Kathy Bates is a well-known actress who has made her mark in the entertainment industry with her incredible talent. She has been praised for her work in theater and film, and her most notable film debut was in the Oscar-nominated horror movie Misery. Despite her successful career, Bates has faced several personal health challenges that have affected her life significantly.
In 2003, Bates was diagnosed with ovarian cancer, which led to a hysterectomy and nine rounds of chemotherapy. Despite being declared cancer-free, Bates’ battle with cancer wasn’t over yet. Two years later, she was diagnosed with breast cancer, which resulted in a double mastectomy. Bates made this decision due to her family history of breast cancer, with her aunt, mother, and niece all dying from the disease.
Bates’ strength and determination throughout her battles with cancer have been remarkable. She even underwent risky surgery to lessen the likelihood of a cancer recurrence, despite testing negative for the BRCA breast cancer gene. Despite her positive outlook, Bates faced another challenge when she developed lymphedema, a condition that causes swelling in the arm and hand due to the accumulation of lymph fluid.
Lymphedema is a severe and often debilitating condition that affects around ten million Americans. Early treatment is crucial to prevent the disease from worsening, and the National Health Service recommends taking measures to limit fluid accumulation as the major symptoms are treatable. However, lymphedema is not curable, and patients often require medical attention throughout their lives.
In a 2019 interview on The Kelly Clarkson Show, Bates expressed her frustration with being diagnosed with lymphedema after breast surgery. She described feeling a peculiar sensation in her left arm after waking up from the surgery, which led her to go outside, hug a pillow to her chest, and wonder what she was doing. Bates admitted that she felt bitter and depressed, and believed that her professional career was over.
Bates’ struggles with lymphedema highlight the need for more awareness of the disease and its symptoms. She expressed her frustration at the lack of attention given to the condition, saying that doctors don’t tell patients to “just go eat a salad” when they complain about their swollen legs due to overweight.
Bates’ story is a testament to the strength of the human spirit in the face of adversity. Despite her health challenges, she has continued to act and inspire others with her performances. Her openness about her battles with cancer and lymphedema has also helped to raise awareness of these conditions and the importance of early treatment.