Super special tights

No matter how hot the weather you’re now going to find me wearing thick black tights. Even sat outside in the blazing bank holiday sun at a country show.

These are no ordinary tights. They’re very special. They’re going to make me feel a lot less exhausted. I’ve recently been told that I have lymphedema and these tights will help ease the symptoms. This condition makes your legs ache and – surprise, surprise – it also causes severe tiredness.

Ever since my last lot of chemo my feet and ankles have been very swollen. It got to the point where most of my shoes didn’t fit. I thought it was just water retention, a side effect of the killer chemicals.

But it turns I have lymphedema. It’s caused by the massive operation I had almost a year and a half ago. At least one of my lymph nodes was removed. It may have been more, I can’t remember. Your network of lymph nodes act as a waste disposal system. They help to transport toxic fluid out of the body. If the stuff isn’t properly pumped through lymphatic system then it builds up and leads to swelling.

After the surgery I was told that my lymphatic system may not work normally, but what with all the nightmare of that time, I completely forgot all about it.

That was until The Professor reminded me and diagnosed the lymphedema. By that point it wasn’t just my feet and ankles but also my legs and hands were swollen.

Since then I’ve been having medical massages which have really helped although afterwards I feel totally wiped out. It didn’t take long for it to work its magic. I also need to do daily exercises. I’ve watched as the swelling has gone down.

Now I can see my ankles again and I can’t help admiring them. Lymphedema is something which you can treat but never cure. It means that I will have to keep on wearing the special black tights. For ever. So I’m really looking forward to winter!

15 thoughts on “Super special tights

  1. Love your shoes they’re fab, and hey black tights match absolutely any outfit!! Well maybe not a bikini but hey I’m sure you could go tight less for a bit if a bikini was required 😜 xx

  2. Hello Helen, Sorry to hear that you are suffering with yours legs and so tired, You seem to be still upbeat, You must be very hot with those black tights on. At least you will be warm in the Winter,, Take care Denise xxxxxx

  3. I recognise that castle in the background :) I was at the Berkeley Show yesterday. Hope you enjoyed it? Glad you’ve had the lymphedema diagnosed and now at least you can get treatment. You will rock winter with those thights and summer is a very short season in this country :)
    Best wishes.

  4. Dear Helen, it must be very difficult (almost unbearable) to be in those tights in the summer. But now you know what is wrong and you can finally start to feel less tired. You have a whole range of activities to look forward to. And in the winter, you will rock those tights like a proper snow queen. :)

  5. i hope at  you will grow stronger and stronger in the face of all this challenges james kenya


  6. I know the feeling Helen. I have lymph oedema in one ankle following a skiing accident and I wear what I refer to as my “dinner lady tights”! They do help as do the massages but nice shoes rarely get a look-in. I similarly look forward to winter. A two-week holiday in 38o recently left me looking very strange! Glad to hear you’re out and about and enjoying the sunshine – even in the tights. Keep well Px

    Sent from my iPad

  7. Hi Helen

    I follow your story. You do so well, so much courage. I wrote my article (story) in summer 2013 ovacome magazine. I am 8 years in remission of ovarian and womb cancer and I still struggle emotionally today.

    Keep doing what your doing Helen. It helps us all. You are a real inspiration.

    Elaine Briggs

  8. I can certainly relate to – and sympathize with – your post! My cancer meds have resulted in a significant amount of edema. Not only did I have to buy a new wardrobe of pants that fit, I also discovered the joys of donning compression hose on a humid morning. Sometimes, that’s all the exercise I can tolerate. :-)

  9. Hi ,

    Im so sorry that this has happened for you … sodding disease .

    I follow your blog and really helps me on my journey . I was diagnosed with PPC , which is a form of ovarian cancer and had surgery , chemo etc. Im currently in remission and playing the pack it all in waiting game !!!! fun , has its good side as well as Ive done stuff that I would have put off otherwise . I havent really got a list like you but have managed to arrange 4 short breaks between my last and next 3 month appointment . On Friday I went to Stonehenge at sunrise and found that to be a truely wonderful experience and I wouldnt have done if unless id read your list .

    Take care and keep positive and packing it all in !!! , dy xx

    • Oh that’s so fantastic!! You have really made me smile :) You’re so right about it making you do stuff you may not have done. I’m very impressed and a bit jealous of all your trips. Amazing! Hope you on packing it in too xx

  10. Helen, I followed a link from Susan Spencer-Wendell this morning, and have spent half-a-day reading your blog from the beginning. I love how you and your wonderful friends are working and using your list. Mine is a list of intentions for life, and I feel so fortunate that my cancer was a relatively “simple” breast-lump followed by 4 chemo sessions, with radiation to come. I’m sure there’s a hot-air-balloon ride in the future for both of us somewhere. Oh… and don’t miss the zip-line! I did it last year on leap-day, and it’s a rush! Wishing you well in every way.

    • Thanks so much Imelda! I’m glad you too have a list. There aint nothing simple about cancer. I love the fact that you did your zip wire on leap day!

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