Uveal melanoma survivor: Specialized treatment saved both my eyesight and my life

When my prescription reading glasses snapped in two without warning in November 2016, I had no idea how much my life was about to change. I went to a local optometrist in Austin, thinking I’d get a quick replacement after a cursory checkup. But a few minutes into the exam, the doctor gave me some sobering news: the cloudiness in my left eye was actually a small lesion on the retina, the inner lining of the eyeball. It was likely cancer. I needed to see an ophthalmologist right away — and possibly an oncologist. I was shocked, but I did what he suggested. The specialist I saw the next day confirmed the optometrist’s suspicions: I had uveal melanoma, a rare type of eye cancer. She referred me to Dr. Dan Gombos, an MD Anderson eye cancer specialist. And thanks to him and MD Anderson, my eyes are fine today, and I am cancer-free. My uveal melanoma diagnosis In just five short days, I’d gone from “life is great” to “I have cancer.” Before that, I’d been a busy, physically active husband and father with absolutely zero symptoms, living what I thought was a normal life. Then, I joined the league of those with a cancer diagnosis. That night, I wept. My wife and I told our 16-year-old daughter together. I put on the bravest face possible to hide my fear. And I leaned on my faith, family and friends to deal with my own anxiety. Fortunately, MD Anderson was the clear choice for my treatment. Dr. Gombos is a recognized global leader in uveal melanoma, and I soon learned...