So what is lymphedema? I prefer to define lymphedema as the following:
Levity is a must, when living as a lymphie. (“Lymphie” is the abbreviation for someone who has lymphedema. It’s a lot easier to say and sounds kinda cute.)
For a more clinical definition of lymphedema, I borrow from the Lymphatic Education and Research Network, also known as LE&RN:
“Lymphedema is a chronic lymphatic disease that results in disfiguring swelling in one or more parts of the body. It can be hereditary (Primary Lymphedema) or it can occur after a surgical procedure, infection, radiation or other physical trauma (Secondary Lymphedema). In breast cancer, for example, it can appear in the arm on the same side as the cancer, after lymph nodes are removed from the armpit region for cancer staging. Primary Lymphedema often occurs in the lower extremities. Lymph is the protein-rich body fluid that accumulates when the lymphatic system for fluid transport is damaged.”
Want to know more? LE&RN has loads of information on their website about lymphedema and how to connect to resources in your area. I highly recommend checking them out and becoming a supporting member.