Living an adventurous life with lymphoedema one patient’s journey to acceptance and management

Ruth V. Klee

1Country Health SA, 71 Hospital Road, Port Augusta, SA 5700, Ruth.Klee @sa.gov.au

Being an overseas trained professional Social Worker in the Australian health service, then becoming “the patient” with a Breast Cancer diagnosis has been a challenging journey since March 2013.  The acute cancer treatment pathway vs. the more chronic nature of the Lymphoedema condition which followed was more overwhelming to consider as it is ongoing as compared to the treatment for cancer which had a finishing point. In this presentation, exploration of the acceptance of Lymphoedema found through information, education and treatment strategies will be shown and celebrated. The link between my personal journey and how I brought these lessons to my professional practice with other patients will also be considered. Instilling hope and the fact that life goes on are important messages professionals need to provide to patients to promote acceptance.

Biography

Ruth Klee is a 50 year old Social Worker that has been living in Australia since 2003, providing Social Work services in the Community Mental Health, Aged Care and Rural Communities of the Flinders and Outback areas. Being a “dual citizen” with a professional role and a growing health consumer role in the area of Cancer Survivorship and Chronic Condition management are areas of current interest and exploration.