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So, tell me, How does losing your leg make you feel? Chapter 2 of Suck it Up and Deal (worki

Yeah, I lost my leg from a malignant bone cancer.

You ever have one of those days where everything goes wrong? What do you think I will say next, "well it couldn't have been as bad when they amputated my leg?" No, I would never say that.

What I am talking about is when life hits you so hard, you reach a point that you are too numb to even feel it. For some, it can be getting your leg amputated. For others, it can be facing a bully in your house every day, or a constant physical pain or any as-sundry of trials that are just too far for you. That was what losing my leg was like. I was numb.

33 years later, I have long since stopped mourning the loss. At thirteen

years old, and in my numb state, I could process the loss in an almost rhetorical way; if I lost my leg, I can't do things I used to do, ergo I am devastated. Seriously, that was how I felt and spoke. The well-paid, well-meaning counselor who asked me such an absurd question as "How does losing your leg make you feel," got a child's answer to an adult issue. She told my mother I was suicidal. My mother, I believe, told her where to stick her diagnosis.

I was in a four bed children's ward at Mass. general. My first night, instead of being a scary experience of pondering my life, it was more like summer camp. I remember distinctly some child hiding underneath my bed, saying "Hi, my name is Marty MacFly," and then running off (clearly, this name is a pseudonym).

We arrived on a Monday, and a biopsy of my enormous ankle was ordered. I had to be put under anesthesia. It was 1984 and one of the events that made an impression on my young mind was the shooting of then President Reagan. I adored my president with the faithful loyalty of a daughter to her father, and to shoot him was mind boggling. When I was in the recovery room, waking up after my biopsy, I woke up starring at the blurry nurses and said, as my president said to his nurses, "I hope you are all republicans!" These are the jokes people! My nurses were not laughing.

Osteogenic sarcoma or Osteosarcoma, is still one of the most aggressive and potentially fatal cancers. I could give you statistics but let me put it this way; I look at websites, and chat rooms and memory walls; and human beings are still dying. Yet it is very rare. One reason it is rare is it occurs only when a person is in puberty. Yet, this is arguably why it is deadly because it occurs only in the rapid cell environment of the growth plates. My tumor, for example, had started in my ankle growth plates and eaten out and replaced the bone from its growth. Needless to say, we arrived on a Monday and my leg was gone by Wednesday.

How did I feel about losing my leg? I felt nothing. How do I feel about losing my leg now, 30 years later? I feel grateful as hell to be alive. Wiser now I know being "numb" was a normal reaction to loss. Ironically, I also know none of that matters now. I am not defined by the cancer or the amputation, I was merely forged in it.

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