I had been seeing my GP and receiving treatment for what we thought was athlete’s foot and it wasn’t until another doctor examined my legs that I was sent for tests at Singleton Hospital in Swansea and discovered I actually had Lymphedema! I needed to visit the hospital regularly after that, to have treatment and manage the condition.
In 2014 I started to have my Lymphedema treatment on Tenovus Cancer Care’s Mobile Support Unit which saved on traveling to the hospital. I have no means of transport myself and the trip to Singleton Hospital meant taking four buses; leaving at seven in the morning and returning at 8pm. The journey alone could be really stressful..
Hospital treatment meant I would end up being out of the house for hours compared with the short bus journey to the Mobile Support Unit in Bridgend. It’s a very nice experience too; there’s always a smile and a hot cup of tea but I’m pretty much in and out these days.
I decided to take early retirement from my factory job when my health started to deteriorate further. I’ve always been a big guy but began piling on more weight because I was stuck in the house and weighed nearly 33 stone at one time!
I was having to use two sticks to get around and taking nearly 30 different tablets for different things including diabetes. On one visit to the hospital I was told that if I didn’t do something about my weight I would end up losing both of my legs.
I’ve lost twelve stone in weight since, my blood pressure is a lot better and my health has really improved. I feel better now than I have done in the last twenty years; I’m using just one walking stick for support and I plan to get rid of that too! I’m able to wear normal shoes again instead of those surgical ones and my tablets have been reduced from 30 to six.
I’ve been volunteering with Tenovus Cancer Care since 2012; helping out with all aspects of running the shop. I wanted to volunteer to help get me out of the house and to give back to a cancer charity for the care my parents had received during their cancer treatment. We have a lovely team and I’ve made a lot of new friends in the time I’ve been here.