What is Lymphedema?, if you google it several web sites will tell you the following: Lymphedema is a swelling due to blockage of the lymph vessels that drain fluid from tissues throughout the body and allow immune cells to travel where they are needed.
When you have had some of your lymph nodes removed under your arm pit during your breast cancer treatment then you have the risk of developing lymphedema on your arm. For the rest of your life your arm will not be able to take any pressure, dramatic change of temperatures.... For example I can not have the blood pressure measure on my left arm, or I can not have blood taken from the left arm. At the beginning I did worry about it a bit but lately I complete forgot about my arm and the possibility that lymphedema could affect it until I come back from Spain.
When I come back from Spain my lower arm starting hurting a lot, I was not sure if it was bone or muscle pain but my elbow and lower arm specially in the evening I could not even touch it. Of course your mind goes wild and you think something related to cancer is happening to you....So last week I saw my Oncologist before Hercepting treatment and she looked at my arms and pointed out that the left was swollen and it was probably due to Lymphedema. She was really upset with herself as she said she should have prescribed me a lymphedema sleeve to travel on a long hall flight to avoid any swelling but she did forget. She sent me to a clinic to be measure and get a lymhedema sleeve that I have to wear at least to sleep and more if I can and then she sent me to do physical therapy to learn what exercises to do and how to massage the area to help manual drainage of the fluid.
I pick up the sleeve yesterday and I am waiting for the Hospital to call me for physical therapy which they told me will be next week probably. I will give you more details of what they tell me on therapy in the coming weeks.