Sunday, 25 November 2012

One In A Million....

Not the words you want to hear from a specialist doctor...
 
I debated whether to post about this and came to the decision that if it can help one person then it is worth putting it out there.
So here goes...
 
For as long as I can remember I have had a mole on the iris of my left eye. Not a lot of people noticed it, but I always saw it everytime I looked in the mirror. It started off very small and with each of my pregnancies with my 3 boys it grew bigger and further into my iris towards my pupil. I have always had it checked by a number of doctors and specialists and it was always just a mole. That was until this year. I had been having some vision problems so off I went to have it checked out.
The original diagnosis made no sense to my husband and I so we asked for a second opinion.
 
On October 10 we headed to Sydney to see one of the top eye surgeons in the country.
Within 20 seconds he had diagnosed it as a melanoma !!!
Right then our whole world changed...
I was nearly sick. Paul's mouth was gaped open in shock. 
Me: "So what action do we take from here?"
Dr: "We remove the eye ! It's ok, I do it all the time."
Me: "No really, there has got to be another way." Tears streaming my face. "I have told you I am a quilter!! I need two eyes !!
 
After much discussion he sent us off to meet with a Professor in Sydney. Unfortunately the Professor gave us the same diagnosis. It is so rare. One in a million !!! and the only way to rid my body of this horrible thing is to remove the eye.
So a date was set, October 30...
I had 13 days...
I started preparing myself for living my life with one eye. There was no way that I was going to take this lying down. I started to practice sewing and quilting with my left eye shut. It was all ok. My seams matched, my quilting was fine and it put my mind at ease to know that my life shouldn't change that much. I was driving with my eye shut and even that wasn't too bad. I had come to terms with it and I was going to hit it head on. Telling family and friends was the hardest part of the whole thing. Everyone we spoke to was so upset and I felt I had to stay strong for them. Once I was staying strong I felt strong and the more I spoke about it the stronger I felt. That was until I had to see my GP for all the test results prior to surgery. I was a blubbering mess. The results were ALL CLEAR!!! It had not spread.
The day came for my surgery. I had my hubby Paul, my Mum and my sister Monique with me. It all went very well although once the pain killers started to wear off...OMG...
I was a bit sad but not as much as I thought. The first night was a bit tough but every day since has been easier than the last...

Within 4 days I was off the pain killers and cutting and prepping hexagons to do while I was recovering. I think having something that I love to do has really helped me get through the whole ordeal. Also the amazing support I have had from my family and friends including all my ladies from my classes. Thank you to you all for your kind words, messages and phone calls to make sure I wasn't getting depressed....you all know that I could never be depressed !! I don't do depressed...

 

My pretty hexagons...
 
 

Loving them...
 
It has been almost 4 weeks since my surgery. Life has pretty much returned to normal. I have been sewing, quilting and driving. I do lose my balance every now and then but that will get better with time. I will soon be fitted with a prosthetic eye and I will look the same it just won't see a darn thing.

Custom quilted and bound ready for a magazine shoot... all with one eye!!
I have impressed myself...

I guess the moral to my story is if you think something is not right, it's not going to hurt to get a second opinion. You never know it may just save your life. Melanoma is rising in Australia. We all remember running around in our swimmers all summer and not being able to lay down in bed at night because of the sunburn. We are starting to pay for it now.....

Thank you for reading my story. This is the last you will hear of it here. As I said I am moving ahead as normal and I will have some great stuff to show you very soon.

Happy Quilting
Leanne xo

26 comments:

Patchwork and Play said...

Oh Leanne..you have been through a huge ordeal and so bravely too! You will be in my thoughts in the coming days. Thanks for telling your story. I had friend, many years ago , who had her eye removed because of cancer. It is a story with telling. Stay strong!

Susan said...

You are amazing. Thank you for sharing your story and for being so brave and determined. X

Hermione said...

Hugs for you - those are some nice coping skills you've got there :) And high fives to all the people who, like you and me, don't have all the bits they were born with :)

Archie the wonder dog said...

Thank you so much for sharing your story (and thank goodness you got a second opinion) - I think you're amazing.

Your hexagons and rolled quilt look wonderful!

LynCC said...

Thank the Good Lord it hadn't spread! Melanoma is so scary, I can't imagine the anguish you went through. Your determination to keep on truckin' is an inspiration. Thank you for sharing your experience with us, and I hope your holidays are wonderful for you.

Teje Karjalainen said...

Dear Leanne, thank you for sharing your story. I'm so sorry but also glad that you got the second opinion. You are fantastic and so brave. Fortunately you are quilting - I'm sure that is the next best help after your family and friends. I send you warm hugs and I'm waiting to see what are quilting next. x Teje

Marls said...

Thank you for sharing Leanne. Illustrates the value of second opinions. So glad it has not spread. Sending you big hugs and wishes for your continuing journey

Jennifer said...

Thankyou Leanne for sharing you story. You are right instinct is one of the gifts we have been given. Sending you lots of quilting hugs for the rest of your journey

Sarah Adamson said...

You did well with your post Miss Leanne! So excited that your beautiful quilt is finished! I can't wait for you to be back with us on Thursdays!! Love and Kisses Always! And how good do those hexies look!!!

Fiona said...

I am so glad to hear it hasn't spread... and find your post inspirational... well done Leanne for tackling this head on and sharing with us... wishing you all the best for the rest of your recovery...
Hugz

Cheryll said...

Oh that's great Leanne. I have been thinking of you and was very pleased to read you are doing OK. You are one special lady! Mother, wife,quilter, sewer and president included! Keep on getting stronger every day! See you soon! mwa :)

Monique said...

Great post Luv! You are such a brave Sister, and funny too.. You amaze me every day! Your sewing and quilting is amazeballs!!! A million hugs and kisses to you. Love Always. M Xoxoxo

Chookyblue...... said...

Oh Leanne......well done and keep up the great sewing.......I don't think anything can stop you........

Little red Jug said...

You are an inspiration and I am proud to know you. You are a beautiful quilter and a beautiful person. Great post, thanks for sharing.xx

Dizee said...

Leanne you are an inspiration to everyone, I am so proud of you were still able to laugh on the phone not knowing the outcome, keep up your good attitude. Luv A-Diana xoxoxoxo

Ladybird said...

Hi Leanne, Thank you for sharing your story it is very encouraging to hear how positive you have been through the whole ordeal. Keep up the sewing and quilting. Carmel Leybourne

Podunkpretties said...

Stumbled across your blog via pinterest. What an inspiration you are in so many ways.

Kelly said...

What a shock! And how lucky that it had not spread. You are amazing Leanne xxx

jude's page said...

Thankyou for sharing your story Leanne, good that you got a second opinion, keep on quilting, it does get us through some tough places, I know. And it was nice to meet you in Adelaide with Jan.

Jodi said...

Thank you for being willing to share your story. Good on you for not letting it stop you from doing what you love. As a friend of mine says..."If the dream is big enough the facts don't count". That isn't to say that loosing an eye isn't a challenge but if you really want your dreams then you find a way to achieve them regardless of the obstacles. I hope you continue to be all clear and that your prosthesis gives you the look of normality that will allow you to keep moving on confident in your new found strength.

Colleen said...

I am so sorry this has happened to you. I look at your blog weekly and was wondering why you hadn't posted.
My wish for you is a healthy and happy future and being able to continue the lovely quilting you do.
Have a special Christmas with your family, who have also shared your pain with you I'm sure.
I live at Lake Macquarie so if ever you need a hand..sing out.

Rachaeldaisy said...

Hi Leanne,
Thank you for sharing your story. You are such an inspiration with your positive attitude. It's great that you're sewing, those hexagons are fabulous, love the colours! and that last quilt is a beauty too!

Anonymous said...

Wow!! thanks for telling your story (I linked to you thru Pinterest). I, too, am one of those that spent a lot of time burning myself raw in the sun. I've had a "thing" on my back --- I'll be making an appt with a dr. now. Glad all is well and you were able to quilt still!!! I admire your quilting.

Monica said...

wow. You're amazingly strong.

Sue B said...

Oh my Leanne, I had tears streaming down my face reading this post. How very sad and scary and brave you have been. I hope that by now things have healed and you have returned to some sense of normality. quilted hugs to you xx

Michelle said...

Hi Leanne, you were indeed brave for sharing your story.......
I could only imagine what it would be like......we quilters need to see.
I'm very glad you got that second opinion.....
I absolutely love your diamond hexies , I'm making mine out of 1800's reproductions