WOW! How crazy.. Today marks a year since my life really changed forever. Yes, cancer was a big change but it was a very different change. With cancer we were all really scared of what the future was going to bring, but with my amputation we were all excited in a way! Excited to have the tumor removed from my body, excited to hear the narcosis results and excited to begin the ride of a life time!

Most people hear the word amputation and become scared and fearful of the future. Of course my family and I had fear of how we were going to adjust but at the same time we were all ready and excited. We had three months to pray and prepare ourselves, and it was probably the fastest three months of our lives. In those three months I learned a lot about trust and how to trust in our Lord. I also became very head strong, I had many people I knew and didn’t know that would try to change my decision, but I was not about it. I knew what I wanted and I wanted it then.

As surgery approached I because more and more anxious. I was not so much anxious about the surgery but instead I wanted to know how it was going to feel and how it would look on my body. I was worried about my family and friends and how they would react. I did not want people to be scared of the look or scared to stare. Staring was something I found normal with rotationplasty. I know if it were me on the other side I would stare too, not because I thought it was weird but because I would be curious as to what happened to the person. My mind is always full of questions so I am sure I would be asking away. When I do see people staring I encourage them to come closer and ask questions. It is a lot to take in when you do not know the reason behind it.

Now to after surgery, I guess you could say I had a pretty easy recovery. I really did not have any complications excepts for swelling for about 5 days after and I had some wound healing problems from the swelling and chemo. I was up the next morning after and probably did a little to much which is why I had these issues. As far as pain I do not really remember much pain except right when I woke up from surgery. I was not on a pain pump yet so I was pretty uncomfortable, but after that it all went pretty smooth. I was very happy with Dr. Lewis and Dr. Adelmans work! They are amazing!!

When I finally got to go home it was like bringing home a new born baby. My parents and brother and I all had to adjust to something new. Life was not as easy as it was before. I couldn’t do things on my own. Moving from one spot to another was difficult and our house had to become handicap assessable! We closed in a garage, tore apart the kitchen, took out door frames and added ramps. It was wild. I couldn’t just get up and get myself a drink or food and I wanted to be my independent self so bad but that was not as easy any more. I had to work on being patient with others that were helping me. Its hard to adjust to someone else speed when you just want to do it alone.

It took a little while but I was able to adjust to all of the new things and it became our new normal. Soon we did not even think twice, we just went.

My life sure has changed but I would not want it any other way! It has been the best change ever. So many HUGE doors have opened up for me and I am so blessed. I am training for sitting volleyball and it is amazing. I can still remember telling my team I would probably never step on the court again and I am so glad that has changed. The court is a little different but the concept is still the same! I am loving it and the people I have gotten to meet because of it!

My family and I have adjusted very well to this new normal. We can do things now and not think twice about it. It definitely took a while. I am now almost to walking with no crutches. I also have started new workouts such as, doing squats at the gym. Today I did front squats with a 45 lbs bar for the first time since the surgery and it felt great!

Everything is slowly all coming together! I want to thank you all again so so much for the encouragement and prayers. The power of prayer is amazing and has gotten me to where I am today.

I gave a speech the other day and talked about encouragement. I put the words “God only gives you what you can handle” in a different perspective. Before this I feel like my relationship with the Lord was not where it needed to be. Therefore, he gave me MORE than I could handle. It crazy to think of it like that but I feel like he gave me MORE than I could take on that way I could grow through him and become the person I am today.

So remember when you feel like something is too much it just might be, but that is Gods way of encouraging you to talk to him so he can guide you through the hardship!

Psalm 138:3
“In the day when I cried out, You answered me, and made me bold with strength in my soul.”

With so much LOVE,
Jillian K

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