It must be in part our gene patterns that cause us to take care, and I mean really good care, of those around us. But the real question of good self care comes when we experience our own illness, injury or diagnosis. October will be Cancer Awareness Month, so let's think now about how to be ready for all that activity coming our way as we unite to fight this terrible disease. In fact, let's celebrate that awareness, anticipate the results, and learn to live proactively. If your health issue happens to be swelling of either your lower limbs or your arms, and is coupled with a cancer that you have been in treatment for--you might be dealing with Lymphedema. If your swelling does not seem to go down after getting off your feet or lying down, you might have more than just swelling. Lymphedema is a swelling of a body part, most often an extremity, and is caused by the abnormal accumulation of lymph fluid. It can occur in the face, neck, abdomen and lungs. Although it is a chronic condition, it can usually be brought under control by good care and attention to the basic rules. This condition often brings a feeling of heaviness, slight discomfort, and even repeated episodes of infection. Severe cases can be associated with thickening of the skin, and even a hardening of the limb that is affected. Here are some basics if you believe you are suffering with this condition: Avoid extreme temperatures. Avoid infections, and if you travel, you need to have a plan for this possibility. Avoid lifting heavy items, as this puts further strain on the swollen area. Avoid insect stings. You can find more information on this subject at The Academy of Lymphatic Studies. Joachim Zuther has brought a vast body of information on lymphedema to America. He has several blog sites, and resources that can be helpful.

We have raised 8 children, all adults now. We have added two by marriage, and have a beautiful grandson. We realize that it is our job, our duty, yes and our privilege to start finding ways to meet the challenge of healthy self care, (as we are not getting any younger,) and we would like to encourage you to do the same. So, let me ask that one again, how do you take care of you?
By Susie Adams

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