Monday, October 1, 2007

Cancer Scare.

Last Sunday (9/23), I woke up early and watched Boiler Room. Really good movie, except I couldn't enjoy it, because halfway through this movie is when I noticed that the vision in my right eye was significantly blurrier than the vision in my left eye. I then did what I think most people would have done, which is go on the internet to confirm that I had brain cancer. Indeed, one of the symptoms of a brain tumor is blurry vision in one or both eyes. Another symptom is localized headaches. I've had localized headaches, and always in the same spot. Not recently, but still. I had my last eye exam in March and six months seems a little odd for the prescription in one eye to undergo such a drastic and sudden change.

At this point, I experienced the most intensely vivid panic I can ever remember feeling. The type of panic that can only be inspired by imminent death. It was like in "Hannah and Her Sisters," when Woody Allen is convinced he has a brain tumor the size of a basketball. I couldn't even think straight.

The next day, Monday (9/24), I saw the optometrist. At Lenscrafters. I was praying that he would tell me I had scratched my cornea or something, and that my vision would go back to normal in due time. I wasn't totally hopeful, because I knew I wasn't feeling the pain that would normally accompany a damaged cornea. He told me the eyes both looked fine, maybe a little dry, and that the vision in my right eye seemed to have improved. He told me to get eye drops (for the dryness) and to come back next week in order to confirm that the prescription change was permanent.

The rest of the week I felt a little discombobulated, because I was completely freaked out in the back of my mind-- somewhere near the occipital lobe, where I could almost feel a malignant tumor growing. A friend of mine told me about how people always assume the worst, and she told me a story about how she got spots all over her body and she went to the doctor and it turned out to be prometheus rosea, which is essentially nothing. I certainly appreciated this story, but it still didn't prove that I was not one of the people who get rare cancer and die while they're still young and gorgeous.

Also, I think she meant pityriasis rosea, because prometheus rosea is not an actual thing.

Today, I finally went back to the optometrist (at Lenscrafters) and he said my right eye had improved and stayed that way, so I would need new contacts and glasses. I asked if it's common for one eye to suddenly improve like this, and he said that yes, sometimes wearing contacts for a while can mess with the prescription because the eyes can become a little inflamed or something, but going without the contacts can allow the eyes to get better. Or something to that effect. So I said I probably shouldn't be worried about it being a brain tumor or something, and he dismissed that immediately, saying a tumor wouldn't do that.

What a relief! I suppose I don't necessarily need to go get an MRI now. I am hoping to just get the laser eye surgery later this year, because I've been wearing glasses and contacts since I was in like 4th grade, and they are a major pain in the ass. I can't wait till the day I can just open my eyes and see, like a normal Earth mammal. And if I end up dying of a brain tumor, someone tell this guy at Lenscrafters please.


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