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Posts: 52
Joined: May 2001

My treatments and surgery were complete last summer. I find that I have to be extremely careful about lifting heavy things with my left arm (where lymph nodes were removed). I recently baby sat and lifted a 18-20 pound baby repeatedly during the day -- now am experiencing some general puffiness and swelling of the axilla and chest wall during the arm. Does anyone else have this problem -- if so, what are your recommendations long term? Thanks

Posts: 119
Joined: Apr 2002

Hi I also have lymphadema in my right arm. I can't do any lifting or it will swell. I go to a lymphadema clinic, where they do massages on my arm and then wrap it. They also teach you how to do this for youself. I also wear a lymphadema sleve on this arm. If you need to know anything else please e-mail me at evansj22@bellsouth.net Judy

Posts: 252
Joined: Apr 2002

My lymphadema started shortly after my lumpectomy with a staph infection in the lymph node incision. I'm done with chemo, doing radiation now. My surgeon sent me to a
physical therapist that has done the same things Judy recommended. I'm waiting on a sleeve until radiation is complete so that we can see how it fairs. Originally they told me not to lift more than 15 lbs. with that arm. After my therapist went to another set of training classes, she told me that the recommendations were now no more than 5-7 lbs. I try to stick to that. There are some advantages. We moved my daughter this weekend, and I was put in charge of opening and closing doors - no lifting :-) Good luck! Diane

Posts: 23
Joined: Feb 2002

Hi...I have no recommendations..just to comment that my right upper arm and side of my chest are in a constant tingling state. Feels like a balloon but doesn't look swollen. Is this something we have to be careful of the rest of our lives? Will we always have to watch how much weight we lift? My surgery was a year ago also and I keep doing more & more with my right arm. Just this past weekend trimmed all the shrubery around the outside of the house. Kind of over did it..but there are things that need done and I keep doing them. The only thing that seems to help is when my husband massages the arm. don't know if he's doing it right, but it feels better when he's done. Good luck & god bless. Kathie.

Posts: 252
Joined: Apr 2002

I was told that the precautions will apply for the rest of my life, as far as lifting and being careful not to cut, burn or irritate my arm in any way. I imagine you have to find a balance that works for you.
The lymphadema massage is actually a very light massage and it does seem to make a difference. Diane

jbeardslee's picture
Posts: 76
Joined: Jul 2001

I too was told by my doctor that we will always have to be careful. Part of that is due to the fact that scar tissue can continue to grow and hamper the flow of lymph long after we feel we are finished healing. I know it's difficult to not use the affected arm as much, especially if we're not having problems at the moment. take care everyone.
love, Judy

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