Kathy Bates went ‘berserk’ after being diagnosed with incurable condition

Kathy Bates, a revered stage and screen actor, has won accolades for her roles in comedies, dramas, and thrillers. However, her toughest role yet is her real-life battle with cancer and lymphedema. At 75, after having her uterus, breasts, and lymph nodes removed due to cancer, Bates was diagnosed with lymphedema, an incurable disease. Despite these challenges, Bates sees her journey as an opportunity to inspire and help others.

Tennessee-born Bates is celebrated for her performances in “Misery,” “Primary Colors,” “Richard Jewell,” and “American Horror Story: Coven.” Her career, spanning from the early 1970s, has earned her numerous awards and nominations. In 2003, she faced ovarian cancer, and in 2012, breast cancer, resulting in a double mastectomy. The lymphedema diagnosis followed, adding to her health struggles.

Lymphedema, often resulting from lymph node removal during cancer treatment, causes fluid buildup and swelling. Bates described this as more challenging than cancer itself, recounting her initial reaction with raw emotion. Despite the incurable nature of the disease, Bates found hope through a lymphedema specialist and now manages her condition with treatments and compression sleeves.

As an advocate for lymphedema awareness, Bates serves as the national spokesperson for the Lymphatic Education and Research Network (LE&RN). She emphasizes the importance of diagnosis and awareness, noting that millions suffer from this condition. Bates’ story is a testament to resilience and using one’s platform for good, demonstrating that her greatest role might be inspiring others.

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