Malignant Melanoma and the Road to Philadelphia.

Photograph © Jeremy Wade Shockley 2010.

Expecting the unexpected. Understanding Cancer and the very fragility of our existence that we take for granted in our day to day routine. Praying for sight and life. The whirlwind of emotions set forth in one afternoon. The afternoon that Rachel was diagnosed with eye cancer, spring was touching the green grass beneath our feet, a breeze to dry the tears.

Set into action our journey has landed us on the East Coast where we are perhaps over the worst, and bracing for the rest. The Wills Eye Institute in Philadelphia took us in on short notice, testing and examinations were followed by kind, strong words and enough physician related paperwork and phone calls to fill up the week. The eye surgery involved inserting a radioactive plaque into the left eye, Rachel rests now in the quite of a spacious room, counting down the days to the aforementioned radiation being removed and her freedom regained.

Loss of eye sight is inevitable, beginning in just a few short years Rachel will become dependent on seeing life though her healthy right eye, with an even deeper understanding of the important role it plays. If the procedure is deemed a success the cancer will be removed and her eye will survive despite the vision loss. Not the case in many countries across the world, or even our own twenty years ago, when the eye was removed without question to prevent the cancer cells from spreading.

We are thankful for the days spent here in Philadelphia during the initial testing, when the very idea was still distant and we busied our minds sharing the experince of a new city underfoot.

We hope for the best, embrace the future and are ever appreciative of the gracious support we have received from those closest to us.

Best, Jeremy

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