Mom Was Diagnosed With A Rare Cancer And Had An Eye Removed When She Was 8 Months Pregnant. How Is She Doing Now?

Lifestyle & community

November 12, 2018 14:00 By Fabiosa

The worst thing an expecting mom can hear from her doctor is that something is wrong with her baby. The next worst thing is, probably, being diagnosed with cancer while pregnant. How are you even supposed to handle it?

One woman was diagnosed with rare cancer and had to have her eye removed when she was pregnant with twins. She took the diagnosis in stride and even managed to handle the situation with humor!

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Jessica’s story

Jessica Boesmiller, a mom from Cornelius, North Carolina, was pregnant with twins when she developed blurred vision in her right eye. The woman thought it was due to elevated blood pressure and saw her doctor.

The vision problem wasn’t due to any blood circulation issues. The mom was diagnosed with ocular melanoma, a rare eye cancer that can spread quickly if not treated.

The safest treatment option Jessica had was to remove the eye, as radiation or shock therapy could affect the babies. So, Jessica and her husband, Mark, decided to go ahead with the surgery.

On November 30, 2017, 8-months-pregnant Jessica had her right eye removed. On December 21, she gave birth to healthy twins: a boy, Mason Dare, and a girl, Piper Marie. Much to everyone’s relief, the cancer hadn't spread to the placenta.

Speaking to Daily Mail Online shortly after she gave birth, Jessica said the twins’ older brothers, Conner and Caleb, took her new look well. “Pirate mommy is really fun,” she said.

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How common is eye melanoma and what are its symptoms?

Eye melanoma is a type of cancer that starts in pigment-producing cells in the eye. The disease is uncommon; according to the Ocular Melanoma Foundation, about 2,000 to 2,500 people are diagnosed with eye melanoma every year in the United States.

Mom Was Diagnosed With A Rare Cancer And Had An Eye Removed When She Was 8 Months Pregnant. How Is She Doing Now?Mom Was Diagnosed With A Rare Cancer And Had An Eye Removed When She Was 8 Months Pregnant. How Is She Doing Now?Africa Studio / Shutterstock.com

Eye melanoma doesn’t always produce any signs or symptoms in its early stages. When symptoms are present, they may include the following, according to the Mayo Clinic:

  • floaters;
  • a growing dark spot on the iris;
  • changes in the shape of the pupil;
  • decreased or blurry vision in one eye;
  • loss of peripheral vision.

These signs and symptoms usually affect one eye.

Mom Was Diagnosed With A Rare Cancer And Had An Eye Removed When She Was 8 Months Pregnant. How Is She Doing Now?Mom Was Diagnosed With A Rare Cancer And Had An Eye Removed When She Was 8 Months Pregnant. How Is She Doing Now?

How is Jessica doing now?

A week after the twins were born, the mom had MRI and CT scans to check if cancer had spread. The scans showed no metastases.

Now, almost a year later, Jessica and her family are doing fine. In the latest update on her page, she shared the good news: Her recent scans were clear.

Jessica and her family even managed to take their situation with humor. This Halloween, the whole family dressed up as pirates!

In one of the posts, Jessica urged people to have regular eye exams:

It’s great to see that the family is doing well. We wish Jessica many more happy moments with her husband and four kids.

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