This update might be a bit lengthy, so I apologize in advance. But there’s a lot of information to share with you since our last update, and it’s been awhile since we’ve given any update regarding his eye. It’s been 6 months since Adam’s last ophthalmology visit, which was right after he finished chemotherapy. On 4/10/19, Adam had his 6 month checkup with the ophthalmologist to see how his eye is doing. We have some pretty good news – it seems Adam’s bad eye is able to see more than it was able to at his last visit 6 months ago. The doctor covered Adam’s good eye and his bad eye still tracked a toy that they put in front of him. Then after that, they patched his good eye and he was still able to give the doctor a high five! That was exciting news for us, considering we thought he couldn’t see ANYTHING with his bad eye. We had already accepted the fact that Adam was probably blind in that eye, so this news came as a complete shock to us. The doctor was also very glad to see that there have been some improvement in Adam’s vision. However, we think his range of vision is still very minimal.
But the question NOW is whether the improvements could be sped up or made even better if his brain learns to use his bad eye more. In the recent weeks, his bad eye has become more lazy, (i.e. drifting to the side) because his brain knows it doesn’t have good function and is therefore overusing his good eye and underusing his bad eye. The only way to force his brain to use his bad eye is to patch his good eye, forcing him to use his bad eye. The doctor said there’s a 50/50 chance that this would work. His good eye would have to be patched for 2 hours a day for at least 6 weeks. It’s also very labor intensive (for us) because it would require us to fully engage him and keep him distracted for the 2 hours so he doesn’t think about the eye patch and want to rip it off.
As far as we know, Adam’s optic nerve has been significantly damaged, therefore his eye will never be able to recover 100% of its function, even with the eye patch therapy. However, it’s possible that Adam’s eye function could be a little more than it currently is; we just don’t know. And the only way to know whether his eye function could improve, is by doing this eye patch therapy. Our goal is for his bad eye to come more into focus. And the doctor explained that the eye patch therapy is more for cosmetic purposes. The amount of his eye function is already preset based on the damage that occurred to his optic nerve.
The alternative is surgery, to stitch his eye closer to the middle. But we are really hoping to avoid surgery. SO, we have decided to proceed with eye patch therapy, and we wanted to give this update after we’re able to report on how it’s been going. The first few days was rough – he cried incessantly when we put the patch on, and we were almost ready to give up. But then a few days later, it got a little better. Adam would still cry when we put the patch on, but after a few minutes, he’d forget about it (sometimes). It’s been a struggle, and every day is a different challenge, but Adam has been a trooper. It’s been exactly 2 weeks now, and it’s hard to see how we’ll be able to keep this up for another month! But some days he’s so cooperative, it amazes me how he could still be so calm with his vision obstructed. I wish I could see what he sees. Overall, we’re hanging in there.
Please pray that the next 4 weeks of eye patch therapy will continue to go well, and that this would help his eye to come more into focus; and if possible, for its function to also improve. Below are some photos of our little warrior sporting his eye patch.
Lastly, we had a checkup with his oncologist 2 weeks ago, and she confirmed that his scans are still CLEAN and no signs of recurrence. Adam is now 7 months in remission. Praise the Lord! We are so thankful. His next set of scans will be pushed out to 4 months, which we’ve scheduled around the arrival of baby #2 (yes! Adam’s going to be a big brother!), and this will hopefully be his LAST set of scans! Thank you all for continuing to pray for Adam, and especially for those who have been vigilantly praying for his eye. The Lord was surely able to do more than I even thought possible. The fact that Adam can see anything out of his left eye, has already surpassed my expectations.