A Lymphoedema Diagnosis? With Care, Gardening Can Continue..

A short article and video from Gaynor Leech of Lymph-What-Oedema . "My love of gardening started at an early age when both my grandfathers would take me out into the garden to play, showing me all the vegetables they had grown and all the different flowers and plants. I was fascinated by the different colours and textures. They both had post World War 2 gardens which were long and narrow which was meant to encourage them to grow their own food...

Throughout my growing up, when I got married and had children of my own we were lucky to have a garden and apart from mowing the lawn and the heavy work, I would design, plant, watch them grow and marvel in the different colours of spring, summer and the changing colours of autumn and winter.

In October 2010, I was diagnosed with Breast Cancer thankfully my diagnosis was good from the start because the cancer was caught early.

However, as a direct result of my radiotherapy treatment I was diagnosed with Lymphoedema. Double whammy.

For anyone who has ever been diagnosed with Lymphoedema you will know that it comes with a list of things that you should not be doing. Largely because anything that leaves an indentation can cause restriction of lymph flow or any prick or cut that leaves an open wound, however miniscule, can lead to a serious infection such as cellulitis. My passion for gardening was one of those restrictions. With so much going on in my head from the cancer then the Lymphoedema diagnoses and other health issues the words used at the time had a big impact. What I want to see is that words like ‘lifelong and ‘incurable’ are replaced by ‘managed and treatable’. Equally the words ‘do not’ should be replaced by words such as ‘sensible precautions’.

Slowly my love of gardening and being in the garden has returned. With our Lymphoedema and Gardening video I wanted to show with sensible precautions there is absolutely no reason why you cannot do gardening, but I also wanted to show that even if you don’t have outdoor space you can bring nature into your home"



About Gaynor

Gaynor Leech is the Founder of L-W-O (lymph-what-oedema). L-W-O provides non-medical support and promotes:

  • Self-management
  • Raising awareness
  • Bringing people together
  • Empowering their members
  • Signposting

They are UK based, patient-driven and voluntary. L-W-O is an independent, not for profit organisation.

L-W-O website has been described as the most viewed Lymphoedema website in the UK and Europe. The website is written entirely from a patient's point of view.

L-W-O has a strong social media presence with its own website; www.lymph-what-oedema.com, a community page https://www.facebook.com/lymphwhatoedema and closed online support www.facebook.com/groups/lymphwhatoedema, Pinterest, You Tube, Twitter and LinkedIn. Without their social media presence, they would not have reached as many Lymphoedema members as they have.

L-W-O Message: Lymphoedema exists, We exist

Would you like to keep in touch with Gaynor and her good work?