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.
Thursday, August 25, 2011
It's the arm. I'm not sure what exactly is causing it. Perhaps its a combination of several factors: the travel; the heat; probably gaining a couple pounds from the different diet during vacation.Whatever it is, my left arm is noticeably puffier. Last night, I was flossing my teeth and zoning at my image in the mirror. Not really thinking, just wanting to get into bed as soon as possible. I'm still jet-lagged and had been up since 2 a.m. the night before.
Since both arms were bent with elbows facing the mirror, I was able to compare the two. The left was much rounder than the right on the inner part of the elbow. I could feel the puffieness when I bent my arm throughout the day. Kind of like having a swollen joint from a bee sting (without the pain.)
Sigh. I've been massaging daily and wrapping each night. I even did it when we arrived home after nearly 24 hours in transit.
I need to be a little more aggressive. Last night I did a really thorough manual drainage and concentrated extra time on the problematic part of the arm. I decided to attack it with a chip bag on the forearm and foam on the upper arm. That isn't an easy maneuver-I need Eric to hold the bag and foam in place while I secure it with the bandaging. I finished wrapping around 9 p.m. and wore it until after my workout this morning at 10:30 a.m. It was a little difficult to work out with the wrapped arm, but I remember my physical therapist telling me that the best thing I could do is work out in the bandaging. After my shower, I did manual drainage again and put on my Juzo compression sleeve. Perhaps I should have re-wrapped. But it is very hot right now and the thought of doing my child-fetching errands this afternoon with 5 layers of bandaging on is not very appealing. Plus, some of the bandaging was wet with sweat. (It was a good workout!)
I have not yet measured the arm. I'll do that later when Eric gets home. It will be interesting to compare it to the measurements I took when the swelling started in France.
My prayer request is that this episode of swelling goes away. I need to have it under control before the 3-Day Walk in November. I would rather not be messing around with bandaging at that time. Its going to be exhausting enough just walking 60 miles in 3 days. I don't mind wearing a compression sleeve, but the bandaging is unwieldy and cumbersome. I'll do it if I have to-I'm not going to let lymphedema interfere with my plans!
Thank you for your support!