Hi how are you, my name is jacki, I had mastectomy year 2000 first stage. To me it sounds like your struggling with answersxx
In addition to Chick's very helpful post with the NICE guidelines, here is a link to the Breast Cancer Care booklet: Reducing the risk of lymphoedema
Here are some extracts from it.
On page 14 it gives advice about injections, blood tests and blood pressure readings, as well as travel.
Can I have an injection, blood taken, or blood
pressure taken from the ‘at risk’ arm?
There are different opinions among healthcare professionals about using the ‘at risk’ arm for these procedures.
There is no strong evidence to suggest that taking blood or taking a blood pressure reading from your ‘at risk’ arm will cause lymphoedema, but current recommendations are that the unaffected arm should be used whenever possible.
Injections into a vein (for example, chemotherapy) will usually be given into the unaffected arm. When that is not possible, your clinician may consider a central venous line for multiple injections, or the ‘at risk’ arm if a limited number of injections will be given.
Injections into the muscle will probably be given into the unaffected arm or another suitable part of the body.
Blood tests will usually be taken from the unaffected arm.
If possible use the unaffected arm for blood pressure readings. These
readings can be taken from your leg if both arms are affected.
When travelling you may want to consider the following.
During flights or long train/car journeys, do gentle exercises such as clenching and unclenching your fist and shrugging your shoulders.
Protect against insect bites by using insect repellent (at least 50% DEET) and, where appropriate, a mosquito net.
Carry antiseptic cream for cuts and grazes.
If you are travelling to a country where quick access to good quality
medical care is difficult, ask your GP for a course of antibiotics to take with you in case of infection. If you develop signs of infection in your ‘at risk’ arm or hand, treat the infection as early as possible.
There is no evidence that air travel or cabin pressure triggers lymphoedema, or that wearing a compression sleeve (usually used by people with lymphoedema) will help to prevent swelling. In fact, an ill-fitting sleeve may cause more problems.
On page 13 it gives general advice about skin care.
Protect your skin
Infection in your ‘at risk’ arm, hand or breast can cause swelling, and may damage your lymphatic system, leading to lymphoedema. The following tips can help reduce your risk of developing an infection.
Moisturising the affected area/s daily will help prevent dry and cracked skin. This allows your skin to protect you against infection and can reduce any damage to the skin. Use a moisturising cream that suits your skin type.
Where possible, protect against damage to the skin. Use sunscreen to avoid sunburn, use oven gloves when cooking, apply insect repellent, wear protective gloves in the garden (particularly when near rose bushes or brambles) and take care when cutting your nails.
If you have a cut or a graze, keep it clean and use antiseptic cream. If you notice any signs of infection (redness, heat, tenderness or swelling) contact your GP as you may need antibiotics.
While there is no strong evidence to support them the precautions below may help reduce the risk of developing lymphoedema.
Wear comfortable clothing and avoid tight-fitting jewellery.
Take care when removing hair from under your arm. Waxing and
razor blades can damage the skin and increase your risk of infection. Electric razors are gentler on the skin. Depilatory (hair removal) cream can be used, but check first that you are not sensitive or allergic to the cream.
Take care when carrying heavy shoulder bags.
Hot baths, saunas and steam rooms may put extra strain on your
lymphatic system, so you might not want to use them regularly, or
avoid them altogether.
Deep tissue massage and heat therapy will encourage more fluid to
the treated area so you may want to avoid this on your ‘at risk’ side. However, many practitioners are now trained to work with people who have, or are at risk of, lymphoedema, so check with your therapist.
The bottom line of all this appears to be to live as normal a life as possible without over-anxiety, but to bear in mind that the 'at risk' arm is no longer protected by a lymphatic system (if you've had axillary node clearance) or is reliant on a damaged system (if you've had only a few nodes removed), so any injury to it is potentially more serious than to your unaffected arm, especially if an infection gets in in a break in the skin.
The most important thing is not to get so worried that anxiety ruins your quality of life.
If it is any help, then below are NICE Guidelines (England) regarding the matter:
1.12 Complications of local treatment and menopausal symptoms
1.12.1 Inform people with breast cancer about the risk of developing lymphoedema, and give them relevant written information before treatment with surgery and radiotherapy. 
1.12.2 Give advice on how to prevent infection that may cause or exacerbate lymphoedema to people who have had treatment for breast cancer. [2009, amended 2018]
1.12.3 When informing people with breast cancer about the risk of developing lymphoedema, advise them that:
they do not need to restrict their physical activity
there is no consistent evidence of increased risk of lymphoedema associated with air travel, travel to hot countries, manicures, hot‑tub use or sports injuries
there is no consistent evidence of increased risk of lymphoedema associated with medical procedures (for example, blood tests, injections, intravenous medicines and blood pressure measurement) on the treated side, and the decision to perform medical procedures using the arm on the treated side should depend on clinical need and the possibility of alternatives. 
Mind you I have never had any one really discuss the risk with me or inform me of any dos and don'ts. I have raised it with some medical staff at times and they do not seem to know very much about it. I just do blood tests, blood pressure etc on the non surgical side arm anyway irrespective of what it says above as it is no big deal for me to avoid the other side at the moment.
All the best,
I had axillary node clearance on my left side and I am left handed/armed. It seems the advice I've been given by my Breast Care Nurse is much like other people's. It was as follows:
• Carry out the exercises in the Breast Cancer Care leaflet to regain arm and shoulder movement after surgery. Do these little and often but don't overdo.
• Not exercising the affected arm is more likely to prompt lymphoedema than moderate, regular exercise and use.
• Gradually return to normal usage whilst being careful not to carry heavy shopping that will strain the damaged side. Test yourself out first.
• Incorporate the types of exercise in your BCC leaflet into everyday life, e.g. moderate stretching when putting washing on the line.
• When carrying out stressful exercises like ironing, do this in small spurts rather than one long session.
• Judge for yourself what is likely to strain the affected arm and what it can cope with. If, before BC, you used to carry fairly heavy weights regularly, work gradually back up to/near that level but be careful not to strain the arm, and limit the time for which you do anything strenuous.
• For all household and garden jobs, wear protective gloves and cover your vulnerable arm to avoid scratches and cuts.
• Keep Savlon cream and sticking plasters/surgical tape and sterile bandages to hand should you damage yourself and seek help promptly at any sign of infection, e.g. redness, high temperature, throbbing, swelling.
• Don't let anyone take blood from or insert a canula into the affected arm. Neither should blood pressure be taken on that side.
• When playing with pets, use for preference the unaffected arm. Animal bites can be dagerous. Cats' teeth are very high in bacteria (I think dogs' are too). Scratches can be dangerous if the area is not protected by your lymphatic system.
Remind Nurses of where to take blood
When I had a bisphosphonate infusion recently, I had to have a blood test first (usual procedure) before going up to the Treatment Unit. The Care Assistant knew not to take it from my left arm, but she automatically took it from the vein in the bend of my right arm on the inside of the elbow. So, once I was upstairs in the Treatment Unit, I discovered that vein couldn't be used for the infusion. A different vein had to be used otherwise the bisphosphonate would leak out onto my skin through the earlier puncture. Fortunately, the TU nurse was able to insert a canula in a different vein in my right hand, and fortunately, having old lady's hands, the veins there are pretty prominent. I shall know next time to remind the CA to take the blood sample from my right hand so the vein in the crook of my arm can be reserved for the infusion.
Even with all these precautions, my BCN said we are likely to damage the vulnerable arm at some time. It's not possible to use it sensibly and never damage it at all, but we should just be careful. I think she meant be sensible without becoming neurotic.
My understanding is that the above precautions have to be taken forever, on account of the permanent damage to the lymphatic system. Lymph nodes don't grow back, so once they've been taken out that's it.
Lincs Lady, I suggest you ask your GP and, if he/she can't give clear advice, ask if you could be referred to a specialist Breast Care Nurse for, say, a one-off appointment (if they won't give you more than one). I'm presuming you are no longer under a BCN on a regular basis. Different doctors and nurses might be giving you different views if they aren't specialists.
I have read on the Macmillan site that patients who've had node clearance from both axillas can sometimes have blood taken from a leg.
As regards body-building/re-shaping exercises, I would request specialst advice before trying anything.
I hope that helps.
Hi Fuffs - you can get swimming costumes with pouches and also prosthetics from Nicola Jane - telephone order or on-line. You get their products without VAT as a BC patient which helps, and I tend to go for their discount weekends and sale offers when I can.
I was told to ‘spare’ my arm as much as possible in 2015. However I went back to Pilates and gradually built up over the last 3 years so can now use 1kg weights without issues. Two things happened- I read that in the USA they recommend graded exercise to build up strength rather than tell you not to use your arm ever again - and last Christmas I broke my wrist on the non-lymphoedema arm and just had to get on with it. All good so far - good luck! The one thing I can’t do is sleep on my bad side- horrible.
Hi there , thanks for relying ladies . I’ve never been to a meet up lol. I shall have to google those exercises as I have no clue what they are lol
i saw my surgeon last week, I was diagnosed 2014 and was asking him about excercise. He said they don't want repetitive lifting or anything that uses the pecs, I.e rowing or pull downs. You can do upright row and tricep exercises (good for bingo wings), bicep curls but not clean and press for too many reps. All with low weight. He said no bp but if blood can't be taken from good arm taking blood is OK from at risk arm. They don't like stuff being put in. He also agreed not carrying heavy shopping on that arm.
I also asked him about lymphodaema and flying - he said short haul is ok, keep the arm moving, it's the leaving the arm in a lowered position they don't like and especially cuts and grazes, keep antiseptic wipe with you.
I think we have chatted before. I live near Grantham. Does the group still meet at the pub near Lincoln county