Oliver Sacks über Augenkrebs

Spannendes Interview mit Oliver Sacks auf Neurotribes, in dem er von seinem kürzlich festgestellten Augenkrebs erzählt, über den er auch sein neuestes Buch geschrieben hat.

Ich habe ein paar von Sacks Büchern regelrecht verschlungen (Der Mann, der seine Frau mit einem Hut verwechselte, Der einarmige Pianist: Über Musik und das Gehirn) und auch sein neues über seine eigenen Erfahrungen mit Augenkrebs steht auf meiner Must-Read-Liste.

It was a Saturday, eight days before Christmas, the 17th. It seemed just an ordinary day. I got up, went for my usual swim, and decided to go to the cinema, but as soon as the previews started, I became aware of something bizarre happening — a sort of incandescent fluttering to my left, which I took to be a visual migraine. But then I became certain that it was in my eye and not in the brain, as a migraine would be. That really alarmed me. I thought, “What’s happening? Am I detaching a retina? Am I going blind?”

I didn’t know what I should do about it — whether I should go to an emergency room or phone up an ophthalmologist, or stay put and see if it all settled. I did the last of these, although I couldn’t concentrate on the film. I kept testing my visual field. Then I noticed that some of the little lights showing the way out of the cinema had disappeared in front of me.

Finally, after about 20 minutes, I burst out of the theater, hoping that in the world outside, everything would look real. But it was evident to me that there was still a triangular chunk of my visual field missing, going from about nine o’clock to eleven o’clock. I phoned up a friend who asked a few questions, suggested a few tests, and then said, “Get yourself to an ophthalmologist ASAP.”

I did so and told my story to the ophthalmologist. He took an ophthalmoscope, looked in my eye — and then I saw him stiffen. He put down the ophthalmoscope and looked at me in a different way, a serious and concerned way. He said, “I see pigmentation. There’s something behind the retina. It could be a hematoma or a tumor. If it’s a tumor, it could be benign or malignant.” Then he said, “Let’s consider the worst case scenario.” I don’t know what he said after that, because a voice in my head started shouting, “Cancer! Cancer! Cancer!”

Oliver Sacks on Vision, His Next Book, and Surviving Cancer (via MeFi)

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