Eyes, the windows into our souls.
When I look into people’s eyes here in Chile, I see many shades of brown, sometimes the odd green, but rarely blue. I never realised how different my eyes looked until my husband introduced me to a friend with very pale eyes; I was amazed.
In 2007 my eyes were completely blue. Then one day in 2009, my husband looked at me and said, “you have something in your eye”. It wasn’t something in my eye, it was part of my iris that had turned brown. It didn’t hurt or effect my vision, and unless you looked closely, you wouldn’t even notice it.
It never occurred to me that it could be anything bad. I had never heard of ocular cancer and knew nothing about it until I had my vision tested for new glasses and the doctor examined the brown spot. Cancer of the iris is very rare, and what I have at the moment is a nevus, or a freckle. The doctor in La Serena recommended I see a specialist in Santiago.
So, yesterday my husband I travelled to Santiago to see an ocular oncologist who examined and took pictures of my eye. She also asked for me to have an ultrasound of my eye, which means another trip to Santiago. Then in a couple of months I will go back to see her. She will use the photographs and ultrasound as a base to see if there has been any changes in my eye.
She says my eye looks fine, but needs watching because the spot wasn’t there before. Changes in size or colour is what she is looking for. I think this was growing slowly during 2008, but we didn’t notice it and since 2009 I have not noticed a change.
Before we talked to the doctor I thought she would tell me the brown spot was either something or nothing. Not, for now it is nothing but it could be something.
I am not sure what to tell people. Cancer is the last thing anyone would think of if a friend was having a lot of eye tests. And no one wants to hear or talk about cancer, for obvious reasons. Information on the internet (which is not always reliable), says cancer of the iris is one of the easier cancers to treat, but people hear cancer and get scared.
And I don’t want to scare anyone,
so I don’t have cancer,
I have a freckle.
A freckle that makes me look a bit like a cat, if you get close enough to me.