Thursday, February 19, 2009

Lymphedema/New Pictures

It seems like forever since I wrote anything in this blog. I'm feeling wonderful! The past year is a blur! I don't feel sorry for myself one little bit! I have learned so much about myself and others through my illness. I'm not saying I ever want to go through that again but I have seen so much love in the past year it is hard for me to look at it and feel sorry for myself or blame God. OK enough of that!

Right now I am going for therapy on my arm. My left arm is swelling a bit from having no lymph nodes on that side. I use that arm a lot on my route plus I have heavy paper on Sundays, they think that is what is causing my arm and hand to swell.

Here is a little information about it.

Risk factors and occurrence of Lymphedema:

Women who have had breast surgery (either mastectomy or lumpectomy) with a complete axillary lymph node dissection have the highest risk of developing lymphedema.
Women who have only a sentinel lymph node procedure have a small risk of developing lymphedema.
Women who have not had a lymph node dissection do not develop lymphedema.
Lymphedema can be mild and only last a short time starting a few days after the lymph nodes are removed. The affected arm may be warm and slightly red, but usually not painful. It typically gets better within a week by keeping the arm elevated.
Lymphedema may not occur until six to eight weeks after surgery or during a course of radiation therapy.
Lymphedema can arise slowly and become noticeable 18-24 months after surgery or not until many years after finishing cancer treatment.
Some women will have very mild lymphedema that may fluctuate over time. However, most women with lymphedema will have chronic, constant swelling that requires regular management to prevent further problems. Physical therapists specially trained in lymphedema management techniques can help. They will teach you how to reduce swelling using a special type of self-massage, how to apply compression bandages, and how to wear a compression sleeve to maintain the arm’s size. Treatment to manage lymphedema is also available in some locations through a lymphedema clinic.

My hair is starting to grow pretty fast now. As of Friday February 13th, 2008. I freed myself from hiding behind my wig. I haven't had short hair in a very long time and never this short but I have to start somewhere. Believe it or not I have had a lot of compliments on my trendy hair style. : )

Sooooo, this is the new me!


Anonymous said...

Your blog keeps getting better and better! Your older articles are not as good as newer ones you have a lot more creativity and originality now keep it up!

Lori-Ann said...

My name is also Lori-Ann and I stumbled upon your page looking up Lymphedema. I had my surgery over a year ago but just experiencing this now! Starting PT on May 4th. Your hair looks great-I too just shed my wig. Great feeling, isn't it!! Hope all is well.

Anonymous said...

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Anonymous said...

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KImberly said...

I was so happy when I stumbled onto your blog. I just had my surgery in June of last year. I've never heard of lymphedema until this year. I knew I was having pain and swelling in my right hand and arm. I felt like the doctors were going to say here she goes again, but yet they explained this to me. Now I am waiting on my compression sleeves and hand brace. I am praying for some relief.