About this blog

I was diagnosed with breast cancer on June 11, 2010. As a result of my treatment, I have lymphedema in my left arm. I draw my strength from the Lord, as well as my family's Scots-Irish heritage. Our Graham's were a tough and scrappy bunch of fighters on the Scottish/English border. They came to America and continued to fight when necessary: in the American Revolution; the Civil War; and my brother is a Captain in the U.S. Army. My ancestors settled this country against all odds. My great-grandmothers on both sides of the family were pioneer women who settled the West. Along with that heritage, and the full armor of God, I am walking the walk and fighting the good fight.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Tingling...should I be worried?

I think my left arm has been tingling on and off all day. I'm concerned that this may be a sign of lymphatic fluid buildup, or lymphedema. I don't notice any swelling. Just the cold and tingling feeling. Anyone out there who has experience with this...is this a sign of it?

Maybe I'm imagining it. You know when you focus on something, you can actually start to make it a reality.

I actually took today off from working out. The kids and I worked a little bit on picking up the house today. I'll fess up...I did do a little bit of spot vacuuming and mopping downstairs. I made the kids do it all upstairs, though! The post-operative instructions I got 8+ weeks ago said not to vacuum for 6 months. But it seems like such a small and simple task to do. After all, I'm able to do so much physically. Plus, I used my right arm most of the time. But maybe I did overdo it. I don't know.

I have a physical therapy appointment on Monday to begin to learn lymphatic massage. That will help me be able to move the fluid around. I am grateful to be going so I can have the therapist check me out, take measurements, and see if my wrist arm and hand have gotten any larger since my first appointment a few weeks ago. I also have the exercises the physical therapist gave me that I can do twice a day. I haven't been 100% faithful at doing them, although I did do them last night and this morning. You can bet I'll be doing them from now on.

My prayer requests:
  • That this tingling feeling go away, that any and all lymph fluid that needs to drain from my left arm do so immediately.

1 comment:

  1. Definitely get measurements taken asap to compare your two arms. The good news is that if you catch the onset of lymphedema within the first 3 months of any swelling you can reverse it with proper treatment. The bad news is that there are a lot of improperly trained therapists out there. So please be sure your therapist is CERTIFIED in lymphedema therapy/treatment by a reputable training source. I have lymphedema and I missed the 3 month window because mine was mild and barely noticeable at all. It's tricky so get measured often - I would measure once/month so that if you have any swelling at all, even a small amount, you'll know it within the reversible timeframe. There's a great website: www.lymphnet.org where you can look up certified therapists in your area. Since you are in SoCal like me I can ask my therapist for some recommendations for someone down by you.