Over the last 4 years I have been having treatment for stage 4 cancer. On the physical side I am doing ok, thanks to the medical team I have for the ongoing treatment and to Petra Erving for her expertise and skill in helping me control the swelling and manage the aches and pains that I have as a result. I also do a cancer rehab exercise class which helps keep me flexible and mobile and which coincidentally gives me a lovely support group of similarly affected ladies.

Of course, until something life threatening affects you or someone close to you it is human nature to assume that we are all going to live to a ripe old age but a diagnosis of cancer is a big wake-up call emotionally. Experience shows me that the majority of people in this position are very positive, philosophical and cheerful – the goal now being to embrace every day and to make the most of whatever time we have.

We should all be doing this anyway, healthy people too but sometimes we get mired in the demands and stresses of everyday life and forget. I am pretty positive so I rarely have ‘down days’ but I do struggle with some of the more non-physical aspects, in particular adapting from my basic nature of being a long-term planner. I am trying to be more ‘here and now’ and to be sure that I maximise the pleasures of daily life instead of worrying about things I can’t change. Petra kindly referred me to Tricia, an expert in the field of Mindful based cognitive therapy and I saw her for the first time today.

After just one session with Tricia I can see – and actually feel too – how it is possible to re-train our minds to be more accepting, calmer, to increase awareness, to be kinder to ourselves and to hopefully sleep better too. I can be my own worst enemy, judging myself, so I have high hopes that we can address this issue too. I am keen to work more with Tricia – I don’t think Mindfulness is a ‘quick fix’ but with practice it should help me to stay resilient and calmly embrace whatever is to come in the future. Tricia has a lovely manner, you feel instantly secure, safe and trusting.


I have had lymphoedema in my left leg for over 50 years. I finished my first two-week treatment of MLD and DLT with Petra which included foam and bandaging every day.

After the first day when I took the bandages off for the next day's treatment you could see a definite difference straight away! At the end of the two weeks of massage and bandaging and measuring I was ready for my new stocking.

My husband (and I) could not believe the size difference in such a short time of treatment, bearing in mind that was my first time having treatment with Petra.

With her expertise, I can't wait for my next lot of treatment as the results were amazing. Her knowledge in this field is second to none thank you so much.

Maggs, Maidenhead

I have been receiving Manual Lymph Drainage (MLD) therapy from Petra Erving for almost two years. Following radical face and neck surgery for metastasised melanoma cancer, necessitating the removal of 55 lymph nodes, I searched for a qualified and experienced specialist in MLD to deal with the concomitant lymphedema.

Petra not only had the necessary experience but also proved to be a real expert in the treatment. She has delivered excellent tangible results over the prolonged treatment but also helped me learn how to self-massage and fitted me with compression tape and bandages to maintain normal status.

Over time we have worked to extend the period between treatments and with her excellent direction I now feel it is fully under control with no adverse effects. I have been treated by several MLD experts and I would say that Petra is an outstanding professional with a super personality. I have no hesitation in recommending her to any potential patient.

Andrew, London

Having lymphoedema is often rather frustrating and at times tedious. It needs to be managed well and this is not an easy task. I have secondary lymphoedema after breast cancer and feel strongly that finding the right therapist is key to living comfortably with it.

After an intense course of treatment at the Foeldi Clinic - the European centre for Lymphology - I was determined to find someone trained to the same high standards and after some searching found Petra who trained there. She has since made a tremendous difference in controlling my lymphedema.

Her MLD massage is very thorough, draining to multiple alternative sites and stimulating the central lymph drainage. Petra's work on scars and fibrotic areas have really helped with discomfort and improved my range of movement. Her measurements for compression sleeves provided a very well fitting sleeve, which is crucial for daily maintenance.

On a second visit to the Foeldi clinic, the team there were impressed with how well maintained my arm was, not something they say lightly I want to point out.

I’m truly delighted to have such a great therapist and lovely person to help with my lymphoedema.

Alexandra, Berkshire

Working with Petra truly has been life changing.

I was referred to her about a year ago with lymphoedema in the left leg. A result of a number of operations for treatment of Prostate Cancer. At the time of referral, I was extremely limited with what I could do and would need to keep my leg raised almost permanently. This was very frustrating as I work in the outdoor activity industry and sport has always been a major part of my life.

However, thanks to Petra, her dedication and knowledge has helped me to the stage where there is nothing I can’t do. My leg is now in a very manageable state and I have recently completed a triathlon and have signed up for two half marathons and a further triathlon. Not bad considering a walk around the block 9 months ago meant I had to put my leg up for the rest of the day!

Petra even helped me transfer from the private sector to the NHS when my private healthcare insurance wouldn’t support my treatment any longer.

Petra, you have changed my life. Thank you so much.

Gerald Cooper