New Zealand

I had a sore knee after working out but I thought it was nothing… the truth was worse than I could ever imagine

A WOMAN who picked up a sore knee after working out thought it was nothing – but the reality was much more serious.

Fitness fanatic, Amy Haigh, 27, had suffered a fall while horse-riding in March 2022 and struggled to complete workouts but put it down to just being an injury from the gym.

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Amy Haigh had struggled to do her workouts due to what she thought was just a sore kneeCredit: Jam Press/Amy Haigh
The New Zealander lost her hair while undergoing chemotherapy

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The New Zealander lost her hair while undergoing chemotherapyCredit: Jam Press/Amy Haigh
The sore knee turned out to be bone cancer and Amy had to undergo surgery

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The sore knee turned out to be bone cancer and Amy had to undergo surgeryCredit: Jam Press/Amy Haigh

But then she decided to get it checked out.

Help from two physiotherapists, a chiropractor and an osteopath didn’t sort the issue, and Amy started to feel “really off” with her knee swelling whenever she exercised, and a “dull ache”.

After a personal trainer recommended she get checked out, she went through several scans in the summer before an MRI in September – and Amy was horrified to learn the true cause: high-grade bone cancerosteosarcoma.

Amy, an early childhood teacher from Auckland, New Zealand, said: “I lived a very active and healthy lifestyle and never, ever had any health issues besides from the occasional cold.

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“I have been training in the gym since 2019, I was an avid horse rider, I would spend the weekends walking my dogs or at the beach, and my job was also quite physically demanding.

“I was inconsolable. I cried in my car every day, I cried on my lunch break, and cried in the bathroom.

“I was horrified it was cancer, but there was also some relief because I had been trying to get to the bottom of this knee pain for so long.

“I knew something was wrong and I was unfortunately proven right.”

I was inconsolable. I cried in my car every day, I cried on my lunch break, and cried in the bathroom

Amy Haigh

Amy started chemotherapy at the end of October that year.

She said: “My cycles were 35 days long and also included a two-week hospital stay where I would get plenty of fluids to help flush the chemo out of my system.

“I found these stays absolutely awful because I felt so lonely and isolated.

“My doctors and nurses at Auckland Hospital were absolutely incredible, though.

“After my first round of chemotherapy, I was so sick, they had to lower my dose for the next cycle so I still had some quality of life.

“I also had to have a PET scan which shows if the cancer has gone anywhere else in your body.

“My family were absolutely terrified as I had been diagnosed with a very aggressive cancer.

“Luckily, this scan came back clear on November 3, 2022, which was a huge relief.

My family were absolutely terrified as I had been diagnosed with a very aggressive cancer

Amy

“I was told if it had gone to my lungs it would have been very difficult to treat.”

Amy went through two cycles of chemo before an operation in January 2023 to remove the cancerous bone on her femur and replace it with a donor bone from the US.

She said: “There was a risk that they would have to do a full knee replacement which would have been devastating as a 27-year-old, as then I would have to have surgeries for the rest of my life.

SURGEON WAS ‘INCREDIBLE’

“My surgeon was incredible and managed to not only remove all of the cancerous bone but also save my knee joint.

“I remember waking up after the surgery and asking if he had saved my knee joint, and he said he had. There was so much relief and big emotions.

“When they took out the bone it went to the lab for processing.

“It showed that all of the cancerous bone was removed and also that the cancer was a far lower grade than they thought.

“It showed that the strong chemo they had me on that targeted aggressive cancers with high cell turnover actually did nothing.

“They then said because the cancer was removed and there were no more cancerous cells in my body, that I was cancer free.

“This was very surreal news.

“[It was] bittersweet as I realised I didn’t need to do chemo in the first place and lose my hair and become so sick.

“But I would rather have had it and not need it than need it and not have it.”

STRUGGLED AFTER SURGERY

Amy struggled mentally following the surgery and the after-effects of her cancer journey.

She said: “I was such an independent, carefree and spirited person who suddenly couldn’t do anything for herself.

“I loved my career, I loved life and within a few weeks, it was all cruelly snatched away from me.

“I went from being in the gym every day to hardly being able to lift my head up off the couch.

“I hated being reliant on other people but it was something that I had to quickly get used to.

“My family, my friends and my boyfriend were all incredibly supportive of me.

“My closest relationships grew even stronger, something I am very grateful for.”

She has since started therapy to help process the huge change to her life and is making peace with her new normal – which includes reduced mobility and a further surgery to remove scar tissue from her knee joint, and having to leave work while her leg heals.

Amy added: “I am doing better now, it has taken a lot to get me to this point.

“Therapy has been so helpful.

“This isn’t a normal thing for someone to go through, I can’t have worked through these emotions on my own.

“There was a lot of despair, so much grief for the life I had, the woman I was.

“I was so hurt at losing my hair, it felt like I lost myself.

“I miss the carefree girl who didn’t have to think about those things.

I want to go out and live my life, to say yes to the things I would say no to before

Amy

“But I have also done so much growing in the last few months, I am so much stronger than I ever thought I was.

“I have come out of this with an entirely new view of the world.

“I want to go out and live my life, to say yes to the things I would say no to before.

“To travel and live for myself.

“After all, I definitely deserve it.

“My hair has started to grow back, thicker and more luscious than it ever had before – my hair was so thin.

“There has to be a silver lining to all of this.

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“Even though I went through so much, I can still see the good in my experience.

“I hope that sharing my story either comforts someone else who is experiencing the same thing or encourages another person to go to the doctor and get that sore leg checked out.”

Amy struggled to complete her gym workouts but just put it down to an injury at first

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Amy struggled to complete her gym workouts but just put it down to an injury at firstCredit: Jam Press/Amy Haigh
The teacher is now on the road to recovery

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The teacher is now on the road to recoveryCredit: Jam Press/Amy Haigh



https://www.thesun.co.uk/health/23382632/fitness-fanatic-sore-knee-working-out-bone-cancer/ I had a sore knee after working out but I thought it was nothing… the truth was worse than I could ever imagine

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