Hi, lymphies.

I am so overwhelmed with a lot of things right now; between my progressing lymphedema, long hours at work, and my ever-present body image issues, I feel like I’m drowning. But I’m also overwhelmed with good things, too. The comments you all have left me after yesterday’s post were so beautiful and supportive that I began to cry. It’s amazing how people can come together and support one another, without ever having met. It’s more than amazing – it’s wonderful.

Yesterday, I was so depressed. I felt utterly awful, and that the spreading of the lymphedema to my “good” leg was a betrayal by my body to me. I cried, I screamed, and I moped all day long. By the time I had checked my email, I was emotionally drained and tired, but your comments lifted me up immediately. I read them aloud to my mom and we both just glowed at one another, so overcome that we were speechless.

Instead of replying individually, I’m going to thank you all at once because I am literally overflowing with gratitude for the compassion and friendship you all have shown me. Jim and Barbara especially, as you two have consistently been active voices on the blog (I encourage everyone to read their most recent comments here). Their words have made me feel like it was okay to be angry (or, as Barbara put it, “combative”), but also that life goes on. Yeah, this sucks. Big time. And it’s a giant inconvenience in my already busy life. But it’s not the end of the world, and I (we!) can’t let it stop life from moving forward, as it is so wont to do.

If there’s one thing that this blog has taught me, it’s that nobody is alone. We may feel like it, especially because it’s difficult for people without a chronic condition (let alone one that is so physically manifested) to relate or empathize with us. But once we find each other, we see that all our crazy, sad, depressed, angry, despondent, fighting, willful spirits are connected. Kindred, even.

Not only do I have people who frequently comment, but also many who email me. They are lymphies (and their families!) from across the country to across the world, all searching for somebody who can finally, finally understand what it is they are going through. I encourage you to get to know each other, because you all are so full of your own individual experiences, coping mechanisms, and wisdom that we could all benefit from.

You are all such wonderful people – I can’t even begin to express how lucky I feel to have met you, and to have you all as a support system. So thank you, thank you, thank you.

Much love always, and I hope you’re all doing well,