Kathy Bates is a well-known and recognizable name in the United States. The actress, who has had success on both the stage and in films, had her breakthrough in the dramatic psychological thriller Misery, for which she received an Academy Award nomination. Away from the camera, though, the celebrity has a difficult medical history.
The actress, who has previously won two Golden Globes and two Primetime Emmys, is best known for her roles in the ninth season of Two and a Half Men and the NBC sitcom Harry’s Law. Bates, on the other hand, was diagnosed with ovarian cancer in 2003.
As a result of her battle with the disease, she had a hysterectomy (the surgical removal of the womb) and nine rounds of chemotherapy. Bates was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2012, two years after she had recovered from the illness.
With a strong family history of breast cancer and after finding that both her mother and aunt had the condition, the actress decided to have a double mastectomy, which includes removing both breasts.
“When the doctor told me I had a tumor in my left breast, I yelled, ‘Make mine a double,’” I said. Take them both out. “I wasn’t taking any chances,” she said in a prior interview with Practical Pain Management.
“A river of breast cancer runs through my family. My aunt, mother, and niece all died as a result of it.”
Despite testing negative for the BRCA breast cancer gene, the actress bravely underwent surgical therapy to reduce her recurrence risk. She handled her illness with dignity.
The American Horror Story star battled two types of cancer and lost her uterus and breasts as a result, but her problems were not over because she also developed lymphedema.
Lymphedema is a disorder that produces swelling in the arm and hand, mainly owing to an accumulation of extra lymph fluid, a clear fluid that flows through the lymphatic system and aids in the body’s defense against sickness and infection, according to SurvivorNet.
“Then I had something called lymphedema,” Bates said on The Kelly Clarkson Show in 2019.
“I’m not sure whether you’ve heard, but they remove lymph nodes to treat cancer. When your lymph system is impaired, fluid frequently accumulates in the affected leg.”
Bates admitted to being annoyed when she found she had lymphedema while still recovering from breast surgery.
“As soon as I woke up, I experienced a strange sensation, almost like a tingling, in my left arm,” she told SurvivorNet.
“I went insane. I dashed out of the exam room and out the door. What exactly am I doing? As I clutched a pillow to my chest while still wearing my drains, I wondered. I’m standing outside in the middle of July, it’s hot, I’m still healing, and I don’t want to hurt anyone.”
“I was enraged beyond belief. I suppose it was the effect of having battled cancer twice and recognizing that this condition would always be with me.”
“I felt bitter and depressed. I thought my professional career was gone and that everything was done.”
The NHS warns that lymphoedema should be treated as soon as possible to prevent it from worsening.
It is estimated that 10 million people in the United States are affected. “That is greater than ALS, MS, Parkinson’s, muscular dystrophy, and AIDS combined.”
“Nobody knows about it, and if we’re big ladies and go to the doctor with swollen legs, they tell us to ‘just go eat a salad,’” she continued.
It worsens, it is incurable, and it progresses. There are around 50,000 people who have grown up with congenital infections; they can put you in the hospital.