12 Weeks to Fitness: Concerns after surgery checkup

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Welcome to 12 Weeks of Fitness, a weekly blog series by Kris Mitchell, a sophomore at the University of St. Thomas and alumnus of ThreeSixty Journalism. Kris is involved in a 12-week program at St. Thomas to lose weight and improve his health. A team of videography students will document his progress for a class project. Check back weekly to read about Kris’s experience.
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In week 4 of my blog, I talked about the surgery I had on my back to help me improve my overall health and fitness. This month, I had my check up with Dr. Polly and this is what I found out. The tumor that was in my spine was not fully removed; however, he assured me that the procedure was done in a way that will give me the bone support that I need. I didn’t like this news personally because I don’t want the tumor to grow again, which would mean it would set me back from my health goal of being entirely healthy and cause me pain as it did before. I surely don’t want to go through all the tests concerning the tumor and want to get rid of it entirely.

Ten percent of all people have a tumor in their spines and that is completely natural. It just happens that mine is in a weird place.

I feel good except for some common soreness and aches, which I contribute to stress and reworking the muscles in my back. To combat this, Dr. Polly has me going through physical therapy and will reevaluate when we meet next. Until then, I will be doing physical therapy exercises that will work my muscles in ways I never have before. It’s hard, but it motivates me to reach my ultimate goal.

He also scheduled me for a scan for June 11th to see how the tumor is doing. I’m apprehensive about what the results will show, but he made sure to remind me that ten percent of all people have a tumor in their spines and that it is completely natural. It just happens that mine is in a weird place. This doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s more likely to grow back, but it does concern and intrigue Dr. Polly. I’m nervous that the tumor will grow again.

The doctor’s visit and information about the tumor change how I feel about myself. I feel like I took a half step backwards in getting healthier. However I will stay optimistic and will take it one day at a time and wish for the best. I mean after all, I’ve lost a pound since last week and I’m continuing to make healthier choices.

- Kris Mitchell, University of St. Thomas sophomore and ThreeSixty Journalism alumnus

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