My name is Dick Plomp and my wifes name is Christa, together we have 5 children, 3 already living on their own and 2 still living at home.
I was diagnosed with ocular melanoma on 25th of September 2012.
I went to my eye doctor because it looked like I had a constant brown line in my vision, little bit like a hair in front of your eye. My Eye doctor had one look into my eye and immediately picked up the phone to call the University medical hospital in Utrecht, my home town.
The same day I was seen by a specialist, I still remember the waiting and the unsecure feeling that morning sitting in the waiting room alone, I read the letter from my eye doctor asking for confirmation on melanoma? Never knew what it was in best I thought of hematoma.
After googling ocular melanoma panic struck. Me and my family the only thing we could understand was this might kill you.
From the university hospital in Utrecht I was send to Leiden university hospital LUMC, one of the leading ocular melanoma centres in Europe. Within two weeks I had my eye removed (enucleation) because the tumor was to big to treat otherwise.
After it was removed they told us it was a malignant Iris tumour with the lost of chromosome 3 and a mutation bap1, never knew what this means but they are the two mutations who are responsible for metastasises later on in your remaining life mostly in the liver and or lungs.
Since then I have received a 6 monthly check by pet scan or ultra sound, preferably it should be an MRI but in The Netherlands that is not yet standardised.
After settling down and all emotions placed I noticed there was sufficient information available for ocular melanoma patients so I started to search for it. And before I knew it I was a volunteer for Dutch melanoma foundation. I have also started an ocular melanoma patient group and also one on Facebook. We released a complete new brochure for ocular melanoma which is now is used by all ocular melanoma specialist in The Netherlands. Working with Ocumeluk the English ocular melanoma foundation ( www.ocumeluk.org ).
I got more new and relevant information for ocular melanoma patients.
After becoming a member of the board of the Dutch melanoma foundation I have been introduced to Iain Galloway and the Melanoma patient network Europe MPNE and that lifted my curiosity to a level I never expected it would go.
At this moment in time I am a full time Patient Advocate (living from a disabled benefit) trying to help ocular melanoma patients throughout Europe and life is been good for me despite this nasty disease called ocular or uveal melanoma.
The first placement of my artificial eye