Aaron and Courtney Reimann
Hi my name is Courtney Reimann. I am a 43 years old stay and a stay at home mom and homeschooling mother of 4 wonderful kiddos. They range from ages 17 to 8. I have always loved to exercise and eat well as a part of my daily life. I go to doctors regularly including the eye doctor every year. Which is why it came as such a shock to me to discover that I have an ocular melanoma.
In May of 2020, I saw flashing lights for about three weeks in May. The weekend of Memorial Day I started to feel weak and sick and the lights in my eyes became worse. I called to get an appointment with whomever would see me that Monday following the holiday week and got an appointment. I was reluctant to visit a doctor due to Covid-10. I wanted to wait and make sure it was just a bad headache. I thought from Google research my retina was possibly torn. That concerned me.
Dr. Brian Jefferies, an Ophthalmologist in Marietta said it was possibly an ocular melanoma and that I needed to see a retina specialist at Georgia Retina at another location. Dr. Rivillese confirmed the diagnosis and referred me to an oncologist as well Dr. Alizadeh. He scheduled a Pet Scan on the weekend of June 23rd, my wedding anniversary weekend.
They informed me that I would need to see if the cancer had metastasized anywhere in my body prior to having a procedure to treat the tumor in my eye. The scan came back all clear, Praise the Lord! I was instructed to stay off of the internet for medical information. I read there are cases where if it has been there awhile and does metastasize it could end in death in 6 to 9 months.
In August, I had surgery. They inserted what looks like a metal beer cap with radioactive iodine pellets into the back of my eye on the tumor for three days. I wore a metal patch to help contain the radiation from people around me. I still had to distance myself for visits of no more than 15 min with people for three days and they could only sit on the side of me without the patch.
For the second surgery, just days later, they removed the patch and gave me the medicines that I needed for my eye to start to heal from the surgery. I am still on a medical treatment path to have two scans a year for 5 years. If it metastasizes it will in their research attack my liver or my lungs. They are scanned every 6 months.
There was another scan in February 2021, and it came back negative and will have another one scheduled in June. I can’t believe that has almost been a year since my first scan and I feel blessed to be here every day. There is a possibility that it will affect my vision long term. However, for now I have some intense floaters in that eye that I forget about and I am used to most of the time now. I have zero loss of my vision.
I feel grateful and blessed to have this discovered and treated quickly. I am blessed to have that ability to medical care and that science has found so many treatment options for the terrible disease that cancer is.
I am hopeful for the future and overwhelmed with appreciation for everything that has been provided for me and my family. Every day is a blessing and should be treated as such.
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