BENEFITING: Lymphatic Education & Research Network (LE&RN)
EVENT DATE: Sep 10, 2017
Roxie Wheeler wrote -
I was diagnosed with breast cancer in October 2012, just 19 months after losing my first husband. Although my initial diagnosis was Stage 1 during surgery a small amount of cancer was found in the second sentinel lymph node, so a full axillary lymph node dissection was completed and an additional 20 lymph nodes were removed. By January 2013 I was told that I had Stage II lymphedema - a condition that I would have for the rest of my life. My lymphedema is in my right arm and I am right handed. I had to learn how to carry my purse on my left side - something that is not as easy as it sounds. I also choose to learn how to mouse with my left hand since my job involved sitting at a desk for most of the day.
Traditional treatment for lymphedema involves lymphatic massage, compression bandaging, use of a pneumatic compression pump, and compression garments. There's also increased risk of infections when you have lymphedema. For a cancer survivor it is a DAILY reminder that you're not the same. I was blessed that my fabulous husband sought me out in spite of being a breast cancer survivor and someone with an ongoing medical condition.
Doctors get less than one hour, that's right, less than ONE hour of training about lymphedema during all their years of school and this condition is often dismissed as "a bit of swelling" and those who suffer with this condition are often told that it's "painless".
I am walking in this inaugural walk in Colorado to raise awareness for this condition!! I have been fortunate to find surgical options for my lymphedema which I am still in the middle of. Sadly, most people will not have this option and so many struggle to get the garments and pumps that they need to manage this condition. Please donate what you can.