Ingrid Boumans

Antwerpen, Belgiƫ, Belgium

Hello everyone. I SUPPORT THE WORLD LYMPHEDEMA DAY!! It is so important that doctors know the disease and especially know how to help us. It is also important that patients know how to deal with the disease and know all aspects of self management.

I have lymphedema in my right leg since 2006 after being operated and treated with chemo and radiotherapy for cervix cancer. In 2005, at the age of 34. it was a long way to find out what exactly I had when my foot and afterward my leg began swelling. The word and the disease lymphedema were totally unknown to me. My leg had already become very big before a doctor told me I had lymphedema. It took a long time before I found out myself that lymphatic drainage was needed and also the way to find the right stockings was long.

I was so unhappy. I could not find nice female clothing or nice shoes anymore! I was a lot in the hospital with erysipelas. Until 2012, then I found the world well-known Földi Klinik in Germany. I arrived with 9 liters lymphatic fluids in my leg; after being hospitalized during 5 weeks, I went home with 5 liters.

I also went in 2013, 2014 and 2015. As from 2016 Belgian patients do not get authorization anymore to go abroad for lymphedema treatment. It is very sad for a lot of Belgian patients. Though, I am very grateful that I did go 4 years in a row; it helped me a lot: I am a lot happier now because of the good results after the Földi Klinik. In the Földi Klinik I learned a lot about self management and the fact that movement is very very important, so I go walking everyday.

I weekly go to my therapist for lymphatic drainage, I wear my stockings every day, from the moment I open my eyes till the moment I close them to go asleep, I go walking every day and I am very careful with my weight; especially for the well being of my lymphedema. I have lost almost 30 Kilos! It is very important that I keep my weight under control.

I try to stay very positive. I try to see more the positive changing in my life and that is that I have discovered nature due to the fact that I have to go walking a lot and also I take very nice nature pictures during my walks, more than the negative facts about lymphedema. So please, all other lymphedema patients, try to stay positive, take good self care, love yourself, go walking a lot, enjoy nature and believe in yourself! YOU ARE A LOVELY BEAUTIFUL PERSON, YOU WITH YOUR LYMPHEDEMA!! Be proud of yourself, because you are still standing and enjoying life although you have lymphedema! I send you a lot of love from Belgium, big hugs from Ingrid XXX