64954members
342199posts
cancel
Showing results for 
Search instead for 
Did you mean: 

Anxious about axillary node clearence and lyhpoedema

9 REPLIES 9
Highlighted
Member

Re: Anxious about axillary node clearence and lyhpoedema

Thank you so much ladies for your advice. Now nearly two weeks after surgery the concerns are still there but I realise they are just part of the whole coping process and as time goes on they will lesten. It was lovely to hear that you travel to far off places like India as this is something my husband and I would love to do.

Take Care
Sunshine75
Member

Re: Anxious about axillary node clearence and lyhpoedema

Hi Sunshine
Really some very good tips on this thread already. I had my WLE and clearance in November 2010 and have been absolutely fine. I am careful not too carry heavy shopping etc on my right. But I work in the garden lots - always protecting my arm by wearing a fleece. I go to the gym and do use my arm with very light weights, stepping etc. Anything you do, build it up slowly and gradually. We went to India in January and I always bring light long sleeved clothing to protect agains mosquito bites and use factor 50 suntan lotion. Something to bear in mind is that while the risk is lifelong, I did learn at one of the BCC info afternoons that 90% of lymphoedema occurs within 3 years after surgery. Do your exercises and I hope that you'll be fine with it. Fingers crossed for you.
Nim41

Highlighted
Member

Re: Anxious about axillary node clearence and lyhpoedema

Hi Sunshine, I had anc in November 2011 and was diagnosed with lymphoedema in March last year (can't believe it's been a year!!!). Anyway two bits of advice to add to everyone elses. One a Leeds hospital Study suggests that you should NOT raise the affected arm above shoulder height for the first week-ten days after treatment. Nobody told me that, and I was enthusiatically trying like mad to get movement back. The second is a bit more serious: When I started my chemo (the dreaded taxotere/docetaxyl) it made me feel like hell, often I was achy, and my scar sometimes hurt, so when my arm started aching I put it down to just another stupid side effect. No, No, No!!!
I do not want to scare-monger; there is a very good chance you will never develop lymphoedema, but keep aware of that arm. If it feels "a bit funny", ache-y or heavy, it is probably NOT about chemo, or surgery, but about developing lymphoedema. Run do not walk to the bcn and MAKE her listen to your concerns. I have always thought if I had caught mine sooner, it would be much less of a problem now.
Good luck, don't stress about it.

Highlighted
Member

Re: Anxious about axillary node clearence and lyhpoedema

Hi all,

Thank you ladies for all the advice. I think I am more worried about the surgery than the chemo, and just getting myself into a tiz. It is nice to know that taking the precautions just becomes part of life. Already bought my marigolds. Lol.
x
Highlighted
Member

Re: Anxious about axillary node clearence and lyhpoedema

Re lymphoedema:
Basically you will have to take care of that arm for evermore. As Gill said it is a life long threat.
  • No blood tests or blood pressure tests on affected arm (and don't let healthcare workers tell you otherwise)
  • Always wear sunscreen/insect repellant where relevant to avoid sunburn or insect bites
  • Keep arm well moisturised - this keeps the skin supple and less likely to break or crack and let in infection
  • Use antiseptic on any cuts or grazes and cover with a plaster
  • Avoid heavy weights - that includes shopping bags, opening heavy fire doors
  • Don't do anything to strain your arm - say if you do a sport or activity that involves putting a strain on your arm, build it up very slowly and gradually
Sounds like a long and daunting list (and I am sure there are things I have missed) but it soon becomes second nature.

Highlighted
Member

Re: Anxious about axillary node clearence and lyhpoedema

Dear Sunshine 75,

I had WLE in December and full node clearance in January (after initial SNB with lumpectomy showed unexpected spread). The drain is a bit of a pain - but temporary, so don't worry about it. Have lots of extra pillows to hand to help you find a comfortable position to sleep in. Exercising will help prevent / treat seroma or cording. I had both and have improved considerably.

As far as lymphoedema is concerned .... it's unfortunately a life-long threat. I used to be very active (DIY, gardening etc.) and don't really want to stop these completely. Currently on chemo and then radiotherapy so am being very lazy. But once treatment is completed I will start to do things again, but take sensible precautions re. heavy lifting, avoiding infection etc.. It's a choice really. But they are important to me.

Good luck with your op. Having already had the chemo, you may well be pleasantly surprised!

Gill
Highlighted
Member

Re: Anxious about axillary node clearence and lyhpoedema

I had auxillary clearance in April lasg year.I did have a large seroma afterwards but it did go down eventually.I did the exercises I was given,and still do when I remember or have been overdoing it with right arm.Read the literature and follow the advice,like not carrying any heavy weight with that arm or doing anything repetative.The hardest thing I found was having to go home with the drain in for 5 days,mainly because i kept forgetting about it and was really pleased when they took it out.
Good luck and I am sure you will be fine.

Lxx

Highlighted
Member

Re: Anxious about axillary node clearence and lyhpoedema

Hi Sunshine75
i had a WLE and ANC in march. I worried about seroma's and cording and to be honest (and touching lots of wood) i haven't developed either but my advice is to try to move the arm a bit more each day! my arm is still tight but stetching helps. My armpit is slowly returning to normal - now that the swelling has gone down it doesn't look so puckered - and i've got a bit more feeling in it now. Have found it hard to shave though so i recommend hair removing cream prior to op to see you through!! had very few SE's just felt sick when my drain moved !
with regards to lymphoedema, i have read the literature and came to the conclusion that there was not a great deal i could do to ensure i didn't develop it so i'll cross that bridge if/when i get to it!!
happy to discuss further via here or PM if it helps
best wishes
netty x
Highlighted
Member

Re: Anxious about axillary node clearence and lyhpoedema

Hi sunshine75

I have put for you below the link to BCC's publication regarding Lymphoedema which I hope you find helpful. For more support our helpline team are just a free phone call away, 0808 800 6000.

http://www2.breastcancercare.org.uk/publications/treatment-side-effects/living-lymphoedema-after-bre...

Take care,

Jo, Facilitator

Highlighted
Member

Anxious about axillary node clearence and lyhpoedema

Hi , I am 37 and was diagnosed with grade three breast cancer on the 6 th Dec last year. I have now finished my chemo and am about the have a lumpectomy and axillary node clearance, as the original ultra sound showed abnormal cells in the lymph nodes. I am really anxious and worried about the side effect of developing lymphodanyonah havdread all about how to prevent it etc but am still worried. Has anyone else had this op and could tell me how it went, side effects?
Thanks