Here's an update to my story:
At the age of 15 I was diagnosed with osteosarcoma of my right knee. Back then the choices were to either have an amputation or a go through a new procedure to remove the entire knee and fuse the leg together so it would be straight. I opted for the procedure hoping one day technology would develop to reverse the fusion and create a new knee. I survived the cancer but had complications which required 3 more years of surgeries.
Now 40 years later and after way too many surgeons said they wouldn't touch my case, an orthopedic surgeon who specializes in reversing fusions at the Cleveland Clinic determined that he could fix my leg and restore my mobility. I've dreamed about this my whole life! I am over the moon with happiness. The surgery took place on Jan. 28th this year and it wouldn't have been possible without all of you who contributed to my GoFundMe. I have been able to get insurance and pay the premiums and out of pocket expenses so far. I haven't seen the medical bills roll in yet but I have no fear or anxiety because I know some how it will all get taken care of in time.
This was a complicated and expensive restoration to reverse the fusion and create a functional knee. This fellow is brilliant and inspired and I am blessed to have him as my doctor. He has the vision and courage to do what he did. Its going to be the better part of a year before my muscles strengthen and the bone heals but that's nothing compared to the 3 years it took me to walk again when I had my original surgeries, so I am undaunted.
Hopefully in 2 weeks I will be able to go home and start PT to learn to bend my leg again. Right now the atrophy is so severe after all this time that I have no control at all. An immobilizer brace is keeping it safe right now as we wait for new bone to grow into the implanted hardware. We will take more x-rays at 6 weeks to see. All stitches will come out then and hopefully get the go ahead to start PT for the rehab.
The practical truth is while this is all going on I am unable to earn an income like I used to. Life as I knew it has changed. There is blessing in everything and I trust all will work out, so I'm looking into other things that perhaps I can do online or remotely. I've seen too many miracles in my life not to believe otherwise. Strange things come to mind, thoughts and experiences from the past have been flooding back into my mind and my dreams. I recall once my mother told me when I was in pain as a young teen, don't struggle, relax and breathe. She was right. Struggle makes it worse. We tie ourselves up into knots. I'm relaxing now. I don't know how except by the Grace of God. But honestly, I have so many things to look forward to. All of what I'm going through right now is only temporary and it will be a memory tomorrow, so I am choosing to focus on all of the positive to move forward.
There are so many things I am dreaming of - walking normally, riding a bike, climbing stairs, getting into a car or riding in a back seat, sitting in an airplane without tripping the flight attendant, jogging, hiking, dancing, swimming, oh so many things! I'm so excited and so very thankful. To me it is a 40 year miracle in the making.
Again, blessings to all of you who read this and for Donating or Sharing this on your Facebook Timeline! You have made the difference in my life ❤️
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- Lisa Koch
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