This is what it looks like when you screw up your lymphedema bandaging.
Believe it or not, the left hand looks a lot better than it did at 9 am, when there was no knuckle definition at all.
The ARM looks great. But it’s because I sent lymph down to hand instead of up. I thought bandage across hand was tight enough but clearly it wasn’t.
And FINGERS look good. Just palm and wrist (outside).
A year ago today, we (Mike, Maurie, Dixie and me) were at UW Medical Center for my lumpectomy. Tomorrow is our wedding anniversary: I truly had no memory of this link. Nor do I remember much about last June 29th – except that was when the oxycodone headache manifested.
Monday my lymphedema was officially diagnosed.
Continue reading “The lumpectomy one-year anniversary”
“Cancer was a piece of cake,” Virginia Harrod says. “It was the lymphedema that almost killed me.”
NPR reports that nine months after Harrod’s mastectomy, her cat scratched her hand. She wasn’t concerned at first, but her doctor “recognized her symptoms as a serious and advancing infection.”
Harrod was in the hospital for eight days, and that’s when she first learned she had lymphedema. Over the next 10 months, she was readmitted twice more with dangerous infections.
Lymphedema (secondary/acquired) is a common complication of breast cancer treatment, but it gets short shrift from doctors when patients are assessing treatment risks. My experience confirms this research finding.
Continue reading “Lymph node transfer is a viable treatment for severe lymphedema”
The lymphatic system transports lymph (limf), a protein-rich clear fluid containing white blood cells, throughout the body. A key part of the body’s immune system, lymph fluid moves through lymph vessels and hundreds of lymph nodes.
Lymphedema — swelling or edema — happens when the lymphatic system isn’t working properly. It is sometimes a side effect of breast cancer treatment and is considered secondary lymphedema.
Continue reading “What is lymphedema?”