Sunday, December 19, 2010

Another Anniversary

I had a babysitter who regularly performed hearing and eye tests on each of us. Usually over lunch. I remember sitting at the table and being told to cover my left eye, and having to peek through my fingers to see for the eye test. The other kids accused me of cheating. The next time i was asked to cover my left eye I joked-- hey! Who turned out the lights?-- not knowing that it was not at all a funny joke but a symptom of something very wrong.
Donna, my babysitter, convinced my parents I needed my eyes checked. They had the school nurse do an eye check and she told my parents there was nothing wrong with me and my eyes were fine-- that my babysitter was crazy. My parents were satisfied after the school nurse's exam... but Donna persisted. There was something wrong.
So more as a last resort to appease the babysitter than anything... my parents took me to the physician... who sent us to an ophthalmologist... who sent us to an oncologist and a surgeon. Turns out Donna was right-- there was something wrong. I was diagnosed with Retinoblastoma, cancer of the retina, on December 19, 1990. The doctors told my parents to go home and have a normal Christmas... I had surgery 8 days later to remove my right eye. The cancer was entirely contained within the retina, and the surgery was successful in completely removing the cancer from my body...
So today finds me nearly 20 years cancer free... and that is exciting to share! Were it not for the persistence of our dear friend and babysitter, it could be a very different ending to this story. I have been blessed with many such people throughout my life-- who have been the right person at the right moment to (sometimes very literally, see above) save my life. It seems there is really no appropriate way to express gratitude to those people...
Anyway... Happy Anniversary. 20 years I guess that quite an accomplishment, of sorts. Makes me feel old. :)
Buuuuut... Z and I busted out the fancy glasses and had ourselves a little celebration and a toast "To the defeat of evil!" (his words). Feel free to celebrate with us as you see fit!

(in case you were curious... HERE is what I had to say about it last year...)

1 comment:

FruitFly said...

Wow - that is pretty fascinating. Thank goodness for such a caring and observant babysitter!!

Congratulations on your 20 years!