Bill Owen, cancer survivor

Bill Owen, cancer survivor

Billy Owen says he started seeing things in a new light back in February, 2009.

Losing your entire right eyeball will do that to you.

Back then, Owen was a successful motorcycle mechanic with a loving wife and a six-month old son. But nagging sinus issues changed his life.

“I had headaches and I couldn’t breathe because my right nostril was totally plugged,” he told The Huffington Post. “Doctors gave me decongestants thinking it was sinusitis, but my wife finally pushed me to see a specialist.”

On Feb. 13, 2009, the doctor gave him the news: He had sinonasal undifferentiated carcinoma (SNUC), a rare form of cancer affecting the nasal cavity that had only a 10 percent survival rate.

“Most of the survivors have tumors removed at the early stage,” Owen said, but, in his case, the cancer has spread so extensively that doctors had to remove half his face, including his right eye, the muscles and nerves.

“I have very little sense of smell left,” he admitted. “If it’s a real strong smell, I can pick it up.”

Now there’s a giant hole where Owen’s right eye used to be. When he removes a dental plate, he can stick his finger in that eye and have it come out his mouth.

Text via Huffington Post

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