Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Lymphedema

Went to my family doctor Monday - I have the beginnings of lymphedema in my left arm. Feels like I'm wearing a blood pressure cuff all the time - you know that painful feeling when they check your blood pressure??? I have an appointment with a physical therapist who specializes in this type of situation.... appointment is May 1st.

In the meantime, I can take ibuprofen for it. There is nothing else besides raising the arm above heart level that will help it. I'm supposed to avoid hot tubs, etc, lifting things, having my blood pressure or blood work done on that arm. Apparently it occurs in 25% of breast cancer patients - especially where they took many lymph nodes (not me - they only took 3) or who have had radiation in the axilla (arm pit.) This is what I did. Apparently, shriveling up those lymph nodes can cause your arm to get sore and then start swelling.

I didn't find out all this from my doctors. (They're all pointing their fingers away from themselves.) I heard from Teresa at work who's been through breast cancer treatments - who heard about it from reading articles. I've read some great literature on the internet, but "funny" the doctors didn't bother to tell me to watch for this.

2 comments:

heatherkirstina said...

why don't i hear about this kind of thing?!

Lisa said...

cuz you didn't ask?????