My name is Norma. I am 57 years old and I live in Dunmanway West Cork. My Lymphoedema story started in 2006. I had groin surgery for Hodgkin’s Lymphoma Stage 2A in 2005 and am thankfully in remission since 2006.
However, I developed Secondary Left limb Lymphoedema. I had been attending the MLD clinic from 2006 until recent years. I was availing of a local taxi service to Cork, but Social Welfare / HSE stopped that in 2009 / 2010.
As I don’t drive I was dependent on friends to kindly take me, as the bus on a 40 mile journey wasn’t an option as I would be extremely confined in the bus causing the affected leg terrible pain and after any treatment I would be bandaged.
What is needed in all areas in Ireland for both Primary and Secondary Lymphoedema patients is a local lymphoedema Manual Lymph Drainage therapist that caters for Medical Card patients in the patient’s own town / health centre / local hospital.
I think it is time that this hugely important issue is addressed by this present government and future governments. It’s a condition that has been ignored for too long.
And for those who don’t know what leg lymphoedema feels like, try imagining a seven year old child hanging on to your leg while you try to walk – that’s what it feels like. I am sure people with arm lymphoedema feel the very same but on the higher limb. It is hard enough to have dealt with a cancer diagnosis.
Yes, I am grateful every single minute that I am in remission but please – somebody in power needs to put the money into treatments in local clinics.