Breast Cancer, Lymphedema, and a Possible Treatment Called LVA

Breast Cancer, Lymphedema, and a Possible Treatment Called LVA
This guest column is by Rachel Andrews of Gloucestershire, U.K., a Breast Cancer News reader who developed severe lymphedema (called lymphoedema in British English) as a result of her cancer treatments, and is undergoing a microsurgery procedure this week in an attempt to ease and correct that condition. Rachel asked to write this column so she could share with other breast cancer survivors similarly affected by lymphedema a potential surgical treatment. *** I am full of life at 49, very soon to be 50 years old! I live in an old house, which I love, in a little village beside the River Severn in Gloucestershire with my husband of 23 years and our 18-year-old daughter. We also have identical twin sons who are at University in London, studying the same course at the same university! I have been a nurse since 1986 and currently work in Health Visiting. I love my garden, and we have two dogs, the coolest ginger tomcat, an ancient Angora goat and many free-ranging chickens. I am a member of a very active choir and the local book club. I try to continue with all my interests, work, and a busy, happy social life — while struggling with lymphedema, but it has become debilitating. My story began on Christmas Eve 2013. I had been referred to a breast clinic for what I was sure would be another innocent cyst in my left breast. I remember feeling irritated that the biopsy taken that day prevented me from joining friends and family on the annual Christmas Eve community dog walk! I was unprepared for what lay ahead. I was 47 and had just completed my post-graduate Health Visiting Course, having been nursing for 29 years. I received the news that I had breast cancer on Jan. 6, the very first day of my newly qualified role as a Health Visitor. I left work, saying buoy
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