Newly Diagnosed

Metastatic OM


OM Registry

Education & Events

What is Eye Cancer

Treatment Options

Tumor & Biopsy

Scans & Maintenance


Fighting Ocular Melanoma

There is much that can be done to improve matters. It is essential to find out as much as possible about your disease, your prognosis, all therapeutic options, any possible side-effects and complications, any tests that might enhance the chances of better outcomes and, importantly the cost of every procedure and how each will be met. This means taking notes or even recording conversations (with permission), asking questions, obtaining copies of health records, keeping a portfolio of notes and other documents, speaking to other patients who have had the same experience, getting help from ACIS and similar organizations, and perhaps obtaining a second opinion from another specialist. It is important to learn how to speak to children, other relatives, friends and co-workers about one’s condition in an honest and sympathetic manner. Ocular melanoma can cause severe distress even in strong-minded individual, so that it can be very helpful to obtain support from a health psychologist. Such support is not a sign of weakness and can quickly restore peace of mind, enhancing the ability to cope with any challenges that arise.

Coping With Ocular Melanoma

Ocular Melanoma, the most common of the cancers of the eye is a devastating disease. Patients and family members will benefit from the Toolbox contained within when first beginning the journey towards recovery. The bulk of the information is psychological tools one may implement, easily as one navigates the path of testing, getting results and counter-balancing what may lay ahead with treatment options. Both the patient and the care providers may benefit from reading recovery options. The book is written from both a personal standpoint as well as a professional standpoint, with decades of experience developing tools for others, especially emergency personnel. Find out what may be of help to you or your family member inside this book.


The basics of what recovery is means having information readily available. At the beginning of the diagnosis, what are the parts of the eye, what is prognostication, what are the treatment options? How does one keep in check all the feelings coming up with a serious diagnosis like cancer of the eye? How does the patient and the family members get themselves back into balance with such a devastating diagnosis? Ziva (Anne) writes about anxiety, scanxiety, fear, and trauma while providing both interventions and resources whether on-line or at the library. Questions are raised, providing room to answer them in each section helps confirm the information needed. She takes the work she formerly did as a licensed psychotherapist and an educator, and provides it to others who are on the same path she is on. She recognizes both as a daughter of a mother with OM as well as herself, what is needed to get on with enjoying life.

About The Author

Ziva, as she is known on Facebook is diagnosed with Ocular Melanoma (OM). In her prior work life, she worked in private practice as a licensed marriage, family therapist in Northern California. She continues training law enforcement and emergency fire personnel how to take care of themselves during their careers. Upon medical retirement she continues her volunteer work in the schools with Master Gardeners educating primary school students in how plants grow, and leads others in workshops on composting. Her family surrounds her with support as she continues navigating medical illness’ including OM. Her mother died of OM. Ziva (Anne) knows the ins and outs of OM being a teen in the family at the time. All those years later, dumbfounded when she was diagnosed with melanoma of the eye. Her genetic testing classified her OM as Class 2, not good. She used her training both in the office and with emergency personnel helping other OMers learn about skills helpful in working with scanxiety.

Anne Osborn Mft
Tools On Your Own:


1. NIA neuromuscular integrative action restorative movements, gentle
2. Pilates
3. Acupuncture
4. Nutritional counseling
5. Yoga…Tai Chi…QiGong

Exercise: tryptophan-serotonin; reduces fat stores (estrogen); regulates body’s hormones; reduces sugars circulating in the bloodstream: contributes to inflammation which stimulates cancer growth (MDAnderson)
150” moderate w/ 75” vigorous each week (heavy breathing)

Heart rate formula:

(220-your age) x 50% =___________
(220-your age) x 60% =___________

Air: time outside: nature-walk
Water: hydration with water, non diet sodas
Sunshine: Vit D: increases sleep and reduces pain
Rest: don’t overwork
Trust: Build stronger bridges in our relationships with friends, family, community (cooking, singing, QiGong, Tai Chi)
Clarify your PURPOSE

TED X Bay Area talk: Neema Moraveji, ‘What your Breath is telling you’
Respiratory PsychPhysiology: Stanford…Swedish breath is ‘andeterg’ 2 words combined: grasp or catch & spirit…

Hawaii: grasp the spirit
Aloha: to share breath
Hauli: one w/out breath-Mainlanders
For you, answer this Q: what gets in the way of my getting more exercise?…
Exercise daily: increase the heart rate variability
Easy reminders: park further away in you destination parking lot
Take stairs: walk up & down the escalator

Take brief walk breaks throughout the day & conduct walking meetings
Exercise equipment in front of the TV
Stand more while working, TV or on phone

Anne Osborn, MFT
Tools and Techniques
The Road to Resilience – Directly from American Psychological Association

  1. Make connections: accepting help & support; strengthens resilience
  2. Avoid seeing crises as insurmountable problems…change how you interpret & respond; look beyond the present to future circumstances
  3. Accept that change is a part of living
  4. Move toward your goals
  5. Take decisive actions
  6. Look for opportunities for self-discovery
  7. Nurture a Positive view of yourself
  8. Keep things in perspective
  9. Maintain a hopeful outlook
  10. Take care of yourself

Additional ways of strengthening resilience may be helpful: writing about your deepest thoughts & feelings; meditation and spiritual practices help some people build connections and restore hope.

Staying Flexible
Resilience involves maintaining flexibility and balance as you deal w/ stressful circumstances

  •  Allow yourself to experience strong emotions; realizing when you may need to avoid experiencing them at times in order to continue functioning
  • Stepping forward and taking action as well, stepping back to rest and reenergize yourself
  • Spending time w/ loved ones to gain support, encouragement and nurturing self
  • Rely on others and rely on self

Maintain a daily routine
Take a break: endless worrying is counter-productive
Self-care with some down time
Nurture a positive self view