Living with multiple myeloma: Survived a viral eye infection

Viral infection in both eyesWaiting in the ER

My third week on chemo treatment started well. I was fatigued a bit and had a cold (sinus and coughing issues), but didn’t have any major side effects to my chemo. I experienced hiccups a few times but only for a few minutes at most. Last Wednesday evening, my eyes became photosensitive to light. I couldn’t look at my phone or laptop with my left eye in particular without intense pain. Thursday morning I went to the ER and was sent to the Ophthalmology Emergency Outpatient Clinic. There I learned that I had a viral infection (adenovirus) in both eyes. I was worried it was related to my chemo treatment or caused by my multiple myeloma, but my eye pressure was found to be normal (12 left eye, 13 right eye), so I’m happy that there weren’t any Glaucoma problems. As this was highly contagious, the doctor warned me not to touch anything, to avoid social contact, and to rest lots as it would go away in a few days. On Monday, my eyes went back to normal.

This week I have off from chemo pills. It feels good to have a break. I start Cycle 2 on Monday. I’m really feeling blessed that I haven’t had any severe side effects common to my treatment over these first 3 weeks.

Happy thoughts keep me positive about life!

I love photography and use self-portraits to help me cope with my disease. Taking pictures improves my well-being. Each week I will be taking a self-portrait that represents some aspect of my experiences on chemo.

Don't touch anything - Isolated due to viral infection
Self-isolation due to viral infection

To recap: I have Multiple Myeloma and anemia, a rare blood cancer. It is incurable, but treatable. From February to November 2013, I received Velcade chemo through weekly in-hospital injections as an outpatient. From February 9th 2015, I am on Pomalyst and dexamethasone chemo treatment (Pom/dex).

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