DENVER — Cheryl McCarty loves to run, but during the Bolder Boulder last year she had to push through some serious pain in her hip. She went to the doctor and received some shocking news.
“There were lesions. I had a tumor, and they thought it was multiple myeloma,” she said.
Multiple myeloma is a cancer that starts in the plasma cells of bone marrow and can lead to fractures and other ailments.
Cheryl needed chemo and a stem cell transplant. She also needed procedures on her hip, legs and back. She was in pain because her t-8 vertebrae collapsed.
Dr. Tim Birney, at Western Orthopaedics, performed a non-invasive procedure called a balloon kyphoplasty. He inserted balloons to lift the vertebrae and create a cavity for the bone cement to be inserted in order to stabilize the fracture.
“In 80 to 90 percent of patients they notice a substantial improvement in their pain, or relief of their pain,” Dr. Birney said.
After some recovery time, Cheryl is back to training, with her sights once again set on the Bolder Boulder. “That was my goal, was to get back to the Bolder Boulder, and although I can’t run it this year I will be walking it with a group of family and friends,” she said.
She can’t wait to cross the finish line. “It means everything to me. Two weeks ago I found out I was in remission, so that just makes it even better,” she said.