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"LYMPHEDEMA" AFTER CANCER: the story of Anna Maisetti

This is the story of a real strong woman, who fought against cancer and won but still fights everyday against what cancer left, the lymphedema. Despite the suffering, she found the strength deciding that this problem could not let her down. She came out of the shadow and decided to share her story creating an Instagram page in which she tells about her and her pathology.

How and when did it start?

anna-maisetti"Everything started almost 10 years ago, when I was diagnosticated skin cancer. I thought that everything would have ended with cures and I would left behind this experience as a bad memory. I was wrong. It was necessary exporting lymph nodes because of the advanced stadium of the cancer, so at 22 I found myself forced to live for life with an invalidant condition, the lymphedema. This pathology is caused by a non -functional lymphatic system, the lymph does not flow correctly causing swelling and other consequences. Lymphedema affects more than 300 millions of people, although it isn't really known as a pathology and it is not always correctly diagnosticated."

How did your life change? Which difficulties did you faced?
I have to do constant therapies, go to the hospital for lymph drainage, wear everyday unsightly and uncomfortable medical stockings. I have limitations in lots of aspects of my life. At first, it has been very hard. What I suffered most was the impossibility of talking with someone in my same condition, someone that would have understood my feelings, my discomfort, shame and with whom I could have talked about daily difficulties. The feeling of loneliness led me to depression.

Image result for anna maisetti linfedema cancerHow did the idea of the instagram page come out?
"With time I learned how to live with my condition and I became stronger. One year ago, I decided that I was sick of it and it was time to react. I founded an Instagram page named "stile_compresso" in which I talk about lymphedema and daily challenges. My aim was to contact people with my same problem in order to share information and help each other, but I wanted also to reach experts and doctors to enrich the awareness of this pathology. In short time I have been contacted by many people of different ages and with different stories who share my same burden, they see themselves in my telling’s and they found strength and hope for the future. In March I was invited to the Ministry of Health in Rome and I told my story in occasion of the international day of lymphedema."

Which is the message you want to share?
"The message I want to share is that life is too short not to enjoying it completely. Certainties can change in a second and we have to accept, help others and not discriminate the diversity of people. Recently I published my autobiography in italian ( ) and in English ( ), available on Amazon. I hope that it can be interesting not only for those affected by lymphedema and their relatives or friends, but also for other people. I hope I can be an example not giving up in front of the difficulties of life and reacting positively".

   Sofia Di Filippo


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