• What's the best way to get energy back after a lymph node removal surgery?

    Asked by 4theFauna on Friday, February 3, 2012

    What's the best way to get energy back after a lymph node removal surgery?

    I had lymph node removal surgery a week ago and I'm still always sooooo tired. Is my body tired from the surgery, from the reduced number of nodes, or is it still trying to get the Smurf-blue dye out of my system? Is exercise a good idea? Or would it make me more tired? What can I do to get my energy back?

    6 Answers from the Community

    6 answers
    • pglurie's Avatar

      I do not know how many lymph nodes you had removed. I had 18 removed and am 66 years old. I took me about 3 and 1/2 months to start feeling half way normal. The doctor said expect a 6 month recovery time, so just hang in there. Your body has to adjust to the changes.

      over 4 years ago
    • markmather's Avatar

      Sleeping and resting is a good thing for your body during surgery recovery. Try not to overdue or tax yourself where exercise is concerned. It will take time. Slow and steady wins the race. Keep the faith.

      over 4 years ago
    • Sunnydays' Avatar

      I had lymph node dissection 1 month after mastectomy last year. I doubt that having the lymph nodes out makes you tired immediately but the surgery certainly does. Let your body rest and sleep as much as possible. After a couple weeks I hope you'll have more energy. For me I worked up slowly, walking, then stretching, and slowly trying to build up the strength in my arms. From the research I've done and what my doctors say, the best thing you can do to prevent lymphedema is to be active and healthy, but work up gradually. I used those stretchy bands to stretch slowly and work up strength and then moved to light weights, gradually increasing. I also moved my arms a lot when I was walking. Think positive thoughts, get some fresh air, and have patience with your body!

      over 4 years ago
    • whirl's Avatar

      As sunnydays answered do take it easy and listen to your body. She has great suggestions for getting good movement in your affected arm. Those exercisies are for ever. I do feel you need to monitor that fatigue. Anesthesia takes a toll on our body, however there are lots of causes for fatigue. Sometimes it is depression, bordom, low blood count, or other serious health issues. If the other possible causes have been ruled out try an easy yoga class, walk class where you are with people. See if it helps.

      over 4 years ago
    • 4theFauna's Avatar

      Thanks you four... collectively you answered my questions. I guess what I really wanted to is whether exercise was a good strategy or would do more harm good. I took a walk today, the first in a while. I'll keep walking and slowly build up strength... in preparation for the localized radiation.

      My cancer story has been much easier than all of yours. I only had 3 nodes removed, my tumor was very small, no mastectomy, grade 1, stage 1, etc.. Based on your answers I think it was the anesthetic that has wiped me out, and the fact that is was the second surgery in less than a month. I guess my body has just had so much healing to do. As long as I know the walking is overall a good thing, I'll keep it up. The walking should also help me stay on top of my depression. The depression got a little stronger when I went off my vitamins prior to the lymph node removal surgery. I guess it has been a combo of relatively minor things.

      Thank you all so much!

      over 4 years ago
    • Sunnydays' Avatar

      Everyone has their own story, and hearing others stories does help us to put things in perspective. If you are single, it must be even harder - to rely on yourself all day. Maybe you have friends who could text you at a certain time each day just to say "hi" or play "words with friends" with someone. Those kinds of things can make you feel more "connected" and maybe reduce depression. My mom went through treatment for breast cancer last year and she played Words with Friends with my sister who was 3,000 miles away, but it made them feel closer to each other. If they didn't hear from each other for a day they'd pick up the phone and call and check in. Going on walks is great and the more exercise you get the better - but work up gradually. It is sunny and beautiful here today so I'm heading out on a walk. I'm 44, 3 weeks post second mastectomy and beginning of reconstruction surgery. First 2 weeks were really hard, but now feeling better every day. Keep reaching out, we're all in this together. No matter what kind or level of cancer you have, it is a shock to the system and to our well-being physically and emotionally. Hugs.

      OH, and congrats on your nodes being clear. But don't take that for granted. During my first mastectomy and Sentinel Node Biopsy they removed 2 nodes and they looked clear at first, but then the pathology came back that one was cancerous. So, 1 month later we did Lymph Node Dissection and removed 12 more, 1 more of these was positive. So, never assume. Celebrate that yours were clear. That is wonderful!

      over 4 years ago

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