Clayton’s Story

Posted on 2016-04-13

Starting in March 2015, we noticed an odd reflection in Clayton’s right eye. We never noticed “The Glow” in pictures because I rarely use a flash when taking photos. However, the reflection I noticed concerned me, so on Wednesday June 17, 2015 I took Clayton to our local optometrist. During the doctor’s appointment, the optometrist tooks a flash picture of Clayton, which clearly exhibited “The Glow.” The doctor immediately referred us to Dr. Augsburger at University of Cincinnati Medical Center, and an appointment was quickly scheduled for the following morning. Dr. Augsburger diagnosed Clayton with Retinoblastoma, and arranged MRI and examination under anesthesia appointments for Friday. The MRI showed that the tumor filled Clayton’s eye, and was classified as “Class E” on an A-E scale where “E” is the largest and most severe tumor category. The doctor told us that chemotherapy may or may not eliminate the tumor, but removing the eye had a greater chance of eliminating the cancer. Because it was determined that Clayton had already lost vision in the “bad eye”, removing it would not affect what he could see or do. The decision to move forward with removing the eye was not an easy one, but we knew it would be the best and easiest treatment option. Surgery was scheduled for the following Wednesday. The June 24, 2015 surgery went very well. Clayton recovered and bounced back to his normal, rambunctious self in a few days. Early the following week we learned that the pathology report looked good and there would not be a need for any chemotherapy treatment. At the next appointment with Dr. Geller, pediatric oncologist, we were caught extremely off guard when the doctor recommended chemotherapy. He informed us that there was still a 50/50 chance the cancer would return. Any returning cancer would be harder to treat, and the chance of eliminating it wouldn’t be as high. Moving forward with Clayton’s chemotherapy treatment in a couple of weeks means there is nearly a 100% chance Clayton will be fully cured. Clayton has six rounds of chemo scheduled, and he starts the third treatment next week. We pray that after chemo, Clayton will be a healthy and happy 2-year-old.