Diagnosed with lymphodema 2 months post surgery

Hello all

I’ve developed lymphoedema in my surgery arm after axillary clearance :frowning:

The bad arm is 2cm bigger at elbow and 2cm bigger at the top, and my ring feels very tight. It goes up and down a bit - better in the morning, aching, sore armpit and swollen by the evening.

Does anyone know what the chances are that this will get worse? I feel so down about this being yet another disabling side effect of cancer, and a life-long one at that. I’m lucky to have a quick referral and am seeing the nurse on Monday, just wondered what everyone else’s experiences are.

thanks, Jane

Hi I developed mild lymphodema half way through rads in 2008 in my arm and hand.your right it’s yet another reminder and side effect of this crappy cancer.I was given a sleeve and glove,and this felt very strange at first like my arm didn’t belong to me.After about six months my hand went down and I could stop wearing the glove but have to carry on with the sleeve,my arm goes up and down not by much though this is probably because I forget sometimes to put my sleeve on. At the moment my arm is 21% bigger than my good arm.I carry on doing things as normal and haven’t made any changes,cancers took enough of me I think.If my arm starts to ache I know to give it a rest for a while.

Wishing you all the best Mel xx

Hi Jane
Sorry to hear you’ve had another thing to contend with- I developed mild Lymphoedema about a year ago, some months after surgery and I know how down I felt at the time-its horrible.
I was lucky and seen quickly, was taught self massage techniques-which I used to do daily, but now only as needed.
I wear sleeve and glove every day as a rule, but not always-I went on the beach without them on holiday, don’t wear them for an evening out etc. I hated wearing them at first, and like Mel says it felt very odd, but I am used to it now.
I am careful if I get a cut, and keep on eye on how much lifting etc I do at work, but generally I get on with things as normal-I just take care, and keep up the gentle exercise (pilates and swimming have helped me), and give it a rest if I need to. I found the British Lymphoedema Society leaflets useful.
I’ve been fortunate-mine has responded well and has gone down,the plan is to dicuss wearing the sleeve/glove less often at the next appointment.
All the best with the referral.
C x