Lymphedema

I find this interesting. 11 years ago I had 14 lymph nodes removed from under my right arm. I was strongly cautioned that I needed to be very careful to avoid lymphedema. For those of you who do not know what that is here is the definition from the Mayo Clinic:


“Lymphedema refers to swelling that generally occurs in one of your arms or legs. Although lymphedema tends to affect just one arm or leg, sometimes both arms or both legs may be swollen. Lymphedema is caused by a blockage in your lymphatic system, an important part of your immune and circulatory systems. The blockage prevents lymph fluid from draining well, and as the fluid builds up, the swelling continues.”

I will admit I wasn’t that careful. I didn’t have blood draws, blood pressures or anything like that – but being right handed it was hard to avoid lifting more than 5 pounds and even the occasional bruise or cut (yes, I am a klutz).

The surgery back this past October I had 2 nodes removed. Nothing major. I have been careful to not lift with that arm, no blood draws and so on. This morning I realized I have a touch of lymphedema in that arm! Nothing major at all! Just some swelling and tightness. I did notice the palm of my hand has felt bruised for a bout 2 weeks and I guess that is a symptom. I have some direction from the doctor to avoid it getting worse. So all is fine!

I just find it interesting that I can go 11 years basically not even thinking about it with 14 nodes removed only to have 2 little ones removed and it happens. But again, it certainly isn’t bad at all. Just a reminder that I need to be aware of what my body is trying to tell me: slow down!

The weekend is here and I am looking forward to a relaxing one! Hope you all have the great weekend yourselves!

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