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Despite battling two cancers, vivacious Virginia Harrod hardly missed a beat in her legal practice, on her farm or any of the nightly dinners she makes her 87-year-old mother.
But a common side effect from her double mastectomy surgery nearly did the fast-talking 52-year-old from Kentucky in.
Harrod - Attorney - Politician - Farmer - Kentucky
Harrod, an attorney, politician and farmer from rural Kentucky suffered from lymphedema, a condition that occurs when lymph fluid builds up in the arm, causing a skin infection that began to spread to her chest.
After a year hooked up to a constant stream of IV antibiotics – which she carried to court in her purse – and wearing a compression jacket to bed, Harrod thought she would never live a normal life again.
Percent - Women - Kathy - Bates - Lymphedema
She is among the five to 40 percent of women - including Kathy Bates - who develop lymphedema after breast cancer surgery, but among the very few to receive a newly developed lymph node transplant to cure it.
Harrod is the type of woman who fends for herself, come **** or high water.
Care - Law - Practice - Tobacco - Beans
She takes care of her law practice, her tobacco, soy beans, corn and hardwood farm, her cat, Ricky Nelson, her pig, Mini Pearl, and her 'precious' 87-year-old mother.
Harrod also takes care of herself, keeping in shape, eating organic, and never smoking ('Not in a million years!' she says, despite tending to the tobacco farm that's been passed down through her family).
Lump - Breast - Gynecologist - Breast - Changes
When she was 47 and felt a lump in her breast, her gynecologist dismissed it: 'You're getting older, you're having breast changes,' she remembers him telling her.
'And I believed him because he was the OBGYN and I was the lawyer,' she laughs.
Stage - Breast - Cancer - Tennis - Tumor
But by 2014, she had stage three breast cancer and a tennis ball-sized ductal tumor – the kind that does not show up on mammograms – that had...
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