversible.
My eye surgeon thinks my oncologist is right to search for signs of a recurrence of cancer, but, if none is found, then his vote seems to be for radiation.
He was unsurprised by the fact that I am more or less night blind, and attached no particular importance to this.
He observed something which I had not noticed in the mirror, which is that I have developed, once again, a puffy steroid users face, thanks to the dexamethasone I am taking regularly, eight milligrams a day.
My eye surgeon will no longer be working in the public health system one month out, but he told me to see him privately when I next feel a need to do so, free of charge, which was extremely nice of him.
The next step, tomorrow Friday, is a lumbar puncture, a spinal tap, to get a sample to biopsy to see if it can be established that there is cancer in the meninges, the lining which holds the brain and spine.
Feedback, all going to plan, will be available on Friday 17th March.