I have been on Cyclophosphamide now for about 3 months and it was going really well. Well about 3 weeks ago I had a scleritis flare which was really painful and gave me a week long migraine because all of the eye socket was also inflamed. I have had 2 orbital floor steroid injections over the last 3 weeks and now i’m sporting a lovely bruise under my right eye.
Anyway I digress, back to kerataconus news. My doctor said that I desperately need grafts in both eyes but particularly in the left and we have been working to get the left one as healthy as possible before surgery, i.e. getting rid of the scleritis and corneal neovascularisation as much as possible. If I have the graft with the blood vessels growing into it the transplant will most likely reject and be a disaster (my doctors words).
I saw him on Wednesday and he is now saying that the vision in that eye is so bad due to the blood vessels we may as well do the surgery soon as we have nothing to lose if it fails. I have no useful vision out of that eye now even with a lens in so I tend to agree with him. It will make the surgery a bit more complex as he will have to cauterise all of the blood vessels first. I don’t just have a few blood vessels I have loads and they are really deep and growing into the middle of the cornea.
I am seeing him again in 2 weeks for a review of the scleritis flare so I will try and pin him down to a timescale of when my surgery is likely to be then. They are thinking about increasing my chemo to try and stop the break through flares which may not be fun as I might get increased side effects. I am prepared to do whatever I need to fix my eyes though.
The pic is a corneal topo of my eye taken probably about 8 years ago, its the only topo I have. I reckon my eye has changed heaps since then I would love to see an updated one!
Well that’s it for now, I have surgery in my not too distant future which I am very excited about, It will be nice to have an eye with some vision in it as currently I am seeing through a white haze.
Finally for the first time in over 2 years I am pain free from scleritis (eye pain). That is amazing and down to the Cyclophosphamide I started taking about 4 weeks ago. The first week I felt terrible, really nauseas then I came good and felt great for a couple of weeks. I was thinking this is brilliant, then in week 4 I am getting light headed, dizziness and fatigue. It’s worth it not to have that awful horrendous eye pain!
Assuming my bloods are ok when I go back to the rheumatologist in 3 weeks I can move on and start thinking about my corneal transplants and where I need to be to be able to have my surgery. I have severe corneal neovascularisation, the vessels I have are big and deep and there are plenty of them. They are not ghost vessels either, they are still active and blood filled. I can’t have my surgery whilst they are active as the graft would reject. In my doctors words “it would be a disaster”. One positive thing, in my eye check-up last week my doctor felt like there were less vessels in the right eye and maybe the Cyclophosphamide has got rid of some already. I hope so that would be amazing.
I had two wishes, 1 was to get rid of the pain – check! and 2 was to be able to see properly. So I am halfway there! Point 2 is going to be harder to achieve, every time I see my eye doctor I’m like can I get my graft yet and always the answer is no. Hopefully one day soon I will get a yes. I am so desperate to improve my vision, I really struggle in particular at work reading my computer screen. Some days are really awful and I can hardly see a thing.
I know having a graft doesn’t automatically guarantee good vision but it’s surely got to be better than looking through a forest of blood vessels, even if I have to wear a lens on it I will be ecstatic.
Keeping my fingers crossed that next time I get a check up even more vessels have melted away.
Saw my eye doctor yesterday regarding the loss of vision in my left eye. Cant see a thing through it, its just a big white blur of nothingness.
The corneal neovascularisation has increased, the blood vessels growing into my cornea are quite big and go in deep. The cornea shouldnt have blood vessels as it gains its oxygen supply from the atmosphere. Its these vessels that are causing the vision loss, they are growing into the clear window and making it not clear anymore.
So the bottom line is I need a corneal transplant. The bad news is I cant have one whilst my scleritis is active as it greatly increases the chance of rejection. My scleritis has been active for 15 months so im not too convinced we are going to get it under control anytime soon. I’m now on : 150mg Azathioprine, 5mg Prednisone, Rituximab infusion and Predforte drops 4 times daily.
My doctor took a lot of detailed photos of my eyes and he is going to get a treatment plan off of a highly regarded uveitis/scleritis expert. I also had an Avastin injection in each eye to try to stop the blood vessel progression. We are doing all we can for now, I just hope the scleritis clears up soon so I can have my surgery. I just want to be able to see, is that too much to ask!