Living with Lymphoedema: Sharon’s Story

7th March 2024
Living with Lymphoedema: Sharon’s Story

After finishing her radiotherapy treatment in September 2023 Sharon started to experience swelling and discomfort in her arm. Having successfully beaten breast cancer she was advised to look out for signs of lymphoedema, due to having a full lymph node clearance in her right arm as part of her treatment.


Sharon is a member of the Lindsey Lodge team, working in our income generation team for the past 16 years. She was able to pop down to our lymphoedema team here at the hospice to investigate her symptoms. After a series of tests they discovered Sharon’s right arm to be 3cm bigger than her left as a result of surplus fluid collecting in the arm and commenced with her treatment.

Lymphoedema (pronounced Lim-fo-dee-ma) is a chronic inflammatory condition in which a part of the lymphatic drainage system fails to work effectively. There are estimated to be almost 450,000 people in the UK with lymphoedema. Lindsey Lodge is the only healthcare establishment that provides lymphoedema treatment in the North Lincolnshire area, the next closest centre being in Skegness.

Lymphoedema is a chronic condition, however with advice and support it can be well managed. It is important to attend for regular appointments in order to check the skin, monitor fluid levels and review self-management techniques such as exercise, simple lymphatic drainage techniques, compression therapy, and skin care.

Sharon said

‘Living with Lymphoedema can be difficult as lots of things can trigger a flare up. I can’t have bloods or my blood pressure taken from that arm, simply knocking it can cause the fluid to start collecting. However, after everything I have been through I just feel lucky to be here, so if this is what I need to do, so be it.

‘Having the treatment centre so close is a huge advantage for me. It is important to keep up with regular appointments to manage the condition and the location being accessible goes a long way to ensuring this is achievable. I also enjoy the 1-2-1 format of the appointment. During chemotherapy it’s easy to feel a little lost in a group format, but in these lymphoedema appointments I feel seen. There is more time to work on issues and check on welfare which is important.’

As a Lindsey Lodge staff member Sharon is experiencing our services from the other side, and the fantastic quality of care given to our patients that she has dedicated 16 years to supporting.

To find out more about our lymphoedema service and our wellbeing centre visit our dedicated page.