Lymphedema – My Story NOW

A lot has changed in my life in just over a year. In January 2014 I had been spending the past 2 years of my life lying on the couch with the world passing me by. I knew I wanted more. Yes, doing nothing caused me the least amount of pain with regard to my Lymphedema but I wanted more out of life.

One day on Facebook, Angela Leaman-Bowden posted “have you ever thought of being a real estate agent?”. This wasn’t sent to me, it was just a general post on her wall but at that moment I thought “Yes I have”. It was something I had wanted to do for years but I always felt I didn’t have the “looks” to do it. Every agent I have ever known are pretty confident in their looks…they have their photos everywhere but I have always been the type who hated getting her picture taken. I decided to follow through anyway. I met with Scott Grace and Angela at the Exit Real Estate Professionals office and I decided to look into it. I talked to other real estate agents and friends and family and asked them to give me their honest opinions on whether they thought this was something I could do (both physically and personality wise). I was amazed at the support I received. People just didn’t say yes, they actually wrote me letters saying why they thought I would be a good real estate agent. I decided to go for it. I started studying for the Real Estate exam and I passed it on the first try. (Thanks Scott Grace for the study sessions) Whew!!! I started work as a real estate agent the next day. I could not have picked a better office. They are amazingly supportive. I could not have a more supportive broker than Scott Grace. He really cares for all of the agents. Thank you Scott for getting the fruit tray to go along with the donuts for the breakfast meeting when you knew that I was trying to eat better. That seems like a small thing but it meant a lot to me.

Another big change that has happened this year has been that I have found a gym that would let me join. I had been looking for a gym for many years but due to my lack of appropriate footwear or because of lack of Lymphedema awareness, no gym would work with me. Ryan Staples of Manimal Athletics has taken me on as a client. I started out doing the Body Transformation Program that they offer and now I am also doing a Kick Boxing Program as well. Can you imagine a person with lymphedema issues in their legs doing kickboxing? Neither could I, but I am doing it and loving it. I have been at this gym for almost 2 months now and have lost around 30 pounds already. I have just signed up for another 2 months… Thank you Ryan Staples for taking the chance with me!!!

You may all be wondering what all this has to do with Lymphedema. Well, I still have it but it is not holding me back from doing what I want to do (other than wearing pretty shoes). I am working full time as a real estate agent and a lot of people do not even realize that I have Lymphedema. They think my long dresses are a fashion choice and not a necessity. Once I get to know my clients I do mention it just to bring awareness of Lymphedema to people who may have never heard of it.

So what was the purpose of this long winded essay??? I am not sure but I really wanted the people in my life… my family, my friends, my coworkers, my clients, and anyone else that may have had an impact on my life to know how much I appreciate their support. I have come a long way in a year and I expect the year to come will be even better!!!

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