I have lymphedema, specifically stage 1 truncal lymphedema. I’ve been evaluated and had some physical therapy sessions with many more to come. There is no cure for lymphedema, only management of the swelling – sometimes the swelling can be reversible if caught early, but the lymphedema itself is a chronic condition that is potentially disfiguring and will require lifelong managing.
And that sucks.
Every day I cry. Every day. My depression is presently at a level similar to when I was first diagnosed with breast cancer…similar to the dark days I experienced right after my mastectomy. There are some portions of this journey I have managed to take in stride but this is not one of them at the moment.
Once my initial shock at being diagnosed with breast cancer wore off my innate desire, my goal if you will, was to do everything I could to get thru all the various components of treatment as unscathed as possible and come out on some sort of “other side” – to go back to a semblance of my former, normal life.
With the onset of lymphedema, on top of some of the other obstacles I’ve already faced, I’m realizing now that is not going to happen exactly as I hoped, it just can’t.
Cancer changes everything.
I’m not saying there won’t be a new normal. I will get past this eventually. Adaptation is the greatest gift we humans possess bar none. In fact as a woman without religion I’m often asked what it is I do have faith in and that’s it in a nutshell – our utterly miraculous ability to adapt, to transcend.
But I’m not there yet.
I was very touched by the amazing support I got from my last entry, knowing that so many of you understand where I’m coming from whether you have walked this exact road or not. There is a universal component to suffering; we’ve all had our challenges and had to work to overcome them. I thank you from the bottom of my heart for your compassion. Keep it coming, I need all that I can get.
Till next time, thanks for reading…