Friday, July 6, 2012


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.


  1. JOOOOOEEEEE.... vaya put%*$"@`$**..... cuidate ese bracito y a la doctora le vamos a comprar una de esas tambien para que sepa lo que jode!!

    en fin, paciencia amiga... ya nos contaras como vas.

    1. La verdad que no es muy incomoda, es mas el pensar que tengo que tener cuidado siempre...

  2. What a shame your doctor didn't give you a sleeve to wear when you were travelling. I read up a lot about Lymphedema even before I had surgery because I have an ironing service and I was very worried that it would be a problem. I was actually given a sleeve to wear right from the start as a precaution and wore this pretty much all the time for 2 years. I had a little swelling in my armpit at times but had studied the books and knew how to do the massage. I don't wear the sleeve any more and my arm if fine at the moment. I was told that after a couple of years the other side of your body sort of takes over so I am now past the most dangerous time. But it is important to take good care of your arm eg avoid extreme heat, insect bites scratches etc. I am planning on putting some information together when I get time to post on my Breast Cancer Support group. Hope your arm settles down.

  3. Cago'n... ánimo, niña. Cuídate mucho y mantennos al tanto. Muacka grande pa' tí.

  4. Mila:

    I love your blog, and was wondering if I could get your permission to use some of the pictures you have posted here in an online educational module I am currently working on re. providing information to health care staff and school personnel to better support children whose lives have been affected by cancer. Can you please email me at