Where can I go for support?
You are not alone.
Being diagnosed with lymphedema can be emotional. You may feel angry, sad or upset about how lymphedema affects your life. You may feel embarrassed about changes to your body and how you see yourself. At first, you may feel discomfort at having to wear compression bandaging or garments under your clothing. You may also resent the time it takes for self-care each day, the costs of treatment, or how your condition reminds you of what caused it. If you worry about what you could have done to prevent lymphedema, don’t blame yourself – you did nothing wrong.
Many people with lymphedema lead full and active lives. With the help of some lifestyle changes and by taking care of yourself each day, you’ll learn how best to manage your lymphedema. Be kind to yourself. Try not to expect too much too quickly; doing that just stresses out your lymphatic system and your mind!
There is support for you.
Across Canada there are trained lymphedema therapists, patient-focused organizations, and other people living with lymphedema who can help you. Canada has one national organization and nine provincial associations that support people living with lymphedema. Contact your provincial lymphedema association for listings of certified therapists, programs and services in your area.
Your provincial association will be able to answer your questions and connect you with other people who are living with lymphedema. They know what you are going through because they’ve been there, too.