I was diagnosed with cervical cancer and then found out that it had spread to my vagina, bowel, bladder, 1 kidney, and the lymph nodes round my lower stomach in 2012.
I had radiotherapy treatment, which worked and I'm all clear.
Both cancer and treatment have wrecked my body and I'm left with a few health problems, including lymphoedema.
A few months after treatment I was having problems walking. It really hurt and i felt like my hips and thighs were congested and could only move in little steps. I just thought it was probably just because the cancer was located nearby inside me.
I had been in contact with my Macmillan nurse, who are amazing and supported my every step from my diagnosis. And she suggested that I could go for complementary treatment in their centre at wythenshawe hospital.
I was assessed there and it was arranged a physiotherapy session with a physio-lymphoedema specialist nurse. She immediately knew what it was and what to do. She pretty much gave me all the information and made sure I understood every little point. It was so comprehensive that I still use all that knowledge to this day. She advised my doctor to prescribe medical support tights which I have worn every day since. She also taught me manual lymphatic drainage and skincare exercise etc.
I believe that if it wasn't for McMillan and their centre (which looks like a little log cabin) I would still be suffering with it now. They said it would never get better but I could stop it getting worse. I DID make it slightly better, though. My legs were regularly measured until they stayed settled.
I feel pain every day but I'm still aware that it could be so much worse. I try my best to not break the skin on my legs and keep my weight down and to elevate my legs when they swell. It's a pain in the summer when they get worse in hot weather but every year it gets easier because of all the techniques I pick up. I make a spray with cold peppermint tea that is brilliant!
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.