Jacob Farley (26 y/o) // CrossFit coach & athlete @ CrossFit Reaction // personal & small group trainer @ The Life Center // Master of Sports Science (health & fitness) graduate // survivor of Osteosarcoma (bone cancer); diagnosed Dec. 26, 2012 (23 y/o)
Posted September 10, 2015
“I was participating in a CrossFit competition, & one of the exercises was box-jumps. I flipped at the top of the box & hit my shin on the way down. I didn’t think much of anything about it over the next month & half, but there was a little lump that was getting bigger & more painful instead of healing. They took a biopsy on Dec. 23, & we did a bone scan on Christmas Eve, so we knew that we were waiting to find out something on Christmas Day. It was a weird Christmas.
“Recovery was, honestly, very painful. They took out a whole bone in my leg — my left tibia. It was rough. It never fully healed the right way, & I got MRSA. It’s tricky to get rid of it, & we did a total of 7 – 8 total surgeries to clear everything up. This was AFTER going through therapy to learn how to walk again.
“[Eventually] my doctor told me I would only be able to bike, swim & walk. I told him to just cut it off. I kind of got what I wanted, because I was sick of the whole thing. After talking to some people & realizing how active I could be with an amputated leg, it was kind of a no brainer for me.
“… I’m a fairly spiritual person. I just had a crazy, weird peace – I don’t know how to describe it — that came from praying & knowing that other people were praying for me. It got to the point where I was like, ‘It is what it is.’
“Being worried is something that I haven’t been in a long time. I learned what battles to fight.
“I have gone back & ventured into doing those box jumps again, but I take my leg off to do them, & as far as lifting weights goes, I’m to the point where I can pretty much do everything. It’s sort of fun learning how to do these things again.
“I really learned patience more than anything, because it was all a waiting a game for me. You wait in the hospital to get done with chemo. You wait for results of how your chemo is going. You sit on the couch all day long, because you can’t walk. I went from being a really active person to being on a couch or in a chair 24 hours a day, because I was always getting over a surgery during that whole time period. It was an awful, awful, awful experience, but it did teach me patience. I had to move back in with my parents. I couldn’t work.
“…But I grew up. “