Wow, what a week it has been! I had a great week of training last week and was ready to follow it up with another. As you may know from my last post, I had some tests on Monday (which all came back fine by the way…yay!) but got back at it on Tuesday. I went to see an orthopedic on Wednesday because I have been having some knee pain off and on since Gulf Coast Triathlon in May. They took some x-rays which confirmed what my Physical Therapist has suspected–that my kneecap tracks to the left of center. Not a game changer at all, just something that now it’s confirmed we could be more focused in PT with the treatment, but I would have still been able to continue my training without much modification. Fortunately (or unfortunately–I still go back and forth between the two) the x-rays also revealed something else.
When the PA came into the room, he asked about the pain I have been having and showed me the x-ray that clearly displays my kneecap a little left of center. But then he explained that they also saw something else of concern–I have a tumor in my femur (thigh bone) where it connects into the knee joint. He showed me the x-ray which clearly shows a mass (see the area where the arrow points to). So not expecting news like this, I was in shock. And of course the place that my mind goes is “what does this mean for the Ironman?” When the doctor came in he explained what he thinks it is–a giant cell bone tumor which I probably have had for a long time. He said most people find out about it when their bone breaks so to find it before then is a good thing. He also said that most of the time they are benign, but I would still need surgery to take it out and then bone grafting to replace the bone that has been lost to the tumor. He explained that I would need an MRI, then a nuclear bone scan and then to see an orthopedic oncologist (the closest one being in New Orleans). But what about running and what about the race I have been training for this past year? He said that I could keep swimming and biking, but really didn’t want me to keep running. I explained that I was training for the Ironman and my race was in 6 weeks–even as I type this I realize the absurdity of that statement, but we all know there is a little crazy in those of us willing to take on the Journey to the Ironman.
I wouldn’t normally be so public with a struggle like this, but you all have been right there supporting me every step of the way towards #IMFL and I wanted to explain what might derail the journey. Also, I know that I am going to need your support as I go through this next chapter, no matter if it includes the Ironman or not, I am going to need the cheerleaders in my life to remind me that I will get to the other side of this.
I had an MRI later that same day, my bone scan is scheduled for Monday, and I have another doctor’s appointment with this doctor on Tuesday. Unfortunately, I can’t get into see the doctor in New Orleans for another month. At this point Ironman Florida is now tentative. The doctor never told me I couldn’t do it, but he had a valid concern about uneven footing and other things that could happen participating in an endurance event and being quite tired by the time the run came around as the bone is weak and more likely to break if anything happens. I asked about the possibility of walking it and he was a little more open to that. But part of my schedule in the near future is dependent upon the scheduling of tests and appointments. The next closest doctor is in Houston, and I might call over there today to see if there is a possibility of getting in sooner. In the meantime, I am going to keep swimming and biking and elliptical-ling (a compromise).
So that’s the update for now. I will be sure to post when and If I know more and as I am ready to share. At the beginning of the week I would never have expected to be here typing this on Friday morning–I had very different plans for this week, but it is what it is and I can’t change it, so instead I will learn to deal with it as best I can. I guess all this mental training for the Ironman is going to come in handy sooner than I had planned.
I’m so sorry to hear your news. You sound like you’re going in to treatment with a very brave outlook. Stay strong! You’re an Ironman already in spirit!
Thank You, Heather
Wow! Definitely a gamechanger and scary. Sending much love and positive energy to you!! =)
Thank you, Heidi.
I don’t think you’re crazy at ALL….
I’d have had a nuclear explosion in that Dr. office if I was told “no race”
When hell freezes over maybe….
there’s always a way…ALWAYS
swim and bike your ass off from now until November then do the same one race day
start practicing some speed walking mixed with jogging…
Ktape/support the leg as best you can if PT thinks it will even help….
Galloway the marathon…run a little/walk a lot
No way I’d not do it
Life is short and this just shows us all how fast things can change
It may not be the way you intended, but part of this process is being able to adjust on the fly
You can do this
See the socialist in NOLA in a month
The race will be 1-2 weeks after that appt
schedule surgery after and go into it knowing you got this done instead of a heart full of regret….
Hang in there
Your health always comes 1st, but if there is no emergency to operate and they are pretty sure it’s benign, I say get the tests and get things lined up and ready for after Nov 2
Then get out there and do what you’ve worked so had to be able to do!
that should say SPECIALIST….not socialist heh! 🙂
Thanks Jenn…definitely not going to give up on the dream of crossing the finish line on Nov. 2 until I know more.
You can win – just NEVER EVER GIVE UP! You may have to walk the run, but you can still be a finisher!
Thanks, Janice. Means a lot coming from you–you have shown such strength in your journey.
I can’t believe your first thought was “what does this mean for the Ironman?” We’re behind you every step of the way! xxoo
Thanks, Angi. Let’s walk & talk soon!
I love seeing your posts in facebook, but I never comment. This one just made me feel the need to comment. I appreciate your spirit about all of this, your strength, your good writing. I’m rooting for you!
Thanks, Dr. Lundberg.
the questions to ask the orthopedic surgeon now and the specialist- will continued training increase the likelihood of fracture and if so what would the impact of a fracture be on the ability to remove the tumor and reconstruct this area of your femur. This is very close to your joint and you do not want to risk permanent impairment for a race, any race, even an Ironman that you have trained very, very hard for. Will says prayers for discernment of the best path and for strength and perseverance