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Scary Vision Trouble


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Hope I'm not ruining the birthday mood, but I have a question and thought I would ask the experts!

My mom for the past month has had horrible vision trouble. She has been seeing double and cannot open her right eye. It is so bad that she's not really able to do much of anything. As you can seen below, they did give her a brain MRI and a PET scan and all have come back clean ( :D:D:D ). She has an appointment today with another specialist for a second opinion. They just can't seem to figure out what it is. Her oncologist doesn't think it is a side effect of the chemo, as they don't typically experience vision problems as a side effect with what she's on (or so they say). Also, she's been on it since May, so they feel like it would've shown up already.

They did think it might have been a brain tumor but her MRI came back clean. It also could've been liver mets (glucose) but her PET scan came back clean too. At this point, they just don't know what it is.

Of course, I'm suspicious. Everything I've read about brain mets seems to apply here. In addition, she experiences periods of extreme dizziness (although she has always had a sensitivity to getting car sick). With the tests coming back clean, does anyone have any ideas?

Although she's greatly relieved that her tests are clean, she is starting to get discouraged because of her impaired vision. I think she's also starting to worry about whether or not this will be permanent and how she will take care of herself. Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated.

Praying for all,


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I had some problems with the nerves in my face right after surgery, my left eye sagged and the pupils in my eyes did not respond equally (the left one was dilated and fixed). Soon after my epidural was removed, that began to clear up. I cannot remember the name given to the syndrom, but it has to do with the "invasion" of the spinal cord with the epidural catheter... I'm not sure if it ALWAYS clears up with the removal of the epidural, if onset is early-on or can happen later or any of the big particulars. Is there glaucoma in your family? Cataracts? Could it be her age? What would some of the answers be were she not touched by cancer? (After all, sometimes the sniffles are just the sniffles...)

Color me stumped, too,


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What your mom is experiencing has to be frightening. I have no idea what the cause could be. I do know that Johnny experienced a vision problem. His vision got worse. He had trouble seeing the hands on his watch. I'm not certain but I seem to remember being told that vision problems could be a side effect of the chemo. He too was on Taxol/Carboplatin. It might be worth researching on the web as well as asking for another opinion.

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A friend of mine was on chemo for breast cancer a bunch of years ago.

Her eyes started going fluey. She went to the eye dr. He checked her eyes and asked is she was on chemo (she hadn't mentioned it). She said 'Yes', he said 'Oh well this will go away when the chemo goes away' and it did.

May not be the same as your Mother though.


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hi Jenny,

What is the current chemo your mom now receives? I know some chemo's possible side effect is vision problem.

But, in my dad case, his vision problem was the brain mets. We just thought this is the side effect of chemo months ago. But, it really doesn't. Sometimes, it is really confused whether the symptom is the mets symptom or the side effect of treatment. But, I strongly suggest you to have a second brain MRI scan later for follow-up checking. I heard from others that there is something called "Micrometastatsis", that means the cancer has already metastatses to that area but the number of cancerous cell is too little that the current machine is unable to detect it. They are too small to be detected. I think you should keep an eye on her status and have a second MRI later.

You are in my prayers.

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Hi Jenny,

Two things come to mind here.

One is Horner's Syndrome, involving the nerve in the chest (in my case surgery affected it) that gives the droopy one eye and inequal responses to light. My eyes were off a bit, and the ophthamologist did classify this as an eye disease. The other thought I had was the carboplatin. I had cisplatin. The platinum compounds damage the ear, and I have had bouts of disequilibrium that had me afraid of medium heeled shoes and step ladders for the first couple years. The cisplatin also can confer some hearing loss.

I think if you ask the doctor you may find that the symptoms you describe are covered by these treatments or effects without having to invoke anything new and drastic to explain it.

Wish you well.

You're in my prayers,


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Thanks you guys for your responses! It truly is appreciated. My mom had her second opinion on Friday by a specialist and they told her that they told her again that they don't think it is in relation to the cancer treatment. The doctor said that the nerves need to heal which will just take time. As for a reason, the doctor said that sometimes this just happens. They did send her in for a second MRI (yesterday) to rule out an aneuryism (sp?).

I'm going to print these off and ask her doctor today when I call him. Her oncologist and his office are very patient with my various inquiries. As with everything else with this beast, it's the waiting.

Thank you again you guys. This is such a great place for support.

Berisa, I read your recent posts on your dad and that's what compelled me to post my own post. I hope he is hanging in there.

Praying for everyone.


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