'What a Light and What a Love'
- Mariska Hargitay, who plays Olivia Benson on Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, took to Instagram to share a heartfelt message mourning the loss of her co-star Ned Eisenberg.
- Eisenberg had a recurring role on the show as Roger Kressler, appearing from 1999 to 2019.
- He passed away on Sunday after a two-year battle with two different kinds of cancer: cholangiocarcinoma and ocular melanoma.
On Sunday, Eisenberg passed away from cancer at his home in New York at 65-years-old. The actor appeared as Roger Kressler on the Law& Order staple from 1999 to 2019. Though he kept the details of his battle private for two years, we now know that Eisenberg was fighting two different kinds of cancer: cholangiocarcinoma and ocular melanoma.Read More
Mariska Hargitay’s post echoed this sense of love and admiration for the late actor. “My heart is so full of sadness over the loss of our dear, dear Ned Eisenberg,” she wrote. “What a light and what a love. And such a first-rate actor, which pales next to him as a first-rate human.”
Coping With Cancer and Loss
Whether it’s partner, a family member or a friend, grief is inevitable — and essential — when you’re forced to say goodbye to someone you’re close to, especially if you’re losing that person to cancer.
There’s no one way to cope, but, in a previous interview with SurvivorNet, widower Doug Wendt shared his thoughts on the grieving process after losing his wife to ovarian cancer.
“We’re never gonna move on, I don’t even think I want to move on, but I do want to move forward,” Wendt says. “That’s an important distinction, and I encourage anybody who goes through this journey as a caregiver, and then has to face loss, to think very carefully about how to move forward.”
Camila Legaspi, in a previous interview with SurvivorNet, shared her own advice on grief after her mother died of breast cancer. For her, therapy made all the difference.
“Therapy saved my life,” Legaspi says. “I was dealing with some really intense anxiety and depression at that point. It just changed my life. Because I was so drained by all the negativity that was going on, going to a therapist helped me realize that there was still so much out there for me, that I still had my family, that I still had my siblings.”
What Is Ocular Melanoma?
Ocular melanoma, also known as uveal or choroidal melanoma, is a rare disease, but is the most common eye cancer found in adults.
The Dana-Farber Cancer Institute reports that approximately 2,500 adults are diagnosed with ocular melanoma each year. Their Ocular Melanoma Center also says most ocular melanomas can be difficult to detect because they occur in a part of the eye you can’t see. But when symptoms do arise, they can appear as a dark spot on the iris or conjunctiva, blurred or distorted vision, a blind spot in your side vision or the sensation of flashing lights.
“In most cases, these are tumors that are detected upon a routine sight test by your optometrist or your ophthalmologist,” Dr. Rizwan Haq, director of the Ocular Melanoma Center at Dana-Farber, said in a video. “Most patients do not experience symptoms when they have a diagnosis of ocular melanoma.”
Even though the disease is rare, Dr. Sapna Patel, a melanoma oncologist at MD Anderson Cancer Center, previously told SurvivorNet she recommends getting regular check-ups to monitor for uveal melanoma.
“Everyone should get dilated every year,” she said. “There is an ‘I get dilated’ campaign, that started in the U.S., to try and inform the general public. Even if you don’t need corrective lenses or glasses, contact lenses … it’s still important to have your eyes dilated and examined for physical changes such as melanoma or moles in the eye.”
The cause of ocular melanoma is uncertain at this point, but people with fair skin that burn easily are at a higher risk for developing the disease. That being said, there is no evidence that ocular melanoma is related to sun exposure – unlike melanoma of the skin.
“Unfortunately, we don’t know what causes uveal melanoma, which makes it even more important that everybody gets their eyes checked, because we don’t know who is at risk for this disease,” Dr. Patel told SurvivorNet.
What Is Cholangiocarcinoma?
Cholangiocarcinoma, also known as bile duct cancer, is a disease that develops in the slender tubes (bile ducts) that carry the digestive fluid bile and connect your liver to your gallbladder and small intestine.
Typically, the disease occurs in people older than age 50, though it can occur at any age. And, unfortunately, cholangiocarcinoma is often diagnosed at an advanced stage making it difficult to treat, but below are possible symptoms of the cancer to look out for.
- Yellowing of your skin and the whites of your eyes (jaundice)
- Intensely itchy skin
- White-colored stools
- Abdominal pain on the right side, just below the ribs
- Losing weight without trying
- Night sweats
- Dark urine
As always, these symptoms do not necessarily mean you have bile duct cancer, but it is important to always tell your doctor about any changes you’ve noticed to your health.
Contributing: Sydney Schaefer and Abigail Seaberg