Sep 20th, 2021
A Cure in Sight is joined by Carrie Younger-Howard, a patient in Arizona living with ocular melanoma.
She expresses a piece of her journey below; tune in and listen as you’re able, then be sure to share her story with those you know in hopes of raising more awareness and funding for researching and finding a cure.
“It’s malignant. You have cancer.”
My stomach clenched. I sat in shock as I tried to comprehend those heavy words. “Eye. Optic nerve. Brain. Close together. I can die! My kids!” These thoughts just kept rolling together in my mind, like rocks in a rock polisher.
My journey to diagnosis was long & challenging. I KNEW something was wrong, but no doctor would listen. Even after something ‘suspicious’ was found, I was still ignored. I was slowly going blind in 1 eye.
I learned the hard way to ADVOCATE for myself when I discovered a neurologist had written in my records that I was going blind from “depression.”
I fought hard to be heard & sent to a neuro-opthomologist, although it still took more appointments to finally locate an expert in the field of the rare ocular melanoma.
I had brachytherapy in January 2012 & was told to see an oncologist.
My eye was enucleated in August of 2016 after the tumor grew back,, although this doesn’t remove the risk of future mets.
It may be an incurable cancer, at this time, but current research shows that we can have TIME & HOPE.
Time buys us the opportunity to be here for a cure.
Time buys us memories with our families & friends.
Time gives us hope.
None of us have any guarantees in life, but HOPE gives us COURAGE to face the FILTHY BEAST head on so we can live our lives to the fullest.
For now, I patch PROUDLY because eye cancer may be “unsightly”, but I AM NOT.
5 things to take away from Carries interview:
- Advocate for yourself. Bring the support people you need and push to have them there in the room with you.
2. Seek out peer support. You are not alone and you don’t have to feel that way! Start a meet and greet in your area,search for those you can connect with
3. Keep a miracle journal; record the moments you find that remind you there is hope along the way.
- Find the joy and the humor along the way!
- Keep living your life and don’t let this diagnosis rob you of that!
Make sure to share a favorite take away from Carrie’s episode and tag us on social!
Make sure to register for the eye believe seminar, taking place October 8-9! Registration is now open!