“I was overwhelmed, helpless, angry, sad, and broken.”: Woman’s battle with cancer

Lisa Salaman lives with her husband and two children in Ringwood and was 42 when she noticed a lump in her breast.

Within weeks, he was diagnosed scenery two breast cancers.

Together, the family faced a grueling year of treatment for Lisa, including chemotherapy, radiation therapy and lymph node removal surgery.

Lisa has a lifelong passion for swimming, she is a former Bournemouth beach lifeguard and was previously a member of the Team GB synchronized swimming team.

She is now a swimming teacher and works full time in schools in Bournemouth. Christchurchand Poole.

A year after her initial treatment, Lisa's cancer returned. This meant Lisa's only option was to undergo an elective double mastectomy in addition to other treatments.

Lisa said: “It was a shock. Telling the kids I had to go through that again was particularly difficult.

“I experienced a flood of emotions: I was overwhelmed, helpless, angry, sad and broken.

“This was my next step in dealing with my cancer and another unfortunate opportunity in life to become stronger and face cancer again, with the support of my family and friends. “It was brutal.”

Lisa's first encounter with lymphedema was a few months after her lumpectomy.

She said: “My wrist had swollen to the same size as my forearm. Before long, the swelling and pain I felt became unbearable. It began to slowly develop from my arm to my chest.

“Then my hand started to swell, a little bit at first. The bacteria got in and I ended up with a very bad case of cellulite. “My arm and chest were at least three times their normal size.”

During this time, Lisa was referred to Lewis-Manning Hospice Care's lymphedema clinic.

Linda, senior lymphedema nurse, said: “We started seeing her and did some intensive therapies, including phototherapy, physiotherapy, manual lymphatic drainage and SLD.

The Lewis-Manning Lymphedema Clinic provides support to people living with lymphedema.

The charity helps them manage their symptoms with specialist treatments, drainage massage techniques and compression garments.

Lisa said: “I consider myself lucky that I had early intervention with Lewis-Manning.

"I needed to learn to live with lymphedema and to my surprise, my swelling reduced significantly in a very short period of time."

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