For this self-portrait, I sat down on a stool in my room, set my camera on a slow shutter speed and moved my head from side to side, using my remote to take pictures. Multiple myeloma can be really rough so I’m fortunate that I’m well enough to pursue photography. Taking self-portraits provide a positive outlet that benefits my health and well-being. As the weather continues to warm up, I plan to spend more time being creative in the outdoors.
When I saw my Glaucoma Specialist a couple of weeks ago, my eye pressure was 22, which was above normal (14). So last week I had two diagnostic tests that are useful for detecting glaucoma: a Humphrey Visual Field (HVF) test and a Heidelberg Retina Tomograph (HRT).
The HVF test uses a Humphrey machine to determine if there are defects in the central and peripheral vision. A patch is put over the person’s eye while focusing on a bright light in the middle of the field. Lights of various intensity appear throughout the field and when the person sees them, they press a clicker to acknowledge it.
The HRT test looks at changes to the topography of the optic nerve by taking a 3-D image of each eye to determine if there is any nerve damage causing blind spots. The results are then compared with a baseline from a previous test.
Glaucoma is more common in black people so it is something I really have to cautious about, as the dexamethasone I’m on as part of my chemo treatment can increase my eye pressure. I will keep everyone posted on what my Glaucoma Specialist says when we meet again in June.
To recap: On Sunday, April 10th, I completed Cycle 16 Week 1. 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. Since February 9th 2015, I have been on Pomalyst and dexamethasone chemo treatment (Pom/dex).
Weekly chemo-inspired self-portraits can be viewed in my flickr album.