Many thanks everyone for all your comments. Will just have to give it time to settle hopefully. Its just a constant reminder though of what we have been through. Just saw my BC nurse today and been reffered to the Lymphodoema clinic now as my other arm is swollen. Hopefully its just transient swelling aggravated by the rads.
I too have this problem, i finished chemo July 07, i was Left with a very crooked arm which i could not straighten, my arm looked as if it had surgery done to it, i was referred to physio which i still attend and i am now able to straighten it, although the marks are still there, i was told to do a lot of my exercises on my arm in the bath and to keep moisturising it, i found this to be very helpful, have been told that my arm will never be quite the same.
I finished FEC/tax chemo in June 2006. My symptoms weren't as bad as yours, but my vein at the elbow on my chemo side was noticeably hard to the touch, and it was difficult to withdraw blood there. Now, after 2 years my vein has definitely softened, and blood samples are not a problem. It is not entirely back to normal, but much improved.
Have the same problem. Am currently having physio for chording on the affected side which has been aggrevated by rads. When i asked my physio if this was the same on my chemo arm she encouraged me to do the stretching exercises given for rads plus a couple of others on the chemo arm. It is gradually improving. Might be worth a try.
I finished chemo in November last year and have "tramlines" and have been told they will never go. As you say they don't look very nice and hurt when I stretch my arm up.
I had exactly the same problem as you Janet with my first lot of chemo (back in 1995). It hurt to straighten my arm out plus you could see the vein as it was very red.
I had to have more chemo in 2004 and the problem reoccurred straight away so I was fitted with a portacath (plus they always used to find it difficult to find a vein) which has been brilliant.
I would imagine we all have different experiences and hopefully your arm will recover with time.
I had a tight vein that collapsed, and like you it was painful to stretch my arm. My GP gave me some cream to rub in, but I cant remeber the name of it.
It settled eventually after about 6 months and I never even feel it now.
The veins in my arms hardened up during chemo,and I still have the'tramlines' down both arms four years after chemo.They don't hurt but dont look particullary nice either!
I had a similar thing but more so when I was having chemo. I used to put a hot water bottle on it for about 20 mins and then try and do some of the post surgery exercises. I dont know, but the heat seemed to soften my veins up a bit so the exercises weren't so painful.
For me this wasn't permanent as my arm is fine now. I asked at the time whether my arm would ever recover from all the chemo and drips etc, etc and was told it would take about a year, but may still have trouble with veins collapsing when having blood taken etc.
Hope this helps
I finished FEC/TAX in February 2008 and my chemo arm now looks terrible as my veins have tightened up so much that I look scarred and cannot straighten my arm. Does everyone have this to some extent, and is there anything that can be done to improve things or will this be permanent.
Any advice would be most welcome.