After having the first leg amputated (my left), the decision for the second one was so much easier. In 2012, although Squamous Cell Carcinoma (SCC) was not prevalent, my last 4 biopsies demonstrated significant cell changes and I was told there was an 80% chance of it coming back.
To me, an 80% chance is just as good as saying a 100% chance. Quality of life wasn’t there anyway. Four surgeries in the previous 12 months, IV antibiotics for 9 months, a nurse at home every day, not to mention chronic pain and an unsustainable lifestyle.
Easy, right? Well, yes it was! In saying that, I didn’t decide overnight. The thought came to me on a flight to the US. Legroom on a plane is something most people want. What if I could eliminate that issue by letting the right one go? Elevating the right one during the flight ….. it just made sense to me. I enjoyed my vacation with this in the back of my mind.
In returning to Australia, I put my suggestion forward to my surgeon. I clearly remember it was a Wednesday. He wandered off saying he will be back in 5 minutes. He came back promptly, and said I can do it Friday. What? Friday? This Friday? Ok, yes it was my suggestion ….. and although I knew there were no regrets, I had not had the opportunity to let my friends, family or work know. A little preparation please!
In this preparation, I still had two questions hanging over my head. 1. How will I go to the bathroom with no legs? 2. Can you drive with your right foot gone? Ah-Ha! The answers to me were found via a connection with another bilateral amputee!
All was answered and we set the plans in motion. A pretty smooth run actually, five days in hospital and back to work in three. After a short recovery, here I was with 2 prostheses. Learning to walk all over again was a breeze, and I picked it up quickly.
This has changed my life in the most profound and positive way.
In life, if you put your right foot forward, you know you will end up in the place that you are meant to be.