In recent years, the advancement of stringently regulated artificial organs have led to a boom in popularity for plastic lenses. However, those glasses are not available for people with rare forms of cancer and other diseases that require specialized treatments. One woman has taken an alternative approach by refusing to wear any prosthetic eye whatsoever.
A man with eye cancer refused to wear a prosthetic eye, because he wanted to be able to see his daughter grow up.
Emma was informed she was the only person in England suffering from this uncommon cancer. (Image courtesy of MediaDrumWorld)
A tumor developed quietly behind Emma Cousins’ left eye for 15 years.
It was ultimately discovered the day after Emma’s daughter’s birthday, when she became ill and ended up in the hospital.
She was diagnosed with mesenchymal chondrosarcoma, a malignancy that is highly uncommon and severe.
Due to a concurrent MS episode that left her unable to walk, the 34-year-old from Sheffield ended up in hospital for six months.
Her eye was also removed, leaving her with a little hole in her empty socket.
Emma had to undergo a surgery to patch up the hole with skin from her leg since the radiation she had as part of her treatment to eradicate cancer cells caused sections of her skin to die.
Emma was allowed to wear a prosthetic eye after the procedure, but she refuses to do so.
After feeling ill and ending up in the emergency department, she had to have her eye removed (photo courtesy of mediadrumimages.com/@eyeofthesar).
‘I can use a prosthetic plastic eye that appears quite natural, but I don’t want to,’ Emma said.
‘For starters, there’s a lot of fiddling with glue, and you have to get it just perfect, for very little reward.’
‘It makes me appear normal again, and what’s the purpose of that?’ I don’t want to seem ordinary.
‘I was diagnosed with cancer. I didn’t have to conceal it since I made it through.’
Emma doesn’t want to feel self-conscious about her looks or her situation.
She also claims that her daughter is one of the reasons she will not be wearing a prosthesis.
The mother may now wear a prosthetic eye, but she wants not to. (Photo courtesy of mediadrumimages.com/@eyeofthesar)
‘She despises it and despises seeing it on me,’ the mother said. ‘Through it all, my children have been my biggest supporters, and I couldn’t have wished for anything more.’
Emma’s life has changed since her trauma, and she’s still getting used to having just one eye.
‘There are still certain things that are tough to negotiate,’ she added.
‘Like doors, I’ve spent my whole life going through them, yet I constantly bash against the frame with one eye.
‘I’m also not very good with liquids; I can’t pour milk without it pouring all over the place.’
‘I’ve devised methods such as positioning the container’s mouth against the glass’s edge every time.
‘I’m learning to do all these tiny things that were totally second nature to me before.’
She’s still getting used to life with just one eye (photo courtesy of mediadrumimages.com/@eyeofthesar).
She attributes a significant part of her recovery to the network of cancer survivors she encountered on Instagram, and she wants to be able to help others in the future.
‘When I was initially diagnosed, I began looking for other individuals who had the same kind of cancer as me,’ Emma said.
See also: Body Image
‘The doctors had warned me I might lose my sight, and I wanted to talk to someone who had been through it before I went forward with it.’
‘I had no idea how much support and community I would find on Instagram.’
‘There are so many individuals out there wanting to listen and assist, but unfortunately, many of them are no longer with us.
‘Women with breast cancer have also come out to me to give their support.’
‘Even though we didn’t all have the same kind of cancer, we were all going through the same thing.’
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