Hi thank you all for your thoughts, some useful comments about bites and scratches that I haven't seriously considered. I'm really torn as currently I feel fab but not knowing what maybe around the corner is making me hesitate. I agree there is little research on this subject. I've spoken to my BCN and she said go for it but be VERY careful not to lift, especially the fatties! So thank goodness for hydraulic tables! Like you lovely ladies I have been through so much but I have come out the other side with a little devil in me saying make the most life and I suppose at the end of the day if I don't try I will always wonder. Anyway I'm going to win the lottery tonight so it won't be an issue 🙂
Anyone whose had lymph nodes out is at risk of developing lymphoedema, and as someone who has it, I can tell you it is a GIANT pain in the neck, uncomfortable and mentally difficult to bear. Because you've had your lymph nodes out it will be more difficult for your arm to shift the lymph than for a normal person. That is why the booklets tell you to take precautions against breaking the skin on you at risk arm.
So as well as the weight of the fatties (LOL), there is also the repetitive strain of the brushing and, perhaps most important: the increased risk of dog scratches and or bites. There are several women on the breastcancer.org website who developed lymphoedema after more than three years, so I wonder about that research--who did the study? But I know women who weightlift and row with no problems even though they HAVE lymphoedema, and the University of Pennsylvania did a study on a rather large group of woman showing if they worked at building up their strength slowly they could do heavy lifting without exacerbating lymphoedema, although they couldn't show it prevented lymphoedema.
Perhaps the biggest worry would be that if you developed lymphoedema you might have to, once again, change profession--so I think it might boil down to how much you want to do it. If it seems like your dream job, you may be willing to run the risk--after all, you might never get lymphoedema. It also might be possible to wear protective clothing, or make yourself less biteable/scratchable. On the other hand, if it's one of several things you are considering, the risks might make it not worth the effort.
Good luck with your decision.
Hey there, my understanding (found after hours of research cos there is nothing really good available re being an active post axillary clearance person) is that you can do pretty much anything as long as you build up slowly , really slowly and let your body develop its own new pathways for lymph . also new research says that if you get to 3 years without problems you should be OK if you take the usual care and precaution ...I had built v slowly back up to lifting v heavy weights without any problems and then got bitten by mosquito 2.5 years out and developed MLD - reall really annoying BUt the exercies on the Leeds cancer centre's leaflet are really really good The Haven its called.
Its an outrage how little is written about preventing lymph problems and how little the medical professional take it seriously ...
best of luck N
I had 6 removed on left side and am left handed considered low risk for LD but managed to develop it earlier this year. I do lift heavy items (have horses!) but was initially told that if I did it before could do it after with no ill effects! Not so unfortunately found that out too late!
I don't know what to advise sorry but I was told it was the heavy lifting that probably didn't help so grooming I would think would be ok just get someone to maybe lift the fatties on to the table lol.
Good Luck in your new career whatever you decide to do
I need to change my career and wondered if anyone out there is a current full time dog/cat groomer whom has had nodes removed.
I had all my nodes (they could only find 2) taken out at the same time as my MX at the end of Jan 2012, followed by chemo and rads.
I feel realy well, I watch what weight I lift and lucky that I can do almost everything I did before, probably as there were only 2 in the first place???
I'm left handed and had them removed on left side.
Would love to hear your experiences both good and bad