Breast cancer survivor shares struggle after recovery

Breast cancer survivor shares struggle after recovery

MISSISSIPPI (WDAM) - Six years ago, Catherine Bomhold got proactive about her health. She went to her doctor for a mammogram and genetic testing.

"I also found out I was BRCA 2 positive," Bomhold said.

At the same time, Bomhold learned she and others in her family have the increased risk of developing breast cancer, she also received her mammogram results.

"It was also cancer on my right side," Bomhold said.

She got a double mastectomy, which revealed more cancer. Doctors told her it was at stage one on the left side and stage two on the right side.

"They also found it in my lymph nodes and took out, I believe, 10 lymph nodes on my right side," Bomhold said.

Bomhold said losing lymph nodes had a lasting affect, she said a friend noticed the first sign of trouble.

"She looked at me and said, 'you know your arm is swollen,'" Bomhold said.

While getting chemo and radiation, Bomhold had to also have physical therapy.

"You get a backup of fluid, swelling and what we call Lymphedema," Certified Lymphedema Therapist Kim Schramm said.

Kim Schramm is Bomhold's Lymphedema therapist, and treats her right arm for Lymphedema.

"(Doctors) do removal of lymph nodes then you have a mechanical deficiency, so you don't have, basically, the plumbing that you need for removal of the fluids and things that would normally be processed," Schramm said.

Bomhold bears through swelling, pain, and limited function in her arm, even infections, and with no cure therapy is her only option.

"Compression is a big part of what I do," Schramm said.

Schramm uses compression therapy and compression wraps on Bomhold's arm and hand. It is external support to move the fluid through the arm properly and reduce swelling. This is part of Bomhold's daily routine.

"People say, 'Oh, how long is that going to be bothering you?' For the rest of my life," Bomhold said.

Bomhold admits it is hard dealing with the struggles of Lymphedema, but she just tells herself she is lucky to be a breast cancer survivor.