Random Updates on Health and Home


When we decided to share our journey through eye cancer on my blog, one of the promises I made to myself is that I would not compromise the integrity and tone of the blog for the sake of a factual medical update. With the exception of one, maybe two or three posts, I’ve been able to maintain elements of art, beauty, faith, inspiration and depth in this series. I’ve followed my heart and been organic about the 12 posts I’ve written prior to this one. But as I’ve reviewed everything that’s happened, everything that is, and everything that’s to come, I’ve realized we’re in the midst of another transition. It’s time for a simple post filled with lots of updates. So here goes, friends…a little bit of everything for those of you following the journey!

Random Update on Work

Our biggest update is that Seth returned to work today. Well, maybe the more accurate update is that he began working from home today, and will continue working from home for the next two weeks. As of right now, he’s scheduled to return to the office on Monday, March 2nd. All this back-to-work business means that Seth had to make an abrupt shift from sleeping 75% of the time to being awake most of the time (with the exception of a late afternoon nap, of course). It’s only day one of working from home, but so far, it seems he handled it well. I’m expecting an early bedtime tonight, though.

Random Update on Eye Sensitivity, Pain, Drops & Ointment

Seth’s had more continued eye pain and sensitivity than he expected. He’s particularly sensitive to bright lights, bright spaces, and sometimes even modestly lit spaces. One time, he got up from the living room couch and said his eye was bothering him because of the brightness. It was daytime, all the shades were closed, and no lights were on. As I type, he’s leaving the room because he has “bright painful flashing” in his eyes from the overhead light. He’s been using prescription eye drops 2x/day since the first day of hospitalization, and a special eye ointment several times a day. These help heal the eye and keep it protected, but he thinks they might also cause extra sensitivity. So for the first time, he did try some hours without the drops and ointment today. It seemed to help a bit.

Random Update on Eye Patch & Shield

Per Dr. G’s orders, Seth wears an eye patch and shield every time he sleeps. For two weeks, he’s worn the eye patch and shield 75-95% of the day because that’s how much he’s been sleeping. But today with the transition to working from home, Seth’s worn them much less, of course. The eye patch and shield make sleep safer and more comfortable for him. He’ll be wearing them until we return to the doctor in March.

Random Update on Lifting

Seth is not allowed to lift anything more than a 1/2 gallon. When you start thinking about everything you lift, you realize how light a 1/2 gallon is. I’ve caught him cheating a couple times, for sure. But grace is the name of the game these days, so it’s all good, right?

Random Update on Showering

At the recommendation of Dr. G, I’d been washing Seth’s hair salon-style in the shower and sink since his hospitalization. He got tired of all the leaning back and lifting that accompanied salon-style, so he decided to move our shower head to its lowest setting and give it a whirl. Now he’s showering as usual. It just takes a little longer trying to keep the water out of his eyes.

Random Update on Driving

Seth was directed to resume driving when he feels comfortable doing so. He’s definitely tempted to try it, but I’ve been encouraging him to wait. Every time we’ve driven somewhere, he’s complained of nausea, that it’s way too bright, and he’s had his eyes closed half the time. I’m pretty sure he isn’t ready quite yet. I feel like a mom talking to her teenage son on this matter, but I’d rather be safe than sorry.

Random Update on Valentine’s Day

Our family shared heart-shaped pizzas and a Disney Channel movie with a sweet neighbor girl Valentine’s evening. We sent the kids to bed promptly at 8:45 p.m. Then we broke out a bottle of champagne and “The Fault in Our Stars.” Call me foggy and overly tired? I, of course, remembered the movie was about a young man and woman who were sick and madly in love. But I neglected to recall one small detail – the young man and woman had cancer. And oh yeah…the lead character’s best buddy battled eye cancer and landed up blind. Guess I was watching with a different set of eyes when I saw that movie in the theater by myself last June, huh? I hadn’t remembered that part at all. Needless to say, we both ended up in tears even though it was romantic.

Random Update on Getting Seth out of the House

This past weekend, Seth wanted us to transition to a more “normal” Sunday. So he planned for us to get up, get ready, go to church as a family, and have lunch at our favorite restaurant. He expected he’d resume his sleeping 75% of the day routine when we got home from church. But when it came to Sunday morning, he woke up on schedule, but promptly fell into a deep sleep within a minute or two. He was sleeping so soundly, I knew there was absolutely NO way he was going to make it to church or lunch. So I let Seth and our oldest sleep, and I went to church and lunch with our girls. Tonight, same story with our son’s basketball. He’d hoped to resume some level of coaching, but when it came down to it, it was just too much, too soon.


Random Update on Getting Me & the Kids out of the House

I’ve been feeling a little stir crazy. It’s been cold and cloudy. I’ve spent 14 days straight in a hospital, hotel and our house with the exception of runs to bring kids here, there and everywhere. And I’ve been responsible for most everything. With all that and President’s Day off school for the kids, I knew I desperately needed a change of pace. So today, I took the kids to the Mall of America. We shopped and walked a bit. We ate at Panda Express. We had Coldstone (need I say more). And we shopped and walked around some more. The kids were exceptionally well behaved. At lunch, our oldest said “This is fun,” and the youngest said “This is good.” They all thanked me without prompting on the way home. The outing was a breath of fresh air for all of us.

Random Update on Getting Me out of the House 

May I remind you that I’ve just recently been feeling a bit stir crazy? Yep. I’ve called in the big guns. My mom is coming later this week for one day to help with the kids. I’ll do a little housework without interruption. I’ll do a little private practice work so I can continue wrapping up those loose ends. I’ll get out for a movie by myself and maybe an errand or two. And perhaps I’ll breathe for a moment.




  1. Tom Baunsgard says:

    Great progress for you all amid many challenges Blessings abound! Thanks for the update!

  2. Darlene Saari Picconatto says:

    Hello again. We are continuing to pray for your family as you walk on through this journey. I just wanted to say that your son is just a total mini-Seth!! Totally looks like the Seth we knew back in Duluth when we were friends with the whole family. He still looks a lot like the grown-up Seth, but just so, so much like the child-Seth we remember. You have a beautiful family! Enjoy some time for yourself. You need it to stay sane for the family.

  3. I love this random update, Amy. I hope Seth will be patient and and will give himself grace to heal. And I’m so glad you’re getting out and feeding your own spirit. So wise. You’re on my heart. Love you.

    • Amy says:

      My apologies for the much belated response, Sandra. Glad you had a chance to read the update on Seth. I had two chances to get out and feed my spirit this past week. It was very necessary and I’m glad I didn’t hesitate doing so. Thanks, friend. Missing you.

  4. Carol Femling says:

    I’m glad you took me up on my offer to come!!! I knew you were starting to feel housebound–I can read you pretty well! 🙂
    My eye was very sensitive to light when I had my retina detachment some years ago. It is especially hard to drive at night with all the bright lights. It all takes patience and time. I am very glad that Seth is working at home for the next few weeks, so that he can nap when he needs to rest. Rest is very important for the healing process. Everyone that I know is praying for Seth and your family! We all wish the very BEST!! See you on Thursday! Love you much!! XOXO Mom 🙂

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