“I had a small mark on my back that started to grow quite quickly and to be honest I thought it was an abscess.” John’s initial thoughts were sadly wrong. It was in fact, an exceptionally rare and very aggressive cancer. “My diagnosis was followed by a five-and-a-half-hour operation to remove the tumour and it was during this procedure that they had to remove some of my lymph glands,” John explains. The result was that fluids started to develop in his leg and it grew bigger by the day. “I was also having to go to hospital every three days to have the dressings changed” adds John, “and it was all getting a bit desperate.” He was then referred to Chris Jones.
“Chris came recommended” says John, who lives in Hayle where Lymphoedema Specialist Chris Jones is based at St Julia’s Hospice. “I was lifted by his infectious enthusiasm. He’s a lovely chap and he picks you up.” Chris measured John’s bad leg thoroughly, doing the same with his good leg. “He told me my bad leg had a 28% increase in circumference and immediately gave me massages to do to displace the fluids. It’s worked well and that percentage is now down to 11.”
Chris (pictured above) explains; “Working with John has been fantastic. We ask quite a lot from our patients but our treatments really do work if patients persevere. For John I advised him to start using compression hosiery, do a light massage technique, maintain a good skin care routine and exercise to start to reduce his leg oedema. These are all required to be completed daily and John has been working hard to achieve great results.”
John says he’s very aware of how fortunate he is to have Chris and other medical teams for support. “The improvement seems slow but it’s worth the time and my knee cap has now reappeared having been lost because of the swelling! It’s come as a good surprise to find that with specialist care you can come back from a seemingly impossible situation. What’s more I know I can contact Chris if I’ve got any worries as I did recently. As soon as I spoke to him, he found a slot to see me and that’s very reassuring.”