top of page

Becoming a Hip Amputee

While doing my chemotherapy treatment, it was time for Doctors to decide what to do because the chemotherapy shrunk the cancer as much as it could. The Doctors insisted there was nothing else that could be done but to amputate my right leg in order to save my life in 2003.


I asked the Doctors was there anything else they could do, and they kept on insisting if I want to live, I must get my leg amputated. Then I asked if my leg is amputated below or a little above the knee I could still walk and run with a prosthetic leg, right?


The Doctors said I would have to be a hip amputee, which means my whole right leg would have to be amputated. Then I asked will I be able to run again, and they said no. I would only be able to walk, but with a limp. I was also told that I couldn’t get another knee replacement because so much reconstruction had already been done to my leg, and I would be just dragging it around and not using it.

“I cried, but I knew it was the best thing. I’d rather have him healthy than have him sick with a leg that was destroying him,” my Mother said. “The Doctor pretty much said his life or your leg, so we chose his life.”


“I was devastated when I heard the news, but the amputation would save his life,” my Father said. “I looked at the big picture, and it saved him, and he was able to live a normal life. I wish he had his real leg, but he is still here, we all love him, and everything is good.”


“I knew it was never going to be the same. We couldn’t do stuff together anymore like how we use to do,” my Brother said. “Everything was going to be different.”


“I didn’t know as far as getting his leg amputated what was going to come after that,” my Sister said. “We knew he was going to get a prosthetic leg but wasn’t sure if he was going to be able to walk properly, or just be able to have a normal life. I think that was the main concern for the family.”


Becoming a hip amputee was the safest choice because the cancer had traveled to my right lung, and Doctors didn’t want to take any more chances.


Once again, my Parents and I were back where we were three years earlier, but this time my leg was going to be amputated. I was scared because I was born with two legs and it never crossed my mind that I was going to part ways with my right leg at 17 years old. This experience was the most difficult for me to deal with because I had my right leg my whole life, then after a few hours of surgery, it was gone forever.

At 17 years old, I became a hip amputee and could now only walk with a prosthetic leg in 2003. Once again, stitches and staples were used to help keep my body together after my leg amputation surgery.

I remember after my surgery, I began experiencing phantom pain, which was extreme pain where my right leg was amputated. Although my right leg was no longer there, the nerve endings continued to send tingling, cramping, heat and cold pain signals to my brain and made me feel like my right leg was still there.

I was familiar with being up many nights because of sharp pains rushing throughout my body, but phantom pain was a whole new monster that I wasn’t ready for. The pain felt like I was constantly being stabbed by knives because the nerve endings were severed and were trying to re-connect.

The pain would stop for only a few seconds, only to continue and the pain got worse and worse every time. Like when I had a knee replacement at 14 years old, I was prescribed Vicodin and Morphine to ease the pain.

After I was able to tolerate the pain a little bit more. I began physical therapy by learning how to balance on an exercise ball, and I got fitted for my first prosthetic leg. Getting fitted for my first prosthetic leg was a difficult process because I’m a hip amputee. I must put on my leg like a pair of pants, and the straps go as far up as above my belly button.

The prosthetic leg for being a hip amputee is the most uncomfortable and painful because I must sit in hard plastic, and unfortunately, this is a reality that will never change. I was forced to learn how to adapt to the pain by not thinking about it, and move forward.

What I hate most about being a hip amputee is the consequences of always sitting in hard plastic. For example, every time I’m in my prosthetic leg, I’m always sore, but I don’t know how sore I am until I take a shower at the end of the day. When the warm water hits that sore spot for the first time, that’s when I find out that I’ve been bleeding and didn’t realize it because my prosthetic always feels the same all the time.

Sometimes it gets to the point where I have to force myself not to put on my prosthetic leg, so I could give my body enough time to heal before walking in it again.

My prosthetic leg also weighs about 15 pounds, and I must thrust my hip forward to kick the foot out to make the leg move in a forward walking motion. The best way to describe me walking as hip amputee with a prosthetic leg is the same as a person doing a light jog with two healthy legs.

A person living with an above the knee amputation is 10 times harder than somebody living with a below the knee amputation, and being a hip amputee is 100 times harder, according to amputee coalition.

Simple things such as walking, standing, sitting, kneeling and lifting can be difficult for the hip amputee.

In addition to the physical impact of hip amputations, they also have an increased impact on self-image. There is an increased worry and stress as these surgeries start encroaching on that personal area involved in central body functions and gender identity.

Sometimes, the surgery affects bowel, bladder or sexual functions. Most of the time, it does not. But either way, it starts involving the core of the body. No longer does amputation focus solely on the loss of some or all of a limb. The emotional and psychosocial aspects of these amputation levels can be even greater than those for other amputations.

A person with an amputation below the hip and pelvis may not be dealing with body core function and image. It may be difficult for people to understand or connect emotionally with the concerns of a person with a hip amputation.

It’s a sad truth that many people don’t survive the disease or injury that can lead to amputation at this level. Amputations at this level carry a significant death rate at the time of surgery or during hospitalization immediately after that. Some studies show that up to one-third of the people hospitalized for trans-pelvic surgery don’t survive.

Age can also play a factor. Scarring and grafts tend not to be as big a problem for children as they are for older adults. Many younger children amaze their physicians and therapists because they master walking and sitting, learning to live with the tremendous losses that amputations around the hip bring. While adults also must overcome these losses, it’s far more difficult for them to find similar success with prostheses.

Becoming a hip amputee also affected me mentally, spiritually and physically just like the chemotherapy did. Becoming a hip amputee and doing chemotherapy treatment at the same time made everything overly difficult for me to deal with. I did my best to deal with this difficult situation, but at the same time, I didn’t feel I had enough fight in me to want to move forward.

Through all the pain and suffering I was forced to endure. I was homeschooled again by the same teacher who came to the hospital and to my house when I was first diagnosed with cancer when I was 14 years old.

During the week of my high school graduation. I just finished one of my chemotherapy treatments, and I was able to physically be there on graduation day. I was in a wheelchair, and one of my basketball teammates pushed me up the ramp so I could receive my high school diploma.

I graduated on time with the rest of my classmates from Silverado High School in 2003.


Mayo Clinic Staff. "Phantom Pain." Mayo Clinic ., 03 Dec. 2014. Web. 6 Jan. 2015.

Ratini, Melinda. "Phantom Limb Pain." Web MD. Web MD, 03 Mar 2013. Web. 1 Oct 2013.

Smith, Doulas D., MD. "Higher Challenges: The Hip Disarticulation and Transpelvic Amputation Levels." Amputation Coalition. N.p., Jan. & feb. 2005. Web. 31 Jan. 2017.


I was recently contacted by Joshua Bradiel, Outreach Specialist for He works for the Mesothelioma Center, and their goal is to spread the word about asbestos related diseases, like lung cancer. Bradiel informed me how provides free informational books, packets and a Patient Advocacy Program that works 1-on-1 with individuals to help them find local doctors, treatment centers and support groups.

"Mesothelioma is a devastating cancer primarily caused by asbestos exposure. This aggressive disease affects the lining of the lungs, heart, or abdomen, often resulting in debilitating symptoms, with a very poor life expectancy,” Outreach Specialist Joshua Bradiel said. “We at the mesothelioma center provide a variety of resources completely free of charge to anyone going through the process of cancer, from the impact of the diagnosis, coping with the loss of someone, or seeking legal help when it comes to exposure-related cancers. We are committed to helping those impacted by this disease find solace, support, and access to the best possible care."


Asbestos lung cancer and pleural mesothelioma are two different diseases caused by asbestos exposure. Lung cancer caused by asbestos develops inside the lung, while pleural mesothelioma develops in the lining of the lungs. Both diseases take decades to develop, but can spread or metastasize within months.


As a survivor of lung and Stage IV cancer as a teenager, I believe the resources provided by can help those find free care and support to help alleviate anyone who is suffering from asbestos-related lung cancer. To find out more about Asbestos-Related Lung Cancer from resources provided by, click here: Asbestos-Related Lung Cancer

Drugwatch Displays a Public Spotlight on Chemical Hair Straighteners

Drugwatch is an organization that works with medical and legal experts, patients, and advocates to provide accurate, trustworthy, and current information about prescription drug side effects, medical device complications and related lawsuits. The team members of Drugwatch have several years of medical and legal research experience and are passionate about advocating for people injured by the negligence of corporations.

I was recently contacted by Nicole Vasconez, Outreach Coordinator for Drugwatch, and the organization is interested in spreading awareness about chemicals in hair straighteners from different brands that have recently been put into the public spotlight and have shown recent use of hair straighteners could cause uterine cancer and other issues.

According to Michelle Llamas, Board Certified Patient Advocate (BCPA), and writer of Chemical Hair Straighteners on Consumer health data has linked chemical hair straighteners to an increased risk of certain hormone-related cancers, including uterine and breast cancers. As a result, individuals have filed multiple lawsuits against chemical hair straightener manufacturers, claiming they did not warn them about the cancer risks.

Chemical hair straightening comes with the potential for unsafe toxicity, and two recent medical studies have shown a connection between chemical hair straighteners and a higher long-term risk of uterine cancer, breast cancer, fibroids, and endometriosis. In the short term, harsh chemical solutions may irritate the scalp and damage hair. The side effects of chemical hair straighteners affect not only people who receive hair treatments, but also the salon staff who apply them. Formaldehyde, a known carcinogen can lead to significant breathing and lung problems. Unfortunately, even products labeled formaldehyde-free may contain chemicals that release formaldehyde when subject to heat.

Parabens are chemicals routinely used in cosmetic hair care and skin care products. Products like shampoos, conditioners and other hair products often contain parabens because of their effectiveness against mold and fungi. Although parabens are effective against mold and fungi, but excessive paraben absorption can interfere with hormone production and can even cause hormone dysfunction, affecting both male and female reproduction. Unfortunately, girls going through puberty are particularly vulnerable to these effects.   

Some of the side effects of chemical hair straighteners include:

  • Allergic Reactions

  • Alopecia

  • Atrophied Skin

  • Burned Scalp and Skin

  • Damage to the Hair Shaft

  • Discolored Hair

  • Eczema

  • Frizzy Hair

  • Inflamed Scalp

  • Irritated and Painful Scalp

  • Loss of Hair

In another article on, Chemical Hair Straighteners and Cancer, written by Kevin Lombardi, Medical Doctor, Epidemiologist, Public Health Expert (MD MPH). Chemicals in hair relaxers affect people in different ways, depending on the chemical and the volume of exposure to it. Health problems can include nose and throat irritation, difficulty breathing, difficulty swallowing, red and burning skin, and central nervous system issues such as nausea, headaches, and dizziness. Consumers say some cosmetic brands marketed and distributed products that increased the risk of uterine cancer, breast cancer and ovarian cancer, among other health issues.


Hair straightening brands linked to cancer litigation incudes:

  • Dark and Lovely

  • Just for Me

  • L’Oreal

  • Motions

  • Namaste

  • Olive Oil Girls

  • Optimum

  • Soft of Nature Global LLC

  • TBC Naturals

Many women use chemical hair straighteners without knowing the risks, and a study finds that Black women may be more affected due to higher use of these products.

The Importance of Melanin: The Origin of Black Women’s Hair

Temitope Chemical hair image.jpg

 “Our hair, just like our melanin, is very unique and beautiful, not something to hide and be ashamed of.” – Jade Asikiwe, author of The Advanced Melanin Empath: In Depth Knowledge of Self to Protect and Guide Empathic Energy


All images courtesy of the Beautiful Temitope Adesina



Hair for Black people naturally stands up because it is electrified. It reaches for the skies in the heavens and doesn’t usually lie flat. When Black women straighten their hair, they are indeed suppressing their flow of power and their ability to absorb and attract all the electricity from all the different energies and spectrums of universal light. When Black women attempt to alter or tamper with their natural African hair, they are tampering with their ability to digest information from the sun. Natural hair for Black women is their crown and is a part of their melanin. 

In society, especially European (Western) civilization, European features and hair texture is the preferred look or desirable. For Black women, their hair is their strength, and should feel free to wear any hair style they desire, and shouldn’t be forced to conform to societal rules to blend in. For instance, in workplaces, Black women are often told their natural hair is unacceptable for corporate work environments, so they are forced to resort to straightening their hair with products that exposes them to chemicals that may cause cancer.

“Some consumers also claim that manufacturers marketed hair straighteners to Black women, whose naturally curly hair made them potential buyers. In fact, 60% of the participants in the 2022 study who reported using chemical hair straighteners were Black women, leading researchers to conclude that the exposure burden is higher among that demographic.” – Kevin Lombardi, MD MPH, Drugwatch

Uterine cancer and breast cancer are two of the top cancers linked to chemical hair straighteners. According to researchers, parabens, phthalates, formaldehyde and the toxic chemical DEHP are among the ingredients in relaxers that may cause cancer.

To find out more about Drugwatch, and how passionate the organization is about advocating for people injured by the negligence of corporations, click here:



Adesina, T. Had a breakdown last night. Been soooo out of my comfort zone these last couple of months. They say when you want to be successful, you’ll constantly be uncomfortable. I thank God for amazing opportunities and for answered prayers. I didn’t know exactly what would come with my prayers but I can’t complain because I prayed for them. I still have to learn how to deal with anxiety. How do you deal with anxiety? Temitope Adesina. Instagram. April 2, 2018. Oct. 10, 2023.


Adesina, T. May this New Year be the year of success. Emotional, financial, spiritual and etc. We will all smile this year. This year will be our best year yet. Temitope Adesina. Instagram. Jan. 1, 2018. Oct. 10, 2023.


Asikiwe. J. The Advanced Melanin Empath: In Depth Knowledge of Self to Protect and Guide Empathic Energy. Melanin House Production. (Sept. 30, 2021). Oct. 10, 2023. p. 58-59.


Drugwatch. About Drugwatch. Drugwatch. Oct. 10, 2023.

bottom of page