Terri Loftus is being put in the spotlight for this month’s article. Terri is an amazing, strong woman who lost –
Terri Loftus is being put in the spotlight for this month’s article. Terri is an amazing, strong woman who lost her leg due to cancer. Today, she tells us her story. When asked how she become an amputee, Terri states,
“Cancer…I’ve been dealing with cancer since 2014 with my first surgery to remove Squamous Cell Carcinoma from the side of my left heel in December 2014.
In May 2015, the cancer resurfaced as two knots on the outside – the same area this time. The cancer was removed again. I had a total of five surgeries on my foot, including cancer removal and graft surgery.
In October 2015, I began radiation treatments as my oncologist advised, if not, the cancer would be back in less than one year. After 26 radiation treatments of the 30 scheduled, radiation was stopped as my foot was burnt up.
After a period of time, my foot still hadn’t healed, and this resulted in Hyperbaric Oxygen treatments. I was put in an oxygen chamber for two hours daily, Monday thru Friday, for healing. After 26 treatments of the scheduled 30, I stopped the treatments as they had started in March 2016.
I explained to The Wound Center daily that my foot didn’t hurt, it was an area in the back of my leg that hurt – no one would listen to my complaint.
After several visits to doctors in my home town, no one would go inside my leg to see what was going on.
I started physical therapy where it only made it worse, stopped and started seeing a chiropractor in September 2016. He was performing the dry needle procedure in which it didn’t help with the pain. I was going every two weeks, until October 2017, when he wanted me to see a vascular surgeon. I had already been diagnosed with neuropathy in my foot from the radiation treatments. He thought maybe I had some veins damaged from the surgeries.
In September 2017, I scheduled an appointment with a vascular surgeon. He was nice enough to schedule an ultra sound where the diagnosis was a tumor in my leg. The cancer was potentially back.
He scheduled a MRI to confirm for sure and the ultrasound was correct. My cancer was back.
My vascular surgeon referred me to Vanderbilt in Nashville to see an orthopedic oncologist. He informed me there was a good chance I was going to lose my leg.
He ordered a MRI, CT Scan, etc. to be completed on October 31, 2017.
He called me the following Saturday at home and advised me I was going to lose my leg. The cancer had already eaten into my bone and muscle. It was too late to save my leg.
On December 20, 2017, I became a left above-the-knee amputee. I was very fortunate that the cancer was contained inside the tumor. Cancer was gone when they amputated my leg. Chemotherapy wasn’t required. I was cancer free.
Praise the Lord.”
Terri heard about Bulow OPS after she was marked by another prosthetic company at Vanderbilt, not knowing she had a choice of prosthetic companies. Many friends and her therapist told her about Bulow. She read Matt Bulow’s story and decided Bulow could do more for her than the current prosthetic company.
Terri says, “Even though I have a disability, left above-the-knee amputee, I am learning to live a normal life, including a normal lifestyle. Her most defining moment in her new lifestyle was when she got her new socket that was designed especially for her by Bulow. “The socket is the critical interface of a prosthetic limb.” Bulow is so happy we could help her have a customized solution, as every amputee deserves to have something crafted to them.
Terri believes the perfect day would consist of praising the Lord as to how Blessed she is to be living a normal, happy life. Then, she’d be getting up at 4:30am to see her wonderful husband off to work each morning. The day would continue with making time to sit and read for a period of time and, of course, a shopping day! In this perfect day, Terri also does her therapy for 45 minutes and plans a dinner menu for that night while waiting for her magnificent husband to come home from work.
Terri’s friends would describe her as an inspiration, amazing and having a strong will. This incredible woman leaves us with a few tidbits of advice, “Always have faith in the Lord and pray daily for a normal recovery, as he has for me. Keep a strong attitude to overcome your disability and keep a smile on your face. You will have good days and bad days, but dwell on the good days. You will become a stronger person. If I can do it, you can too.”