Landscaping is a tough job, but Katie Noble appreciates the outdoors after spending a year fighting a rare and aggressive cancer that took half of her knee.
A young woman from Wellington is pulling weeds, watering plants and trimming bushes this summer.
“It’s crazy. I can’t believe it sometimes, still,” Katie told CBS4 Health Specialist Kathy Walsh.
She was 19 years old last July when she finally learned why her left knee gave her so much trouble.
“It was just this one spot that you pressed and I could not handle the pain,” Katie explained.
It was cancer, synovial sarcoma, so rare, her orthopedic oncologist, Dr. Daniel Lerman, said Katie was about one in a million.
“It’s an aggressive cancer that requires aggressive treatment,” explained Lerman explained.
First, Katie had surgery to remove half of her knee and reconstruct it. She had 7 rounds of chemotherapy, spending about a week each time at Rocky Mountain Hospital for Children (RMHC). Then, Katie endured 6 weeks of radiation.
“It was really difficult for sure,” Katie said.
“And yet in every picture you’re smiling,” said Kathy.
“Yep,” Katie answered with a laugh.
And the smiles weren’t just for the camera.
“She’s a testament to mindset and fortitude,” said Lerman. “(She) attacked this head on with a smile, every time.”
Katie’s big family, including 5 siblings, encouraged her. They cheered her up in the hospital and wore Team Katie hats at Christmas. And Katie found comfort in her faith.
“I really started putting my trust in the Lord. I didn’t really worry as much about what the plan was,” she said.
Today, Katie is cancer free and showing off her reconstructed knee.
“They took part of this calf muscle here laid it on top, then took a skin graft from my upper thigh,” she said.
Katie is hard at work landscaping this summer, thrilled to be outside.
No pain?” asked Kathy
“No pain,” said Katie.
“Would you tell me if there was?” Kathy asked.
Katie just laughed. Katie has no gripes, only gratitude.