On Graduating and Being Grateful

Reflections from my recent graduation, and a thank-you note from me to you.

Six years ago, I filmed a video from my dorm room in college.

A little rambling but good-intentioned, it featured my twenty-year-old self earnestly introducing me and my blog to the online world just a few days after the website launched:

When I made that video, I was a wee sophomore in college; what I imagined for myself and my life was completely different than what actually unfolded. I didn’t know it then, but it would take eight years, three different colleges, two cross-country moves, and a lot of personal growth before I’d even graduate.

But — I did it. Last week I received my Bachelor of Arts in English with a specialization in Professional Writing, and the realization of this dream was so overwhelming that I cried during the entire procession into the graduation ceremony — I just couldn’t believe it was finally happening. (I may have cried more than my family did!)

Finishing school and getting my degree was, for me, a symbol of coming through the other side of all the hardship and knowing I could carry myself. What I learned, though, was that the support from others had helped carry me, too. I owe so much to my family, my friends, and to you.

This blog and the lymphedema community at large has been such a grounding force for me, especially during those “lost” years where I wasn’t sure about much of anything. It’s really important to me that I can share this milestone with all of you and give a huge thank-you.

Whether you’ve just stumbled across the site from a Google search or if you’ve been reading since the beginning (hi Jim M., Meredith P., Allyson H. — just to name a few!), you’ve all been an incredible source of friendship and encouragement, and I want to acknowledge you for your support. You’ve helped me stay elevated, and for that I’m so grateful.

A lot has changed at The Lymphie Life in the six years since that video was made, including its name (“LymphAlexa” didn’t have quite the same ring to it!). It’s funny to watch it now and hear me talk about my vision for the blog, although I think my younger self would be pretty happy to see how it’s turned out. The site has evolved and grown just as I have, and will continue to do so!

Thank you for your readership. There’s a lot to come here at The Lymphie Life, so I do hope you continue along this journey with me. And, remember: Stay Elevated, but also keep elevating one another. Love to all!

“It does not matter how slowly you go, as long as you do not stop.”


21 comments on “On Graduating and Being Grateful

  1. MaryEllen Reimers

    Congratulations!! I keep reading because I’m always and forever hopeful that there will be a natural, easy cure. (sigh!) Thank you for your dedication and diligence!!

    • Thank you, MaryEllen! I appreciate your kind words :) I’m hopeful for a cure someday, too — with all the promising recent research, it may be sooner than we think! (Fingers crossed!!)

  2. Denise Thrash

    For myself and all of us who move slowly along the path to success and happiness, I love the phrase, “slow and steady wins the race.” It certainly does!

  3. Linda Murphy

    It’s your old friend, Linda Murphy ( from AZ now in CA!). Just wanted to congratulate you on your success. You have persevered and worked hard. Your blog has helped keep me informed and I’m sure has been a blessing to many. You always had it in you, even when you didn’t believe. Love you!

    • Linda!!! It’s so nice to hear from you — you were such a pivotal part of my time in Arizona, and for that I will always be so grateful. Thank you for your well-wishes and support :) I’m so excited for what’s ahead. I hope all’s well with you and your family — I miss you, and am sending you love!!

  4. Donna Piller

    Congratulations and the best to you in everthing you choose to do. You are an inspiration to readers like me who rely on up to the minute information provided in the blog. Donna

    Sent from my iPhone

  5. Julia Archibeque-Guerra

    You are amazing! It took me 18 years to finally finish my BA in Business Management… I began my studies at UNM in 1970 right out of high school … but then got pregnant & married..had a second child … battled cancer… eventually finishing my studies and graduating. Retired, went back to school & got a teaching degree.
    I hope you will consider coming out to visit us in New Mexico😍

    • Thank you, Julia — YOU are amazing, and a shining example of it never being too late to follow through on dreams. Life happens in its glorious and sometimes difficult ways but we’re always learning, always reaching… I hope to come to NM and see you again soon!! 🌵💙

  6. susie murray

    What an amazing achievement – you must be so proud that all your work paid off. And all those experiences along the way – good and bad- will continue to help your growth and passion. Keep us posted please

    • Yes! I love that sentiment: that all our experiences (both good + bad) are opportunities for personal growth and development. Thank you for your kind words and encouragement, Susie! 💙

  7. Kathy Hartman

    Hi Alexa-first congratulations, I didn’t finish college until I was in my 40’s with 2 kids & a wonderful husband, so I know how hard it is!!! Be very very proud of yourself & good luck in your future employment endeavors. I came across your blog a couple of years ago because I am new to the lymphodema family (secondary, after a cancerous tumor in my right thigh); but I do have a question-I had a doctor refer my to a vein doctor that “specializes” in lymphodema. I’m just not sure what this doctor can do for me. I see so many different doctors now I just don’t want to add another one unless there could be real value.

    Thanks so much & take care Kathy Hartman

    Sent from my iPhone


    • Hi, Kathy,
      Thank you for your kind words, and for sharing your own experience with achieving your dreams despite (happy) detours along the way! Very inspiring 💙

      As for your question… I can understand the reluctance to add another doctor to the mix, especially when you’re already seeing so many. Personally I would encourage you to go: in my experience as a patient (and what I’ve heard from other lymphedema patients, too), most doctors aren’t super familiar with lymphedema or the lymphatic system; a specialist, however, would be more well-informed and could better assess your case and your treatment needs.

      If your doctor gave you a referral, it probably means they aren’t familiar enough with lymphedema themselves to best address your needs (nothing against the doctor — I think it’s great they referred you, as it shows they are thinking of what’s best for the patient!). Perhaps you could at least go for a consultation? That way you can ask them what they could offer you, and determine if you think you would benefit. Do you see a lymphedema therapist already for treatment?

      Hope that helps!

      Be well,

  8. Congratulations! I took the long road in my college career, too. What an accomplishment!

  9. Dorothy L Cain


  10. Congratulations and thank you for your excellent work with this website! It is a great resource and helpful to those of us who struggle with this little-known and often misunderstood condition.

    • Thank you so much for your kind words, Jason — it means a lot! I hope to continue serving the lymphedema community as best I can.

      Be well,

  11. Congratulations Alexa, You have such a bright soul and a bright future. Thanks for blogging.

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