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Lymphedema

navywife
Posts: 1
Joined: Dec 2001

Help, I am 20 months post surgery for recurring Breast CA. I did okay following chemo and radiation. I'm back at work getting on with my life and my hand started swelling. Lymphedema! I visited a Ocupational Therapist, refered by my doc and she was sweet, etc. I did the wrapping day and night.....The puffy hand and very slightly enlarged arm are the same. Are there any success stories? I don't think I am doing all I can to reduce/prevent this problem. I live in the Atlanta area and I 'm a willing and faithful patient. Suggestions, Please.

maud
Posts: 183
Joined: Nov 2001

Hi, I was just going to write and ask for knowledge about lymphedema . My arm is alittle swollen but it aches like a toothache is that what you are experiencing?
I haven't gone to the Dr. yet I guess I should have it checked. Any info you have I would appreciate it or if any one else on here does.
Thanks And God Bless Debbie

inkblot
Posts: 705
Joined: Jul 2001

Hi Navywife & Debbie:

I have not personally experienced lymphedema.
But I do know that this is something which must be treated straight away! (Debbie, please see your doctor asap) It requires treatment by "specialized" therapists which
goes far beyond just wrapping the arm and hand effected an/or keeping your arm elevated to facilitate better drainage.

A new center just opened at one of the hospital's in my area, designed specifically
for the treatment of lymphedema. (in NJ, USA) I'm sure there must be other's like it
throughout the country. I was very impressed with all that they do for this condition!

Whatever you do, try to find the best, most
experienced/knowledgable therapist, as, according to the info. I received from this new center, EARLY/APPROPRIATE treatment will
net a far better result.

A friend, who had bc a number of years ago, had some very mild swelling of her arm and hand. Her Dr. just put the compression bandage on and told her a few things to do and not to do. There was no specialized treatment available back then. Fortunately, after several months, she recovered completely without ever getting any worse.

Good luck and keep us posted.

Love, light and laughter,
Inkblot

24242
Posts: 1417
Joined: Mar 2001

Yes it is true some of us end up with this after our lymphnodes have been altered. The draining system is altered and we must be more careful about cuts and bug bites because there is increased chance of infection since the drainage that lymphsystem does carries infections too.
There a sleeves that are pressure like and contain the arm so it can't swell. Someone also wrote that you shouldn't fly without it, that was new to me.
I have found that normal exercise is good and when walking sometimes swinging the arm can cause swelling so I have learned to walk with hands in pockets or crossed in front or behind to minimize movement.
Message and reflexology work on helping the body drainage systems. I have had lymph message and it felt so wonderful.
I have it in both sides but not as bad in left since it was touched not extensive removal going on.
Hope this helps somewhat,
there have been studies done to prove that exercise helps and is not a hinderance.
Be good to yourself,
Tara24242

debw
Posts: 109
Joined: Dec 2000

I had lymphedema about 3 months after my last radiation. I was able to get PT, sleeve and glove. The therapist showed me how to do what they call manual massages of the system. Now when ever it gets puffy I do the massage at home and it helps. Most of my swelling is next to the surgery site on the side. When it starts to swell it does hurt. For the most part it behaves itself. There is relief. Debw

pippi
Posts: 53
Joined: Aug 2000

I found a web site--www.lymphnet.org/prevention.html. it lists 18 ways to prevent lymphedema. The best way is not to get it but if we do, look after it to avoid making it worse. Don't let even God himself touch the arm with a needle or take bloodpressure on it. Don't clean large windows and when it aches rest it. As for flying my surgeon said that even if I am on a plane for half an hour to wear a pressure bandage. Some people will tell you that they have never worried about it but they are the lucky ones. So far 15 months after surgery I have avoided it.
Love pippi

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