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You may recall at my last post -op consultation, I met two ladies who have also been along the stem cell journey and one was claiming she was cured. She was so ecstatically happy – well – I would be , too!

Here she is on the right:-

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I wanted to know more, so Dr Shim asked her permission to share her information and I managed to text her with some help from my kind Korean friend.

Here’s her story..

Her name is Yeong Pyo Lee, she is aged 61.

In March, 2013, she underwent a hysterectomy for cancer and immediately after radiation therapy, she found the swelling in her left thigh was due to damaged lymph nodes causing Lymphodema.

In my text exchanges with her, she indicated that she found Lymphodema more frightening than the Cancer, which is a huge and profound statement to make… I guess Lymphodema won’t kill you- but it can’t be cut out, like a cancer can. It just stays with you for the rest of your life… unless….

She heard about the stem cell therapy treatment and had her operation on July 8th, 2013. This lady was putting her body through a huge amount of additional trauma and pain endurance, at a time when her body had been under internal attack, but she obviously felt it was the right thing to do for her.

She feels that she is a very lucky lady.

Here is her leg story from the outside:-

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I think the pictures are too small to clearly judge size changes and perhaps it would be easier to compare just the pre – op and last picture.

Here are her pre – op sonogram pictures. I am not up to complex analysis, I’m afraid, but will try to explain with my untrained eye- please don’t take it as gospel. I am assuming that these are all from the same section of thigh, as requested, maybe those of you who understand the pictures can double confirm? The codes to the side may be indicative.

July 5 2013- pre-op

Lee Young Pyo 05Jul13 preop

The darkest area at the bottom of the picture is the muscle and the lighter top area shows the layers of skin.

In the middle, the dark grey areas show the fluid collection within the interstitial tissues. I assume that the darker line within the tissue is a whole pocket of trapped, stagnant fluid. I may be wrong on that.

The next slide shows the immediate post-op picture.

July 12th 2013 – immediate post- opLee Young Pyo 12Jul13 postop 5d

To me, the sonogram shows a much lighter colour, where the lymph is removed and possibly indicating much smaller pockets or more localised lymph saturated areas ie- the dark grey ‘squiggles’

In my text translation conversations, she stated that at about 2 months post op, her thigh still felt “totally”engorged with Lymph fluid and so the next picture shows that point. I would agree with her!

16th September 2013 – 10 weeks post-op.

Lee Young Pyo 16 Sep 13 postop 9w

This, then, is the comparative point for me…. this is where I am today in my post op timeline- a ‘full’ left shin and swollen foot and a right shin that I can detect there is still Lyphodema present at the posterior.

My failing hopes for success are subsequently renewed… I can still keep hoping- and being patient!

She told me that for her, between 2 months and 4 months, the swelling gradually subsided a little each day. By her 4 month appointment, the sonogram looked like this:-

October 22nd 2013- 15 weeks post – op.

Lee Young Pyo 22Oct13 postop 14w

Considerably more white, much, much less dark grey (fluid) and some clear blood vessels ( the darker circles)

Looking good to my untrained eye!

And finally in this series- the sonogram picture taken on the day we met…

February 7th, 2014 – 30 weeks post-op.

Lee Young Pyo 07 feb14 postop 28w

The whole lot looks much lighter and very much nearer the immediate post-op picture.

Here is the pre- op and 30 weeks post op side by side…

I have to admit, if you shuffled all of the pictures, then asked me to put them in the same order, with the dates covered up, I would struggle- but that’s a job for the specialists!
This lady has given me renewed hope and conviction that I chose this path and now I’m on it, I need to keep walking along it without falling by the wayside. However, it’s OK to stop and look at the view on the way!

She is the first I have met and next time, I hope to meet another lady, who’s leg was much more disfigured with Lymphodema than either Yeong Pyo, or me experienced. If she gives me permission to tell her story, then I will happily do so.

In the meantime, here’s a picture of Spring on it’s way! – some Snowdrops in the woods near our home in England, sent by our neighbours.

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