Ang's Story - Lymphoedema and me

10 years ago I had skin cancer on my leg and had to have lymph nodes removed from my groin as well as surgery to remove malignant melanoma. 

Fortunately the surgery removed the cancer and I didn’t need any more treatment. 

Unfortunately the removal of my lymph nodes affected my lymphatic system and I was diagnosed with a condition called lymphoedema. 

Fluid called lymph circulates around the lymphatic system and lymphoedema occurs when there is a blockage in the system. This means that the fluid can’t drain and builds up in parts of the body often in the arms or legs.

There is no cure and treatment includes wearing compression garments, taping, exercise, skin care and manual lymph drainage.

I have found dealing with lymphoedema and the fact that my swelling has become more widespread and uncomfortable very challenging . Reaching out and connecting to others across the world who have lymphoedema via social media has really helped me.

Connecting with people who truly understand lymphoedema and finding out more about new treatments has given me more confidence to manage my condition going forward. I know I am not alone.

I love to write poetry because I find it such a powerful way to express how I feel - so here’s my poem about lymphoedema and me.

‘The cancers gone, such relief I feel 

Yet the swelling and discomfort are still very real

Heavy limb and constant pain

Will I ever feel well again ?

Time goes by and then the doctors say

You’ve got lymphoedema and it won’t go away

There is no cure or magic pill

Managing this depends on my own self will

Compression garments to help the flow

Of lymphatic fluid from groin to toe

The thickest stockings in black and beige

No sexy shoes , I feel twice my age

Confidence drops , I hide away

Don’t be so silly, friends will say

So I follow advice and take such care

And accept that in life things aren’t always fair

But then the swelling gets worse, it just can’t be true

No warning or trigger , no hint or a clue

So I go back to basics, more compression in place

And just keep on going with a smile on my face

But I’m tightly restricted and boiling hot

Staying focused in work takes all that I’ve got

I keep looking for treatments , trying new things

The emotional rollercoaster and all that brings

Then I seek out support groups I know this is key

Connecting with virtual networks, a strong community

Stories ,advice , new developments to share

With genuine interest , compassion and care

Now I don’t feel alone , I’ve taken control

And staying positive and happy is my main goal’ 


Thankyou Angela for sharing your story with Lifebuddy.



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