Yesterday on Fresh Air there was an interview with Hugh Herr. He has quite a remarkable story. He is a double amputee below the knees of both legs. How did he respond? He went to MIT to study bioengineering, specializing in the design of prosthetics.
He even designed himself a custom set of legs that are adjustable to make him anywhere from 5' to 7' tall. He played a joke at the start of college, starting out at 5' and adding one inch every day until someone noticed. He said it took about a week. Now, he keeps them at about 6'3" so that he is an imposing figure but not an oddity.
I hope that if I ever experience something as serious as a double leg amputation (or even half as serious) I can leverage it the way he did.