I have been living life with Lymphedema since 1992, (I was 14 when I was first diagnosed). I have successfully managed to live a very active lifestyle. Some of this has been a pure fluke from doing the right things before I knew anything about what Lymphedema really is. Some of my success is because I now understand what Lymphedema is and what I need to do to maintain my active lifestyle.
My Lymphedema is primary which means it is the result of a malformed lymphatic system. This is caused by genetics. Currently, I believe the only place my lymph system is not normal is in my left leg below my knee.
Lymphedema is currently an incurable disease with very little research being done in the realms of primary lymphedema.
For those of you who suffer from secondary lymphedema, I often consider myself lucky. I have not had a terrible accident, I have not battled and survived cancer, I have just had Lymphedema. I can’t imagine the emotions that go along with a lymphedema diagnosis after winning a battle with cancer. There is hope, there is a lot of wonderful research going on right now for people who have lymphedema caused by something else.
I am sharing my story, to hopefully inspire anyone from the newly diagnosed to the veteran lymphie, that there is life, an active really good life, possible with lymphedema. Yes, there will be ups and downs and days that are not easy, but you don’t have to let the lymphedema win.
I am not a doctor, I do not recommend starting any kind of exercise regimen without working with your doctors. Start slow, baby steps, move that lymph and the more you move, the more you can do.
If you want to truly be inspired by what one with Lymphedema can do, check out the following Facebook pages! I am but one of many lymphies working hard to truly live life with lymphedema. 2018 #movethatlymph for Lymphedema and Lymphatic Health. If you want to join a group of like-minded individuals who have lymphedema and are working at it every day, check out The Lymphedema Running and Fitness Club on Facebook.