When I start talking about getting this lymphedema treatment I am really not very happy about it. First I had to find a specialist trained in Lymphedema. While I was doing this I found out things about this that I did not know. For instance I did not know that there is no cure for this and only maintenance and reduction of the swelling is possible. Basically forever I am going to have to fight this and potentially have to wear the compression sleeve forever.
When I did my searches I found that this treatment comes in four parts the first I mentioned was manual lymph node massage and drainage. The lymphedema specialist will massage my lymph nodes from my collar bone to waist and even my right arm. Then she will use compression bandages that will be put on in layers to get as much of the lymphatic fluid out of the arm and into the rest of my body so the other lymph nodes can move it out. Lymphatic fluid contains proteins and waste that my affected arm should be removing.
I am very concerned with how this arm is going to look and with having 3 young kids I do not want them teased because their mom has this giant arm wrapped all up. I am a leader of a Girl Scout troop and I am going to have to explain this to the girls too. Luckily because of the holiday there are not too many meetings but most of the girls parents do not know about my history of breast cancer and I kind of like having it that way. I do not need people in every aspect of my life to know about my cancer past.
Oh yeah she added that I need to bring a blanket when I go for my first treatment because I may not be able to get a shirt on over it. Great the hits keep coming. On the plus side I am unemployed so I don’t need to go to work with this wrap or have to take time out of the work day to go to this appointment in downtown Dallas.