N22 — June 2013 — Golf after Hemipelvectomy
Intro: He was 41 years old with a great job and a loving family. Then doctors gave him the horrible news. Cancer. To survive they would have to take his entire left leg and part of his pelvis. The man you're about to meet refused to let this stop him from living a full life. Seven years after the diagnosis and surgery, he's not only healthy, but he's also playing golf.
To some, it may seem like a miracle that Bob Anderson is teeing off and shooting pars.
"A diagnosis of cancer is obviously earth shattering."
Bob had a cancer called fibrosarcoma.
"and he confirmed that there was a tumor in my pelvic region."
A large tumor that involved bone, muscle and nerves.
"It's impossible to get rid of the tumor without also removing the extremity."
Mayo Clinic surgeon Dr. Tom Shives removed the left side of Bob's pelvis and his entire left leg.
"What went through my mind was, how long do I have to live, what's going to happen to my kids, what's going to happen to my wife, am I going to be a burden to them?"
"The whole process is a huge loss, so losing a leg is like losing a loved one."
Dr. Karen Andrews specializes in helping patients like Bob adjust to life after an amputation. A life with a prosthesis.
"Having an amputation is so devastating, but people do so well."
Dr. Andrews says Bob's prosthesis is computerized. It senses when he moves and responds accordingly.
"I wanted to be active."
Bob makes walking with his prosthesis look easy. But it takes time, commitment and determination to rise up after a difficult diagnosis and surgery, and stride again.
"I was told very early on in this journey that you have two options. One, you can be a spectator and watch life pass you by. Or you can be an active participant. I choose to be an active participant in life.
Not to mention being an accomplished player out of the golf course.
For Mayo Clinic News Network, I'm Vivien Williams.
Bob is passionate about helping others adjust to life with an amputation, and he volunteers a lot of time as a patient advocate.
Prosthetics have advanced greatly in recent years, thanks to work done to improve the lives of wounded soldiers.
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