A Lacey's Spring, Alabama women underwent a translumbar amputation on March 27 th 2009. Translumbar amputation (also known as hemicorporectomy) is a medical procedure that removes the legs, pelvic bones, genitals, urinary system, rectum and base of the spine (in short...everything from the waist down). A very drastic way of ridding one's self of cancer, but was necessary to live.
Melissa McCutcheon is a single mom with 2 daughters, Alyssa is 13, and LeAnna is 14. She was diagnosed in October 2002 with cervical cancer. Since that time, Melissa had undergone numerous surgeries and treatments to help stop the cancer, but they failed. She had 54 radiation treatments, chemotherapy, hysterectomy, removal of part of her colon and bladder, and surgery to disconnect her right kidney...but the cancer still spread.
The cancer then forced her to become bedridden by effecting the bones in her hips and giving her nerve damage in her legs. It was when it finally spread to the base of her spine, that she consulted her gynocologic oncologist about the translumbar amputation.
The doctors said the surgery went as "planned" and she is recovery nicely. Melissa will eventually be fitted with a "bucket shaped" prosthesis to allow her to sit up.
This was an extremely intense story for me to read as I am sure it is for most. Her courage and strength is heroic to us all. I would like to leave you with this quote from Melissa McCutcheon:
"My daughters want me to be there to go to soccer games, to their graduation, if this is the only way that can happen, they're OK with it. More than anything, I'm happy to have a shot at finally being rid of the cancer."