Lymphedema - lilliebutt

Side Effects Associated with Invasive (Infiltrating) Ductal Carcinoma . Posted on December 24, 2012 View this journey (8 Experiences)

I began noticing a heaviness in my left arm about 6 weeks ago. Did some research and realized I was having symptoms of lymphedema. I was fitted for a compression sleeve and have been massaging and lightly exercising my arm. So far doing well in managing the swelling, pain, and discomfort. I'd like to hear of other's experiences with lymphedema if you'd like to share. Thanks!

  • smishik's Avatar

    Lilliebutt, I have Lymphedema too. It is very uncomfortable like you say and I am miserable. Just thinking I have to wear this stuff for the rest of my life is depressing. I find myself massaging my arm while I am at work because it starts to swell up under my compression sleeve. If I do anything manual like sweeping the floor or mopping, which I am supposed to do at work, my arm hurts and I can feel it swelling. I try not to be concerned about it but it is getting old already and i have only had it since April of 2013. I am 56 yrs old so I guess I might as well get used to it because this is the way it is for the rest of my life. My son is trying to talk me into having some kind of surgery he read about online but I am not sure.

    almost 8 years ago
  • lilliebutt's Avatar

    smishik. It has been a while since I last posted about the lymphedema. I found some great sites online regarding the proper methods for self massage after breast and lymph removal. I also found that some of the "lymph" would travel and settle in my abdominal area. When this happens, I roll lightly and slowly on an exercise ball or, while standing, I slowly massage my torso, using long strokes, with the heals of my hands. I continue self massage to this day- everyday- usually in the shower. The body wash helps my hands move easier along my skin. I have been doing self massage now for almost 3 years. It has become second nature and part of my daily "beauty and relaxation" routine. Unfortunately, overusing the affected arm will overstress the few lymph nodes that remain, causing the arm to feel heavy and painful, maybe even swelling. When I begin to feel my arm getting heavy, I stop what I am doing, hold it straight up, and begin to lightly massage it with long strokes with my other arm, all the while breathing deeply and slowly. This really helps! Hang in there, and good luck to you!

    over 6 years ago
  • lilliebutt's Avatar

    It has now been 5 years and I, too, have found relief for the lymphedema with self massage. I find that exercise also helps just not overdoing it. I've learned to listen to my body and give it the rest it needs. I have also been doing my massage in the shower for years now and rolling on an exercise ball. We do what we can to feel better and get relief! It has indeed become a part of my daily routine. Thank you for your great comments!

    about 4 years ago

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