Tag Archives: cancer

Robin

I would like to start off by thanking a few people an places. the first and foremost is The Seeing-Eye for matching us 8 years ago on July 21 2008. It was dog day and I was brought this beautiful German Shepherd named Robin! I remember her looking around she did give me a lick but wanted to follow Rivi her trainer more than stay with me. That is normal. I remember getting down on the floor with her and she would be close then as soon as I got comfortable she would move to the end of her leash! I could barely pet her when she was that distance. In class I had issues and had thoughts about if I had mae the right decisions maybe a cane was better for me. I remember her stopping on route and I said Robin forward and she wouldn’t go, so again I said Robin forward. I started to move my feet and I fell in to a bush. For me gaining my confidence and my trust were big issues I struggled with at first. Here I am not having any feedback with the environment around me I’m just walking very fast with the dog. The walking fast was a really awesome sensation because for the first time I could out walk someone sighted and actually hit my pace.
I think it took us 6 months to fully bond. We definitely had growing pains, but looking back at it I would not wanted it any other way!
I’ve written different things, and I honestly could write a book on how much I love her. I’m thankful that even until the end she wanted to work. Work for me now is a lot different from when I got her. Working at Humana with Jaws and people talking al day I am tired when I get home. Work moved and taking the city bus and walking home stopped, because it isn’t a walking friendly area where we moved. I think one reason she was able to work longer was we’d get up get on the door to door bus and walk in. It wasn’t physically exhausting for her. I also didn’t travel much the last year, because I felt it was harder for her, and it was nothing for me to make that sacrifice.
After I graduated college it took me about a year to find a job. I actually found something about a week after graduation and got the job, but on the way to Apple they called me and said it wasn’t accessible for the current state of screenreader. I was devastated after this news! I bought in to the lines of you can do anything you want no one ever stated unless it isn’t accessible. It really brought on for me depression, but with Robin she wouldn’t let me just lay in bed she had to go out. She wouldn’t be ignored for long she would lick me in the face. I thank her for giving me a reason to get out and walk her and just for that time we had together. At that time I was also playing with the first GPS unit you could walk around with, so if I was done filling out applications we would just walk down streets and see where they’d go. In Muncie one of my favorite things to do was to walk on the Wheeling bridge. I could hear the river running below, and just found it peaceful. I took Robin back to Ball State for my friend Dina’s graduation and her memory of are routes was just amazing. At that point we’d been in Louisville for a year, and I walked to the restaurant we were going to meet at that night for memories sake. When I crossed the intersection of Petty and McKinley. she tried to pull me down towards the bus stop where’d i catch the bus to go home or to the store. Even after a year she still remembered I just thought that was so cool.
My favorite moment of her work was going on my first job interview. I still to this day and now get emotional, because for the first time I didn’t have to grab someone’s elbow when touring a job. At that interview for Apple we just followed everyone like I was just another person part of the group. I was so gratifying. Thank you Robin for that my sweet girl. She loved my mom to much to really work her around my family so they missed out on some of her abilities she really got emotional around her. She was like that from the start I tried to correct her but she knew my family.
When I moved to Louisville it was a chance to go somewhere new, and have an airport and bus station. In Muncie you only have so many work opportunities. I met Matt and Amanda so I knew 2 people, but otherwise I knew no one else. I still today thank Ethan and Robin for being there and making this place feel more comic home. Robin and I spent 2 Thanksgivings and 1 Christmas by ourselves. Either my parents came down early or I couldn’t go home do to work. We’d watch the football games, and she’d just be with me.
I have way to many things to say about my favorite things about Robin. I liked her ears, the soft fur on her face, the way she would give you kisses if you asked or when she thought you needed them, her intelligence, her ability to adapt to my changes in work schedule and travel, her partnership during a game or whenever, and the way she’d bark when a bus driver would say my name. They would come in and say my name and you’d hear Robin goo woof and wag her tail. She wasn’t much of a tail wagger, but I always felt it hitting the back of my legs when I’d say Robin forward. I could at times get her tail to wag when I’d sing to her. When I’d be sick she would just know and lay on my legs to keep me warm she never really did this unless I was sick. She’d also usually not leave me during this time. Normally she’d sleep beside me until I was sleeping then go on patrol of the house. If I shut my door then she’d just move from one side of the bed to the other.
For a few months I got her nails painted, and she really did think she was something else. I’ll never forget I was walking to dinner on forth street live, and behind me I hear this lady go I wonder if he notices one of her nails are chipped. I just smiled haha
We went to a lot of sporting events together. Her favorite times were when she could snag a bun or something someone dropped on the ground. She also liked to watch people. I would have to hear her thoughts. Two of my favorite trips with her involved going to Arizona with her. Once we went with my dad and she did beautiful work. I’ll never forget I took my dad to 5 games in 4 days and I learned Robin’s nose could get sunburnt. We also took a trip to the Grand Canyon and the Hoover dam. The second trip I was a finalist for a TV gig with the Diamondbacks and we went to the new Cubs park then caught a bus to see a Podreys game. We got off at the wrong stop and I got real nervous but one thing about being lost with a dog vs a cane is you can pet them collect your thoughts and they can backtrack. Robin was amazing at correcting my mistakes, or in this case bus drivers that give mis information. We got to the park just fine once I caught another bus.
The last 6 months she really went downhill. She started having diarrhea issues in the house. My girlfriend Abby helped me with that and we just kept being supportive of her. Those incidents took so much out of her, and I know she didn’t mean for it to happen.
Today I’ve been thinking about everything I can I miss her so much. I wish I could just reach down from my chair and she be here. I have a few times and felt the floor it sucks I hate this. Anyway she had some annoying things she’d do that would just get under my skin from time to time. I’d be doing something like listening to a ball game and she’d go to my room. She would get on my bed and lick my pillow. I don’t know why she’d feel the need to do this, but I would come in and she’d jump down and I’d lay my head down and it would be all wet. What I wouldn’t give now to walk in my room and have her jump down and have a wet pillow.
I also would like to thank Plantation Animal Clinic for being supportive talking to me whenever I needed, and also making today so peaceful. Dr. Kleinhelter or Dr. K for short was amazing. She told me what was happening and was so respectful thank you so much to her for the last 6 months I just wish I’d found you earlier. Not that it would have fixed anything Robin went through, but she got really great care there. I don’t know if you can just donate to them, but they didn’t charge me anything for today, so if you can please donate to them and the Seeing-eye. that would be great. I stayed with Robin so did Abby I asked her to and Abby was like her mom. The last year we’ve spent a lot of time together. I just wish Robin could have been there to see us get married, but she and Abby’s first dog Alice will have the best seats in the house.
When I came home I regretted the thing I just had done, because my best friend, partner, and daughter was gone. I slept a lot today and when I woke up around 9 I know in my heart I did the best thing for her but I’m still not there in my head. I love you Robin.
We set the time to put her down on Monday, so you just watch time and feel it passing way to fast. We spent time in my bed listening to Kentucky Sports Radio together something we’ve done since Ethan died. Listening to the show just takes my mind off things so Mat and Ryan I need you guys a lot the next few weeks. She got me up and her tummy was making awful sounds and she started to puke. I knew I was making the best choice for her. Abby came over and brought dinner. She couldn’tt keep anything down so I asked Abby if she could get Robin a meal too. Abby got Robin a kids meal of Chicken and rice from QDoba. I took video and if I ever feel like sharing it’s the greatest sound. She licked the entire bowl clean. I then gave her chips she loved that. Instead of 20 minutes needing to go outside she didn’t have to until about 2 am.
I slept with her on the floor last night keeping my hand on her most of it. Again feeling time pass knowing was hard as hell. I posted a status on Facebook and afterwords I just put my face next to her and cried so hard. She licked my tears again and then moved and put her head under my face so I could cry on her neck. Another thing April Goesman put a survey up a few weeks ago where she said she loved the smell of her boys hair. I didn’t really get that until this moment. I smelled Robin’s neck and kept my nose there it was nice. Dealing with everything she had gone through and she did have a new oder I really enjoyed the smell of her. That might sound weird but I miss it now.
It’s so strange at my house. She’s not there to follow me and just knowing I’m here alone is so hard. Abby offered to stay, but I wanted a little time before going back to work. Humana let me take Wednesday off too. I will take that day to myself to reflect on memories, cry, and hopefully feel a little better. Robin was amazing she made me better, she gave me so much in so little time. It’s weird to think about time when I got her the iPhone still wasn’t usable to the blind now it’s my most used gadget. I know she will always be part of me, but that doesn’t stop the pain for now.
I wanted to also mention another person who helped out today. When I first moved to Louisville I rode with a driver named Larry. He reminded me honestly of another bus driver from Muncie named Larry, so I instantly liked him. I went a lot of time without seeing him, but he picked us up today. He kept my mind off of what was happening. It also just worked out Abby was on are ride as well so we picked her up. Abby had popcorn which I asked her to bring because I didn’t have any. Robin loved popcorn. I fed her the ziplock bag full on the way. When we got there Larry gave me a hug and petted Robin and started to cry. It just touched me in a way I can’t explain even now I’m tearing up. So many times in life we bicker over shit that is bigger than us, and we forget were humans. Thank you Larry hopefully I will ride with you soon again to tell you in person how much that meant.
Abby took care of things while I slept so a big thank you to her I wouldn’t be writing this now if she didn’t let me vent to her.. Thank you for also loving Robin. Also thank you Brian Q for being an ear tonight.
This was the hardest thing I’ve done. I’m happy for the 8 wonderful years I got with Robin. You will always be in my heart, and again you gave me so much in a short time. I lost my sight to cancer and now Robin, so fuck it. Robin thanks for always putting up with me, being so loyal, and putting up with my annoying habits like not listening to your warnings.
One day at Ball State I was late for class and I came out of my apartment to catch the bus. I old her Robin forward and again she wouldn’t go. I did this twice more and she even turned to the left I should have listened girl. I decided to drop the harness and pull her behind me. I took the first step and water got in my shoes and was real deep. I have a feeling if I could have seen her face she would have been laughing at me. I told you so daddy. Just like her licking the pillow I’m not perfect either ya’ll.
I love you so much Robin. 6/18/2006-12/06/2016 heaven gained a new angel thank you girl for your work for never just wanting a break, and for loving me.

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A few thoughts on blindness cancer and the Ronald McDonald house

It’s been awhile since I’ve talked about the reason I’m blind. When I was a year old I was diagnosed with a cancer of the eye called Retnal Blastoma. Which after hearing the other names of eye diseases if I must say Blastoma sounds kind of spacey oriented. Pigmatosa or however you spell that just sounds horrible. Usually rental blastoma only takes one eye, but mine was caught late, so it took both. My mom and dad noticed me crawling in to walls or not looking at my food before I ate it, and decided to take me to Fort Wayne for a doctor to look at it. They were then sent on to Riley Children’s Hospital where I was the seventy fifth case in Indiana.
The doctors for the most part wanted to just use me for studies, and thought there wasn’t much chance to save my life. One doctor in particular said lets remove them, and try. They did and I made it. For the next 8 years of my life every 6 months I had to go to Indy for check ups. I remember the long ass drives to Indy when your a kid those things stick out. I felt like I spent more time there than most places. My childhood was really normal I climbed trees, chased goats around and tried to ride them like horses, played a ton of basketball. Being from Indiana that’s a requirement. I’ve often said I don’t remember being blind as being a problem until around puberty. Which is interesting. Maybe it’s the innocents of bing a kid I’m really not sure. That may have been a question as well, but I’m tired so forgive me we will just pretend it’s retorical.
When I first went to Riley my dad was farming pretty much full-time, and my mom might have been at the bank still, but was mainly a stay at home mom for the first few years of my life. They stayed  at the Ronald McDonald house while  I was going to my cancer treatment and they said that it was a really great place. They had enough worries not to have to worry about how they could afford a hotel on top of things. I’ve always been grateful for things that happened back then.
For being blind I’ve gone back and forth on emotions. I used to think one day I’d just get it, and I’d be 100% fine. I think being blind is for me easy most of the times. On a windy day, and I have a headache it’s a bit challenging to focus clearly. At work I hear a screen reader talking all day, and then people on the other side, so sometimes at night I come home and need a few minutes without noise. I used to think I could work really hard and make people understand I’m just like them I just can’t see. I’ve given up on that thought awhile ago. I think blindness is something most can’t get unless they’re faced with it. I wrote something a few years ago I liked, so I will share it now about cancer.
The myth is about cancer is that somehow you beat it, and life is magically better. the reality is usually cancer takes something from you, and then your hopefully left to deal with the aftermath. For example when people look at me I survived cancer, but they offen don’t even know that or would even focus on that they focus on the fact I’m blind. I can’t hide that it sticks out anywhere I go. A job interview it’s there. I’d love to be able to hide it when possible but Robin just won’t disappear for those interviews. Maybe I have a different perspective I haven’t really talked to a lot of survivors, so this is just my longwinded thoughts. I imagine anyone who survives breast cancer or something along those lines are still left with the scars. My thoughts on cancer really is yes you can win, but it leaves it’s marks.
That’s a little peace I found I wrote from a few years ago. Blind people are like anyone else we all are on are own levels, and we all have a different skill set. Like I said earlier I’ve gon through a lot of different struggles. My teen years I was probably depressed living in the country and I couldn’t drive like my friends. My friend/brother Brandon or Sean would pick me up a lot, but it wasn’t the same of having that freedom. I think right now I’m probably the healthiest I’ve been, because I realize the  positives and negatives. Look being blind I’m truly an individual you can stand out easier if your upbeat. You can only play the cards you were delt and just move on. I think rather than being down and sad about things that aren’t going to change is pointless move on and make a difference. I think I will still struggle at times with not being able to see. I think a lot at nights when I can’t see the sky or stars that part kind of blows. I’ve never been married, but I feel a little weird about not being able to see my wife walking down the isle. I don’t know why that sticks out so much, but it does. I think it’s because in that moment your focusing on one beautiful woman coming to join you I jus think somewhere I’d be a bit sad but who knows. I think maybe just feeling  her in her dress before hand might fix that but it’s something I’ve thought about over the years. I think in a weird way rather than face that I’ve pushed people away somewhat afraid to face that. Again did I mention I feel pretty healthy right now? You never stop learning in life, and you hopefully grow from mistakes if not you may want to start there. Haha that’s my advice.
Anyway christ that was long. Tonight I went to the Ronald McDonald house which is something I’ve been working on for awhile. I took some Derby pie that I got from a great place, and I worked with a catering company for the food so it was homemade Look I can cook certain things like burgers and crab legs but honestly I’m not the best at it. I make some mean  Ramen noodles. Anyway my crab legs are amazing. Being blind doesn’t hamper me being able to cook it’s mainly laziness, and cooking for one sucks honestly. Why do I want leftovers? Anyway Everything came together very nicely. I also let Robin off work for a few people to play with. They loved it so did she. When we got home she was wound up and wanted to play ball a little more than normal. For a Bachelor I thought everything went off well! At first I was a little nervous, because the people I was working with hadn’t really ever interacted with a blind person, but thats pretty normal for me to work with these days. After a brief description of myself and explaining why I wanted to get involved it was fine. I met a little boy who I am going to try to take to a Bats game. No one likes to go to the Bats games with me my friends mainly hate baseball, so I usually go by myself because it’s my therapy. Also I realize how long the Reds are going to suck and that makes me smile somewhere inside if it were only the Cardinals instead. I can stomach Cincinnati but St. Louis just rubs me the wrong way being a Cubs fan. Anyway he knew a lot about the game, and so I will check with my Bats contact to see if we can make something happen. I asked him if he’d ever gone to a game and had a stadium hotdog? He said no, so we’ll have to change that. Again I don’t know why I feel this way, but nothings better than ballpark hotdogs. Milwaukee has sausages that are out of this world good literally. If I had to pick my favorite park for a hotdog it would be Miller hands down. 

Cancer and since when the hell did winter become a battle?

Earlier this week I wrote a blog about what I’d be doing this weekend, or maybe I post that on Facebook hell I don’t remember. Maybe I should start that over. i’ve been wanting to get into production on the radio side of things for a while I just love radio in general. A contact I made in Milwaukee about three years ago named Carl and I have been exchanging emails on how to become or where to start with production. He offered me an opportunity to come to Green Bay, and partake and doing production for the game tonight. I’m just not ready to go back to Green Bay yet someday I will but not this season. On Thursday I woke up at three pretty nervous, so I called Opie at that time of the morning I usually have two options for friends to call either Denny or Opie. I told him I was feeling some anxiety about going to Green Bay and how I just wasn’t ready even though it was a great opportunity. He said to me don’t worry about it if it stresses you out don’t do it. He said at this point anything I do with radio is secondary until it becomes my primary just stay happy.

My second option was I was going to take a road trip which I decided against, because I didn’t know the person all that well. So that left me with what am I going to do with my weekend? On Friday I was flipping through the radio when I landed on the Bobby V show. Bob wasn’t there, but I heard about a story that instantly made me realize what I needed to do. Bellarmine was got the approval to start Patrick McSweeney. If you’re not local and Louisville you may not of seen the story. Patrick has battled cancer since five years old, and coach Davenport, met him at a basketball camp. his dream was to play college basketball and today that dream came true for him. i’ve been to a lot of sporting events, and in my lifetime have seen some amazing things but today is exhibition game for me was maybe one of the sweetest things I’ve ever seen in my life. In life we often focus on the negative but when people like coach Davenport and Coach Pitino work together to make a kids dream come through by having to clear it with the NCAA is pretty remarkable.

In December I went to the Kentucky Louisville game and Lexington with a guy named Kevin who is battling cancer. Myself had cancer and is the reason I’m blind Kevin is in a wheelchair. Kevin is a big Kentucky fan, so I called him on Friday and asked if you would like to come up and go to a real arena? I have to get my digs in early because that team in Lexington looks to be special. He said he would look at trying to find a ride, and was able to. The only memory I have from today’s game other than conversations with Kevin is from Patrick and Chris Jones scoring 10 points right away. The moment both made me smile and brought a tear to my eye at the same time.

Kevin and I talked about some of his recent treatments as well as my own. Regarding my eyes I don’t really remember the operation because I was a baby. I do remember going to Riley Children’s Hospital would seem like a lot when I was a child. I hated the damn car ride it seem like my house to Indianapolis took forever. I hated going, because some person was going to mess with my eyes meaning take them out and I hated the way people would forcefully do that. when I got older I didn’t mind it because I could do it myself, but when I was a kid I hated people messing with them. My doctor used to have to tell me stories about Thurman Thomas while taking them out to distract me or someone would sit on me. After eight years I was out of remission which meant I only had to go to Riley once every year until I was 18. as I got older the trip Scott shorter which was nice. Another memory I have from the hospital was they would stick me in a x-ray machine for like an hour at a time. I hated it because I was separated from my family. I remember I would cry by myself and the x-ray machine, and some nurse would try and tell me funny nursery rhymes.

The worst memory I have of all of my childhood would be this one. someone in my family thought it would be a great idea or maybe it was the blind school that I should go down and attend the blind school for some sort of preschool. my mom took me down on a Saturday and I think I was again somewhere around four or five. she left me and stay with a relative. It’s really embarrassing to talk about this now but I hated being with strangers and not having my mom. I remember them trying to tell me things would be okay but I knew it just wasn’t normal. Thank God they took me home and I never really had to go back. I hated that place. I did go back to a camp later my childhood, and it was okay I hated it when I was a young kid.

When I was going through my cancer I was only the 75th case at Riley Children’s Hospital that they had seen. My mom tells me that the doctors really wanted to just perform experiments on me that they didn’t feel they could save me. One dr. decided that he thought he could do an operation where he would have to remove one of my eyes. They realize though unfortunately the cancer had grown too much and was in both eyes so they had to remove everything optic nerve and all. They then put in an artificial muscle that is red it controls the movement of my fake eyes today. The same muscles have been in since I was born I hear they can go bad and that’s a painful operation I’m keeping my fingers crossed they stay healthy. Talking to Kevin today it’s funny you can be cancer but it’s a hell of a fight and it usually take something from you. This life has been crazy especially this year. In the past month I’ve question a lot of things, like why do things happen a certain way? I don’t really have any answers so sorry if you were hoping for one. Going back through my bouts with depression and there have been a lot from not being able to drive to just the way people can treat you. if you read this blog it regularly you’ll see I still struggle with taking my dog places or getting a ride things that into thousand 14 blind people shouldn’t struggle with. The unemployment rate is alarming and it’s just brushed aside and every organization or people are tired of hearing about it. Even myself have created stereotypes of what blind people can or can’t do but the truth of the matter is that it is up to the individual. What is great about people is we’re not robots we are not programmed to just deal with one type of situation. And times of tragedy we come together and moments of weakness we find strength and above all we persevere.

A lot of times people fear or feel sorry for people with disabilities. It often seems to me that I spend most of my time wondering why people can’t just see me as normal. It was nice today talking about this with Kevin because he himself to said since being in a wheelchair people talk to him as he were a child and it’s hard for him to find that normalcy. Most of the time when we talk it’s about basketball or how he is feeling or what treatment he’ll have to do next but the thing I admire most is how we have that connection even though it’s different it’s the same cancer changed us. thank you to Louisville and Bellarmine for allowing such a moment for Patrick McSweeney and for allowing his dreams to come true and may be showing some others dreams are still possible.

I saw this headline Fischer to announce snow and ice ‘battle plan’, 10:16 PM. Isn’t the plan the same since I don’t know 2004? People act as if snow and ice never happen. why is this a headline? it really should just be Fisher says salt and trucks are ready for first snow, but I digress.

retinoblastoma

I copied this from a website but I thought it was useful! retinoblastoma is a malignant tumor of the retina, which is a thin membrane on the back of the eye that works like a camera, taking pictures of what you
see. The tumors consist of small round cells grouped into structures called rosettes, which are thought to derive from the fotoreceptors of the retina.
In many occasions, the tumor is necrotic in the center, with areas of hemorrhage. When the tumors are very large, small portions of them break away from
the main mass and remain in suspension in the viscous fluid within the eye called the vitreous. These small tumors are called “vitreous seeds,” and
are very difficult to treat. Retinoblastoma also has the potential to spread throughout the retina, into the eye tissue under the retina, into the eye
socket, the optic nerve and brain, or more distantly, to the bones and the bone marrow.

Patients may be born with retinoblastoma, but it is rarely diagnosed at birth. Some patients (40 percent) are born with a genetic defect that leads to
the development of multiple tumors in one or both eyes. The diagnosis of retinoblastoma is usually made before the 3 years of age. The first sign of
retinoblastoma is usually a white reflex in the eye, often called a cat’s eye appearance, in which a white-yellow tumor mass is seen through the pupil.
Often times, the white reflex is first seen in a photograph of the child’s face. In other
children,
the first signs of retinoblastoma are complaints of poor vision, or turning of the eye inward or outward. When the tumor is very large, it can cause the
pressure of the eye to increase, and the eye becomes very painful.

Incidence

an estimated 250-300 children a year will develop retinoblastoma in the united states and across the world.
Retinoblastoma represents about 3 percent of all childhood malignancies.

Influencing factors

children born with bilateral retinoblastoma may pass the retinoblastoma trait to their children (hereditary).
Most of the remaining 50-60 percent have the non-hereditary form of retinoblastoma. However, about 5 percent of these patients may also carry the “retinoblastoma
gene” with the risk of passing the trait to their children.
Retinoblastoma serves as the model for understanding the heredity and genetics of childhood cancer.

Clinical features and symptoms

children with a suspicion of having retinoblastoma need to be examined under anesthesia, with the pupils dilated, and have very careful evaluation of the
size and number of tumors.
The tumors are also evaluated using mri and ultrasounds of the eyes.
Since retinoblastoma can also spread outside of the eye, studies of the bones (bone scan), the bone marrow and the spinal fluid are also performed.

Survival rates

if the tumor is contained within the eye, more than 95 percent of patients can be cured. For those children with tumors in both eyes, close to 70-80 percent
of the eyes can be saved, although many of them need radiation therapy.
Patients with the hereditary form of retinoblastoma have a genetic predisposition to develop other cancers, and continue to develop other cancers outside
of the eye throughout their lives.

Treatment strategies

treatment depends on whether the tumor affects one eye or both eyes and if the disease has spread to other parts of the body. Different combinations of
surgical techniques, radiation therapy or chemotherapy are used as treatment.
Patients with retinoblastoma in only one eye (unilateral) are usually treated with removal of the eye (enucleation). More than 90 percent of these children
do not need any more treatment. In the remaining cases, the tumor may have spread to deeper areas within the eye tissues, or into the eye socket, and
they receive additional chemotherapy after the surgery. A very small number of children can have tumor invading the brain, or spreading to the bones or
the bone marrow. These patients need more intensive chemotherapy, usually including a bone marrow transplant.
In children with multiple or bilateral tumors, the treatment is more conservative, since these children may have both eyes involved and have a tendency
to develop new eye tumors until they are 3 years of age. For these reasons, removal of the eye is seldom performed. Instead, patients receive chemotherapy
in order to shrink the tumors as much as possible, and the tumors are then treated with what are called “focal treatments.” these include laser therapy,
freezing treatments or the use of small radioactive discs. These treatments are applied while the child is under anesthesia. For children with advanced
tumors that do not respond to these therapies, it may be required to use radiation therapy or removal of the eye. One of the main goals is to delay radiation
and enucleation as long as possible in order to allow for a good growth of the orbit.
In developing countries, children are diagnosed very late, and many children have tumors spreading outside of the eye.

Current research

at st. Jude clinical trials are testing new chemotherapy drugs that have better penetration into the eye, in an attempt to avoid radiation therapy or
having to surgically remove the eyes. We are also performing biology studies to better understand how retinoblastoma develops. Finally, our research
also includes evaluation of how these children develop and how their brains adjust to the visual deficits.

If you need any help or information in this matter please do not hesitate to contact me!!!!!