I had lymph node clearance just over a month ago, and still have a lot of pain. The emu oil has helped with the numbness and nerve symptoms I think, but not the pain which goes from my shoulder, under my arm and down to my wrist. I went to the GP about the pain as I haven't seen a surgeon since the op (moved house) and he prescribed ibuprofen and thrush cream! Hopefully I will get a referral to a breast unit soon and find out what exactly is going on, and what can be done if it is lymphodema.
I definitely agree that the lymph node surgery is far more difficult to cope with than the breast op.
I had node clearance under my arm 2 months ago and had all the numbness you describe. I still have most of it but it is improving slowly. When I asked my consultant about it he said it was likely to improve but sometimes people are left with permanent numbness. I also have some numbness around the scar where he did the WLE and it also feels lumpy.