02/02/1952 — 10/21/2004
My mother was diagonsed in the mid 1990’s with a small tumor located in her left eye. The tumor was cancerous and about the size of a pea. The tumor was discovered during a routine eye exam which was required through her job. She was treated under the care of Dr. Carol Shields at Wills Eye Hospital in Philadelphia, PA. Here she received raditation and returned every six months to Wills Eye hospital for check ups. In addition to her six month check ups, she also had her blood work completed and chest x-rays. However, these steps did not prepare her or her family for what happen next.
Doctors did not know this at the time but my mother”s cancer had mestatized to her liver when her eye tumor was first discovered in the mid 1990’s. The cancer cells in her liver were so tiny the cells could not be seen by the human eye. My mother lived ten years not knowing her cancer was spreading very rapidly through out her body until finally one day in 2003 she went to the doctors to complain about a chronic stomach ache. The doctors stopped counting the cancerous tumors throughout her stomach and body after number 35. They said there are too many to count. Nine months later my mother lost her battle to Ocular Melanoma.
It has been my mission since her passing to make people aware of Ocular Melanoma. For some people, they think because they do not see a mark on their body such as a mole that looks different than normal….that they are okay.