Until earlier this week, I had 20/20 vision, but thanks to a rare side effect from a necessary medical procedure, that’s no longer true.
I had stepped into the hyperbaric oxygen chamber in hopes of healing my jaw necrosis. If you haven’t heard of the chamber, it is used for wounds that will not heal.
Instead, I got cataracts— a one-in-a-billion side effect.
After receiving 20 of the 40 sessions prescribed for me, I was driving home and thought it odd that I could barely see the street signs that came my way. Then I remembered one of the men in the chamber had said that he became near-sighted after his first round of sessions (it was now a year later, and he was trying it again). He said the near-sightedness lasted for about three weeks, and then his eyesight returned to normal.
As usual— thinking like Mary Poppins, as I often do— I thought, “That could never happen to me!” But everything happens to me.
My oncologist said I should be written up for the most side effects ever experienced, and for creating new side effects that have never been published. (Argh!)
After three rounds of glasses, each needing to be stronger to enable me to see, I went to a new doctor who said I have full-on cataracts, which is a rare side effect. Surprise, surprise, Mary Poppins.
The rose-colored glasses quickly came off my face, and I began to smell the coffee. Duh, I thought.
I had the cataracts removed then got slammed with bronchitis, which is possibly the worst thing an advocate can have during Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
To make matters more complicated, I am scheduled to fly to the Midwest on Saturday to give a speech. About 250 people are slated to attend. Needless to say, I can’t cancel.
I am drinking tea with lots of fresh ginger and cayenne pepper, and I’ve smeared Vicks VapoRub on my chest. Any other ideas out there?
I want my eyes to heal so I can see the beautiful colors changed on the leaves of trees. I love fall, and I miss Cleveland desperately this time of year. Autumn colors are proof of God’s existence.
My advice to you is to go for a drive and not take these changing colors for granted. The West Coast is jealous.
Send me your best fall photos so I can pretend I am home.
Noreen Fraser is living with Stage IV metastatic breast cancer. She is the Founder and CEO of the Noreen Fraser Foundation, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to funding groundbreaking women's cancer research. To stay in touch with Noreen, please 'LIKE' The Noreen Fraser Foundation on Facebook and follow her on Twitter. Noreen can be contacted via email at email@example.com.