Margaret Benson is our Lymphoedema Services Manager.
“Patients often find lymphoedema very upsetting. They say, “I didn’t know this would happen” and “this is as bad as the cancer”. They’ve handled their diagnosis, they’ve got through the treatment, life should be improving but they’re left with swellings which can be so debilitating. It’s a constant reminder of their cancer and as patients often perceive it as ugly and unattractive, it adds to a very negative body image which can really blight their lives.
“Some patients don’t want to leave the house they become so self-conscious. Letting them burst into tears and listening to their concerns is all part of the service.
“As well as treating the condition we explain what it is and how it happens. We personalise treatment too, and people are more likely to follow advice if they understand it and it helps them do the things they want to do. We help people focus on living their lives rather than on their lymphoedema.”
Daksha developed lymphedema in her right leg when she underwent radiotherapy after an operation for cancer.
Here’s her experience of our Lymphoedema Service.
“My leg suddenly started swelling like a balloon. It became so big and so sore and painful I couldn’t wear normal clothes. I couldn’t move. It was much worse than the cancer. I was trapped at home as I couldn’t get in a car, I was really struggling.
“I was crying all the time. I’d very quickly gone from being really busy active person who worked all the time to being so disabled I couldn’t even walk. I felt really desperate and was so dependent on my son and daughter to do everything for me.
“After being hospitalised and being told to elevate it and take antibiotics, which didn’t work, I finally got referred to LOROS. Margaret Benson started seeing me twice a week and the impact was really quick. They bandaged my leg and the swelling started to reduce a little.
“It was so wonderful. I’ve got no words for how well they treated me. I can only pray for their health and happiness. The staff were so absolutely lovely.
“It’s not perfect but last year I couldn’t do anything and was in a wheelchair for my appointments. Now I’ve got some of my independence back and I’m so grateful.”
We’re here for our patients and families.