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Cancer Survivor/Stem Cell Transplant Cataract Formation
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Cancer Survivor/Stem Cell Transplant Cataract Formation

Hi,
I'm 23 years old and an art and design student.  In 2005, just before I turned 19 I was diagnosed acute lymphoblastic leukemia.  I was put on the Hyper CVAD protocol to treat the disease for the next 2.5 years.  During that time I was on high dose Prednisone once a month for 5 days each time.  In August 2008, just before I was supposed to be done with the protocol, I relasped and had to undergo a cord blood stem cell transplant.  To get ready for this transplant I had to get both cranial and full body radiation.  The combination of the steroid use and radiation contributed to the cataracts I have now.  I expected them because the info I've read said that stem cell transplant patients can expect cataract development 18-24 month out of transplant, and mine came right on schedule.

As a budding artist/illustrator/industrial designer/metalsmith, I was wondering what IOLs would be best for me.  I use all sorts of media, including the computer and value an ability to be able to 'see' with good draftsmanship and detail.  I couldn't find any examples of artists with IOLs other than Monet - it seems pretty ironic to be a cataract artist.  

Thanks for the help.  I want to go into the doctor's office with a lot of information.
-DK
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233488_tn?1310696703
There in no conscensus. If you're willing to wear progressive bifocals after surgery a high quality monofocal aspheric IOL is the best and least expensive with lowest complication rate. If you want to try and do without glasses most of the time then a accommodating IOL like Crystalens is best BUT these lens are more expensive, more prone to complication, give poorer night vision. Use the archives and search feature to read about the problems with this type of IOL
JCH MD
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Avatar_m_tn
Thanks Doc, for the reply.  I didn't realize you were also in Kansas City when I first read your reply a month ago.  I thought I would update my process, because this is a forum and I noticed many of the posters don't share the outcome of their decisions beside their initial post (which is probably a good thing).  
I ended up going to Sabates Eye Centers because one of my best friend's dad is an opthamologist there, but he specializes in reconstructive surgery instead of cataracts, so my surgeon is his colleague.  I decided to go with the monofocal IOLs.  Reading the testimonials of some of the multifocals seemed horrible.  The crystalens seemed promising and still does, but weighing the risks and my lifestyle I'm not sure it would be right for me.  Plus, my doctors didn't recommend them.  
I have had my left eye done, and my right eye will be done next week.  My left eye IOL is set at intermediate and I believe my right eye will be offset nearer to the point in which I can still have good depth perception.  I am/was nearsighted and have worn glasses since I was 9.  It will be weird to to have my eyes lose accommodation, because just this past summer, I had no cataracts and was like any other 20something yr old myopic (minus being a cancer survivor).  At the beginning of August is when my PSC cataracts started forming, and within 4 months my left eye was barely at 20/70.  It's crazy to think I completed most of this semester with basically one eye (cataracts didn't form at the same rate).  I did a self-portrait at the start of the cataract process ( http://img839.imageshack.us/img839/2228/selfsketch.jpg ) and after I get my right eye done and get new progressive lens glasses, I'll see if I can do another one and as quickly (which I doubt, but I busted that one out in like 45 mins).  It'll be a good case study I guess.  I'm very curious though how wearing progressive lenses will effect the way I draw from life, shifting my head to get the best view instead of having my eyes do it for me.  It's been hard for me to grasp because it is such an abrupt change and I don't know how I will adapt.  I wonder what the best style/brand progressive lens is for someone like me. I don't want this setback to steer my career aspirations as an artist/designer.
I'll update how things go.  I've been pretty obsessed with this stuff lately.

-DK
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233488_tn?1310696703
So your best friend must be David Lyon's son.  I think you will do just fine with progressive lense. I think you made the correct choice.  Thanks for sharing your experience.

JCH MD
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233488_tn?1310696703
Just checked out your drawning. Quite good. I never progressed past the stick man stage so I marvel at those that can create form, color, depth, perspective.

JCH MD
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Avatar_n_tn
Thanks for your update!

I had many health symptoms, and then found out I had Multiple Myeloma last year and had a stem cell transplant last June.  I was on the high dose steroids for my treatment as well.  They have told me I will develop cataracts.  I'm 33.  My cancer caused vision issues to begin with (a rare symptom of blood cancers called hyperviscocity) so I have nerve damage from that wich already causes foggy night vision.  I know this is also a cataract symptom.    I guess my wish for laser eye surgery to correct my farsighted/ astigmatism is not dooable if I can expect the need for cataract surgery.
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