I know your thinking this is a strange title and you're not wrong, it is!
This is my reality. I have a boob and a normal leg (My good side).
Yes this is the time for me to explain about my right leg diagnosis, apparently not connected to the Cancer. However Lymphedema is common in breast, cervical and ovarian cancer survivors, as it is an issue with your lymph node drainage. Cancer survivors of all the above normally have lymph nodes removed during operations to ensure the cancer hasn't spread, which can kick start what is known as Secondary Lymphedema.
I personally have been diagnosed with Primary Lymphedema, which effects 1 in 6000. (Why me, have I not been thrown enough to deal with this last year)- a friend once told me and it has stuck with me along the way 'That god will only throw at you what you can handle' (I'm not overly godly but I do really believe this is true).
This first started back in March 2017, Karl, Willow (our dog) and I were on a walking holiday in Devon.
During this Holiday I noticed that my right shoe felt tight. This then happened on and off more and after a weekend in London in April 2017, I booked in to see the Doctor. They said to keep it elevated and ice it and come back if it got worse... The joke is this went on for 10 months.
I must have been to the doctors, podiatrist, chiropractor half a dozen times to be constantly turned away with it's just one of those things. Eventually I booked in a private appointment with a lady locally, who confirmed she was 90% sure it was lymphedema. I was so upset about this as I had looked at the horrific pictures online (I'm sure some of you will now do this but it is not everyones eventuality/ scrap that I'll show you so you can understand my shock and fear).
I was referred to the best Lymphedema specialist in the country - Prof. Mortimor, at a private clinic in London (costly this leg of mine) in March 2018. What a month that had been with both my mastectomy surgery and confirmation my foot will never be skinny again. Prof Mortimor examined and confirmed right away it was lymphedema and that due to my breast surgery coming up, that he wanted me to have a ultra sound on my groin to check for any blockages and to take 6 weeks worth of penicillin, he also confirmed what I feared most... I would need to wear a compression stocking everyday unless resting. This hit me like a tonne of bricks as I've always been the one with the long legs who would get them out and wear short shorts, skirts and dresses and this is now not going to be the case (at least for now).
Im sure that my confidence will be back one day and you will see me with two different colour legs, it will just take time (I think I've had a lot to contend with and yes I'm confident enough to rock no hair and show my scars but this is yet another hurdle that I need to get over and I will), as TIME is the biggest healer.
The diagnosis really got to me and I have actually found it more difficult than the Cancer diagnosis. I will go into more detail with this on another post and explain why as Im sure most of us hear the C word and think the worst but why in my eyes this diagnosis was worst.
This post has been written to give you an insight to how my leg was diagnosed... Eventually (more training needs to be given to General Practitioners as it is very common for Lymphedema to be mis-diagnosed, the quicker the diagnosis the better as it can on occasion be reversible (Unfortunately not for me...I like to be unique). I will go on to tell you what I did next in furthers posts as I have a lot more to tell you, scans, appointments, surgery options, compression garments and more.
One thing I would like you all to take away and something I'm trying to be more conscious of. We don't know what people have going on at home (under their clothes in my case) but give everyone the benefit of the doubt, we all have bad days but better days are always going to come.
Finally the title, meet the good side, is also my new instagram account - @meetthegoodside where I will share pictures of my journey and talk about the good the bad and the ugly. So if you haven't already go and take a look.
Meet the good side - Triple meaning
1. My good side is my left side
2. However the real good side with all the stories is my right side hence the hashtag #forgettherightside - If your following my new account you will of seen this, if your not and your interested in my stories please give it a follow as spreading the word is key!
3. Meet the good side - find the positivity and the good in things. I've been through some bad, time for the good and to spread that awareness.
I want to say thanks again for your time you have taken to read this post and your support.
Ill be seeing you soon!