What is Enucleation? “Enucleation is the removal of the eye that leaves the eye muscles and remaining orbital contents intact. Enucleation is done under drastic circumstances such as to remove a malignant tumor in the eye or to relieve intolerable pain in a blind eye. Following enucleation, an artificial eye (ocular prosthesis) is implanted as a cosmetic substitute for the real eye.”
I always knew enucleation was an option. It was actually part of my initial decisions when diagnosed with Ocular Melonoma. (1) Do nothing (2) enucleation (3) plaque radiation or (4) proton beam radiation, more on those options and my decisions later BUT after making my initial decision on treatment I never thought enucleation would be back on the table just 20 months later….I was hopeful much later down the line but right now I feel blessed.
Blessed I had options all along the way, the options didn’t pan out like I hoped but I had options and options sometimes provide peace. Those with the size and location of my tumor don’t have options but I did. I am blessed because I had time to prepare and the decision to move forward was an easy one. I had time to prepare myself physically, mentally, and prepare my kids. Preparing is what is a blessing. Little did I know and continue to learn you can never truly prepare to lose an eye but I tried my best.
Blessed I had events that prepared me for the removal of my eye – living with no sight in my OM eye for a year and half, many eye injections to help with growing blood vessels that elevated the pain and pressure in my eye, constant tears, redness, and swollen eye I welcomed next steps of enucleation. The pain I had experience was borderline labor at my worse – yes to those moms out there, it hurt like a MOFO and to the men reading….that reference may help you understand the pain too.
Blessed for my full care team, their bedside manner and how I always felt like their most important patient in the moment. Squeezing me into their busy schedule, expediting surgery, and communicating the process and helping me breathe through the fears and unknowns. I can’t wait to share more about my amazing care team!
- Blessed for family, friends, and colleagues who sent prayers, love, support, txt, emails, voicemails, food, flowers and special gifts to pick me up in the darkness. Blessed for the mommas, families and teachers that loved on my kids in the last minute moments when I could not.
- Blessed for parents who were here in hours to walk through the pre op visits and surgery hand in hand, tear and tear with me.
- Blessed for my 3 C’s to snuggle and hug me and Caden to still call me his ‘hot momma’ and a husband who somehow manages to wake up everyday putting all the pieces together to make sure we are all Ok. A guy who truly loves me through sickness and health.
The days leading up to surgery I knew I was making the right decision but still nervous and scared. The day of surgery, it could not come soon enough. I was literally counting down the minutes. I was a ticking bomb, my eye was so swollen, so red, so painful.
The day of surgery came and surgery went smooth. I remember thinking when I came too following surgery….OMG, the pain is gone. I was on some pretty good drugs, but to fall asleep in pain and wake up almost pain-free was so amazing.
So, Nov 12th I left the hospital hand in hand with my parents, the love of my life and feel asleep – in less pain -less stress – and more than ever ready to move on.
Surgery behind the scenes: Please know – this is my short Lindsay way of sharing so don’t go all MedMD on me here. The human body, the eye is crazy amazing. Once I was under – the eye muscles are removed from the eyeball, the eyeball is cut away from the optic nerve and an obital implant is then wrapped in donor sclera and implanted back into my eye socket and the eye muscles reattached. This allows my eye muscle to instantly latch onto the implant so my eye will hold shape and move like my natural eye once did. After I am stitched up, a plastic conformer is placed on top of my eye skin. The conformer stays in place until my prosthetic (pretty eye) is made. So in explaining this to my kids: I have a new eye but it’s comes in two parts. The first part which is complete – is the shape and movement, the appearance looks like the inside of your cheek. The second part is what we all think of as the eye, the aesthetic eye, the actual lens. That will come after healing and an ocularist works their magic. The prosthetic eye is then like a thicker contact lens. I can wear for weeks or months at time or pop out anytime. The individuals officiating my kids sport event better not really piss me off, lol (not really lol). Wow – the human body is truly fascinating!
Side note – the conversations with the kids is sometime hard but something pretty neat to watch their mind think. When explaining this to Connelly she thought it was so cool that someone’s mom/dad will be making her mom’s new eye.
#mrscaptainron #youcantakemysightbutyoucanttakemyvision #FUOM #seriouslyFUOM