I am not a professional athlete but I have always tried to be fit. I played softball, hockey, volleyball, ran, backpacked, fished every year in Alaska, and participated in Team and Boot Camp Fitness and Pilates. In 2008 I was diagnosed with Stage III breast cancer. I had a bilateral mastectomy, chemotherapy and radiation. After the basic treatments were complete I was prescribed several adjuvant medications. In my opinion, those medications damaged my joints and connective tissue and in 2012, I stopped all medication but the damage was done.
In 2013, I had a full right hip replacement. The procedure was completed by Dr. Conner
and Shawn, in her compassionate and no nonsense manner, got me through the trauma. Within one week of the surgery I was back in the gym for Pilates and modified weight training. In 2015 I had a fusion of my neck. In 2017, Dr. Conner replaced my left knee. Based on information provided to me by TCO prior to knee surgery, I doubled up on my workouts and focused on strengthening my legs. When I left the hospital the day after surgery, I was walking and doing stairs and driving without and assistive devices like canes, walker, etc. Again, Shawn worked with me to work through this trauma and to avoid depression. In 2018, Dr. Cammack
basically rebuilt the arch in my right foot and removed several bone spurs. This surgery was painful and took a long time to heal but Dr. Cammack, Lisa and Krisi worked with me to avoid deep depression and to get back in the gym. In about two months I was back to my full workouts albeit I am no longer able to run. In 2019, I ruptured my anterior tibialis which is a major tendon on top of my foot. I have no idea how or when it happened, but it did. When I learned from Dr. Cammack that I would again require surgery and a long healing process, I was exceedingly down. The post surgery recuperation has been very difficult because the hard cast on my lower leg causes claustrophobia and panic attacks. However, Lisa and Krisi have worked with me to look past the cast to take one day at a time.
It seems every time I get back to my usual fitness activities, I am stopped in my tracks by another joint or connective tissue mishap. I am 66 years old and have worked out and exercised all my life. Now it seems keeping active is a struggle due to muscular skeletal issues developed during the cancer treatments. However, TCO and its staff have helped me immensely. Although I cannot walk without a scooter yet, I am doing Pilates and modified weight training.
My story is not as exciting as the full recovery of an elite athlete but it is important to me. If it wasn't for the staff at TCO, I would probably have given up ever being active again. They never give up on me so I feel I owe it to them to try my hardest.