Cindy Papale was diagnosed with Stage I Invasive Breast Cancer in July 2000, since her diagnosis Cindy has written two books The Empty Cup Runneth Over,Miami Breast Center Experts, Experts in Pink and has a fourth book coming out October 2019 Experts in Pink Español. Cindy has been an advocate for lymphedema awareness and a LympheDIVAs fan ever since the beginning. We are pleased to share Cindy’s LympheDIVAs story.
How long have you had lymphedema?
I was diagnosed in 2005.
How has lymphedema affected your life?
Like many others affected with lymphedema after mastectomy, having constant swelling in my arm has become an inconvenience more than anything. Knowing that I have to wear a sleeve the rest of my life was not what I was expecting. Finding LympheDIVAs made having to wear a sleeve much more tolerable and actually fun. I have to say the trade off of having lymphedema versus dying from breast cancer, it is clear that having lymphedema wins. I thank LympheDIVAs for making my life more fun wearing a sleeve and I have about 9 of them already. I get compliments every time I wear them.They also are not even hot and in Miami, Florida one knows it can be not only hot but humid.
How are you managing your lymphedema?
I massage my arm every day as well as other areas on my body. Was taught by a therapist years ago and wearing my LympheDIVAs sleeve during the day helps compress my arm and controls the swelling very well.
What is your best advice about thriving with lymphedema?
Since there really is no cure for lymphedema. You can only massage the arm and wear a compression sleeve to control swelling. I know there are some physicians that may do lymph node transfers to the arm, but I do not want to compromise one area for another. Life goes on and for me, I refuse to let my lymphedema get out of control or control me! I advise others to do the same by making sure they get massage therapy as well as wearing their compression sleeve.
How have you empowered yourself since your diagnosis?
I empowered myself by being a strong advocate in the community by public speaking and sitting on many committees such as Day of Caring at Baptist Hospital, public speaking in high schools and colleges, and recently Experts in Pink (my third book) partnered with BRCAstrong and founder Tracy Milgram. I authored 2 other books 1) The Empty Cup Runneth Over 2) Miami Breast Cancer Experts. I currently am writing a movie screenplay as well as getting ready in a few months to launch a radio show.
What is your favorite LympheDIVAs style?
The one I recently got Begonia.
I wear lympheDIVAS because?
Not only to control swelling...It is a simple answer because of the beautiful colors and patterns. I get compliments whenever I have one on, which is everyday!
Any other tips?
I encourage many women who have lymphedema by letting them know they, too, can enjoy life with this condition. I encourage them to learn how to do their own massage therapy, which helps scheduling lots of trips to a therapist. I also let them know it is important to be very careful while gardening and manicures do NOT get your cuticles cut. Any aggravation or cut to the arm can cause serious consequences like cellulitis. Therefore, I stress in all my talks to be sure if you get any cuts, see any redness or swelling to seek medical advice right away. Definitely enjoy life. You can read more about me in my third book Experts in Pink. I am confident that you’ll find inspiration, education, and hope as you turn the pages of Experts in Pink and wish everyone an abundance of blessings on their own journey through the world of breast cancer.