2 Years as an Amputee

Yesterday marked the 2 year anniversary of my amputation, and the 2 year anniversary of being cancer free! While you might not celebrate the day you lost a limb, the day you successfully eliminated cancer from your body is definitely a day to think of happily. It just so happened that in order to get rid of my cancer I had to amputate my leg. Not a day goes by that I am not happy with my decision.

This picture is a picture I took in the back room at my prosthetists office. These are molds of people’s legs. Each one represents somebody overcoming the difficulties of limb loss. Mine is the one of the far right in the middle row.

Yes, life is more difficult with one leg, but that doesn’t mean it is bad by any means. Just like everything in life, I think the attitude you bring in with you goes a long way towards determining your outcome. I’m pretty much back to normal life these days. I’m working, playing sports, going out with friends on the weekends and doing a lot of photography.

Life as an amputee can be as normal as you want it to be. Nobody should let their difficulties define them. Yes there are things that you are held back from, but those aren’t the things you should focus on. Concentrate on what you can do, and go out and make the most of it! But also never stop pushing yourself. There are a lot of things that I have done since I lost my leg that I wasn’t sure I could do until I did them. Don’t mentally limit yourself more than you are actually limited. I bet you’ll be surprised at what you can do!

Today I am going up to my prosthetist and being a patient model as they train and are certified on the new Genium Bionic Prosthetic System by Otto Bock. Basically this is a new knee that allows you do to things like walk up stairs foot over foot using a gyroscope in the knee itself. It also has a number of features like a knee that locks when you are standing still, which gives you more stability and saves the battery so that it can last up to like 17 days or something. My current leg gives out after about 4 days without a charge. And yes, I have found that out for myself!

While my current leg isn’t bad by any means, this leg would be MUCH more suited for me and my lifestyle. Currently I avoid going up stairs as much as I can. I hate the way I feel walking up them with the C-Leg. You have to take a step up with your actual leg and then pull your prosthetic leg up onto that step, then take another step with your real leg and pull your prosthesis up onto the next step. It is slow, awkward and both looks and feels really weird. I hate it and avoid it at all costs.

So we’ll see what I think when I test out the Genium this afternoon, but I’m thinking we might try to justify it to insurance as a necessary step up (literally! haha) for my lifestyle and see if they will approve it. I think I’m also close to hitting my out of pocket max for insurance this year, so if I do get it approved this will probably put me over the top and all of my medical bills will be covered for the rest of the year. Never a bad thing!

So anyway, I’m off to start my day and enjoy the fact that I’m still here, still cancer free and able to live life to the fullest each and every day! I hope everyone is so lucky!

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One Response to 2 Years as an Amputee

  1. Robley Shirey says:

    Rob,
    Anniversaries really are “mile markers ” in our life. We are celebrating your cancer free status with you.
    Blessings – Robley and John Shirey

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