Certified Compression and Mastectomy Fitter Talks Lymphedema Awareness

From Pretty in Pink Boutique

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Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?

Claudia Dixon: My name is Claudia, and I am a Certified Compression and Mastectomy fitter for Pretty in Pink Boutique and I’ve been with the company for six years now.

Was lymphedema part of your breast cancer journey?

CD: I do not have lymphedema, thankfully. With my breast cancer, I only had to have one lymph node removed, which is the sentinel node, which is common. I do use a preventative sleeve when I’m exercising or flying, that sort of thing.

What have you noticed in changes to how lymphedema has been treated over the year? What’s better? What’s the same?

CD: There’s a lot more doctors that have a lot more knowledge about it now than they did six years ago when I started. They’re learning more and more about lymphedema and how to treat it, and that lymphedema therapy is vital, is a vital role in treating lymphedema.

What do you love about helping people with lymphedema?

CD: I like helping people regardless but with lymphedema, (I enjoy) education. Teaching them how the compression garments help them with their treatment for lymphedema because lymphedema, unfortunately, can be a lifelong thing that they have to deal with forever. Giving them the education to learn how to take care of their garments, wear their garments, and knowing that it’s helping them makes me feel good.

What inspired you to start working in the field?

CD: My breast cancer journey helped me, it just seemed like it was a God thing, really. I love it because I feel like I didn’t go through my whole breast cancer journey for nothing.

What is a piece of advice you would give to someone who is in treatment right now?

CD: I would say listen to your lymphedema therapist. Do your massages, your exercising, and be compliant with that. Wearing your compression garment is key. 

What has been your role with Pretty in Pink throughout the process?

CD: With Pretty in Pink, I started as a mastectomy fitter and then became certified and then also was learning compression at the same time. I’ve been a fitter for the whole six years.

What inspires you to work at Pretty in Pink?

CD: What inspires me to be here with this company, to work with this company is helping people. My journey through breast cancer taught me a lot of things so it inspires me to be able to help others.

What is important for people to know about lymphedema?

CD: One thing I will say is there are some misconceptions about lymphedema, like “If you just have one lymph node removed then you’re not at risk for lymphedema,” but that is untrue. Anytime they remove any lymph nodes you’re at risk to develop lymphedema so prevention is key.

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