This time last year, I’d just discovered I had a bone tumor in my left tibia. I’d been scheduled to fly to Florida for surgery to occur a year ago next week – a surgery that would wind up being just a biopsy because the tumor contents would appear atypical. I’d spend the next two weeks in Florida with a leg brace while my biopsy was shipped to various centers around the United States to try to determine whether or not it was cancerous, and what kind of tumor it was. It would be in the top 5 longest days, and nights, of my life.
Ultimately it would be determined that whatever the atypical portions were, they weren’t the worst imaginable, and the surgery should go on as had been planned when it was assumed it was a Giant Cell Tumor – and so it did. The surgery happened on December 6th, and by sheer force of will I’d be back home in Oregon by Christmas.
Throughout the journey we experienced a sea of generosity and assistance from friends and family, from the cousins with connections who both helped to fast track my surgery and gave us a free place to stay, and love and support, during the process, parents and friends who took in our son while we went on our journey, and friends who also lent love and support.
It was a long, long winter, and a long spring as well.
My leg still aches. It still gets sore and tender. It still has a numb spot from nerve damage. I still don’t trust myself to run. I still get anxious before every scheduled x-ray, worried that it’s growing again.
However, just last weekend I hiked Tumalo Mountain for the first time since the surgery. Not impressive by normal standards, really, but after my 2017, I’ll take it and be proud.