Kathy Bates is a testament to the will of the human spirit. Bates has not had it easy in recent years with her plethora of health issues such as battling cancer not once but twice. In 2003, Bates was diagnosed with stage 1 ovarian cancer and underwent private treatment for her illness. She would go on to beat the illness but not even ten years later she went back to the doctor due to discomfort.
It was then she learned she has breast cancer and in an educated decision, Bates opted for a double mastectomy due to her family’s history with breast cancer.
Even after battling cancer twice, Bates’s journey was not over as she developed a common disease found in remission cancer patients. Lymphedema, a disease that’s commonly caused by the removal of lymph nodes during cancer treatment. It causes extreme pain and swelling and has no cure.
“It affects more people than ALS, MS, AIDS and Parkinson’s combined. Ten million Americans. But people just don’t know about it,” Bates said.
But it seems Bates has found some relief in her health battles. Recently the ‘Misery’ actress lost 60 pounds in order to help deal with her symptoms.
“I’m feeling great,” she says. “I’ve lost a lot of weight and it’s really helped with my symptoms. I just still have to wear compression sleeves or guard against nicks and bug bites because that can lead to sepsis.”
Bates offered some advice for those who might have loved ones or friends who suffer from cancer or other diseases. Her advice? Stick with them. “I think going through breast and ovarian cancer you feel like you’re a burden,” she says. “I’ve lost friends because some friends want to help but don’t realize it’s a long process. So they sort of drop out. It’s a problem. I think families try to do the best they can but it’s very difficult to help.”