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lymphedema

Songflower's picture
Songflower
Posts: 632
Joined: Apr 2009

Has anyone had lymphedema after pelvic radiation and brachytherapy? I am going up against #6 chemo this week and then radiation. There are so many options today that choosing is tough.

kkstef's picture
kkstef
Posts: 706
Joined: May 2008

Diane...I had external radiation with 3 targeted treatments but no brachytherapy...then chemo. I never had any issues with lymphedema. I am only aware of the issue of lymphedema being associated with removal of lymph nodes.

I know all of the decision making is nerve-wracking but you are doing your homework and asking questions!! Information, although confusing at times, is also powerful.....best wishes to you!!

Karen

barb55's picture
barb55
Posts: 91
Joined: Jan 2009

I had 39 lymph nodes removed, full external abdominal radiation and 1 internal treatment. I did not experience any lymphedema. My doctors followed a protocol that I've noticed many of us have followed- surgery, chemo and radiation. With a late stage aggressive cancer I just felt like I needed to do everything- If they had suggested more treatments, I probably would have kept going. I just remember doing whatever my doctors recommended. I'm one year and 5 months past the last treatment and feel great. Still it is always a personal choice.

Ro10's picture
Ro10
Posts: 1397
Joined: Jan 2009

I had 21 lymph nodes removed with my robotoic surgery. I had not trouble with lymphedema after the surgery. I asked the nurse if there could be problems down the road. She said if you have problems with lymphedema it usually occurs after the surgery. I had not trouble with any swellling after my external or internal radiation. My only problem after the radiation was nausea, but I have always had a sensitive stomach. Godd luck with the rest of your treatments. In peace and caring. HUGS to you.

deanna14
Posts: 734
Joined: Oct 2008

Hi Diane. I had what we jokingly called "big mama" hips immediately after surgery. The doctor said it was lymphedema and that sometimes it resolves itself in the early days. He explained that it is from the removal of lymph nodes and that the fluid doesn't know where to go anymore, so it collects in the tissue. Luckily mine was only temporary and after about 3 or 4 days it went away. I do occasionally have some swelling in my lower legs and feet. I am not sure if this is related to the removal of lymph nodes or not, but it too is temporary.

lindaprocopio's picture
lindaprocopio
Posts: 2022
Joined: Oct 2008

I'm on my feet soooo much with 'Camp Grandma' this week and the grandkids here, lots of time standing at the stove cooking (kids EAT 3 + times a day!), and running from one to the other while we make crafts and bake. And it's HOT here today, and that seems to make it worse. Today we went to a Splash Pad and then to see Ice Age, and I kept wishing I could put my feet up during the movie as my legs got heavier & heavier. I dropped the grandkids off to 'visit' their parents a couple of hours so that I could get a little break before they come back for night swimming and to sleep over again. So, I don't know if this is lymphodema or just my legs trying to tell me something! HA! I had 25 lymph nodes removed during my surgery and puffy ankles & feet off & on since then, never lasting more than a day or two at a time, with episodes months apart. My oncologists were not concerned when I reported it initially, once they checked for blood clots and there were none.

deanna14
Posts: 734
Joined: Oct 2008

Sounds like what my feet and legs do... they let me know when it is time to put them up by swelling. I am guessing it must be related to the lymph node removal.

MoeKay
Posts: 63
Joined: Feb 2004

I thought perhaps some of you might be interested in some information on lower extremity lymphedema after treatment for gynecologic cancer put out by Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. One of the articles relates specifically to uterine cancer:

http://www.mskcc.org/mskcc/shared/graphics/GYN_Update/Gyn_issue48.pdf

Best regards,

MoeKay

deanna14
Posts: 734
Joined: Oct 2008

Thanks MoeKay. Knowledge is power!

bella09
Posts: 37
Joined: Mar 2009

I was in the hospital for two weeks, two weeks following my surgery with infected lymph node fluid. I wasn't eating, my stomach started swelling, I had a fever, (never took my temp.) because I thought I was having hot flashes. I didn't realize that I was sick. I thought that this was part of healing. I should have known better. I am on Coumadin and my INR was greater than 9. I retook the protine test and it came back the same. That night I was throwing up and had diarhea. I went to my oncologist the next day and he admitted me. During my stay I had many cat scans, xrays, tube inserted in my nose to my stomach, and a PIC line inserted in my arm to feed me. I had a test done of the fluid in my belly and was told that it was infected. They had to insert a tube in my stomach to drain the fluid. Two weeks later I was sent home. I did not have any problems after my radiation treatments. My treatments were delayed due to my hospitalization and a later infection. Once I was released, I then developed an abcess inside of me. I was put on a high dose of an antibiotic and my infection cleared up. I started my radiation treatment 3 months after my surgery. I seem to be okay now. Looking back I could have avoided all these problems. I didn't want to bother my doctor and thought that this was the healing process. Believe me if at any time I feel like something is not right with me, I now tell my doctor.

Jean

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