My arm still hurts. I actually think the Taxol has not helped anything. My tissues are all inflamed and it makes my arm hurt worse than before.
I have a ton of lymphnodes removed from my armpit during surgery. 42 of them in fact. You need your lymph nodes. They channel fluid and help fight infection. It is kind of a big deal.
Lymphatic massage helps but when every muscle in your body hurts and your fingertips are sensitive to touch, it is difficult to do the massage to yourself.
Compression sleeves are also recommended. I can not believe how much it has helped. I got this fancy one through the “seconds” page at Lymphedivas. They have a large selection of sleeves and gauntlets but they are quite spendy and since I didn’t know if it would even work, I bought my first one for half price because it has flaws. Obviously, there is fading on the sleeve. Hence the reason it is half price. It works perfectly fine though and has really helped my arm feel better. The sleeve goes all the way up to my shoulder and is surprisingly comfortable. It basically helps direct the fluid from my arm back to the trunk of my body. I have noticed less pain when I wear it. I am going to order another but am looking at different brands. I have a prescription from my physical therapist and my surgeon so hopefully, insurance will cover some of the cost.
But the sleeve is excellent and a good fit for me. The customer service person I spoke with when ordering was very helpful and I am so glad I finally ordered it as I was going back and forth with whether I really needed it. Indeed I do.
My research shows that each sleeve worn with regularity only lasts a few months or so because the elasticity and fit break down.
I am pretty sure the sleeve is just going to become part of my life. I am really tired of the pain and swelling in my right arm.
I do not actually have a lymphedema diagnosis yet (and I hope I never have one). It’s pretty serious stuff. If I get a cut or burn or bug bite on my right arm, I don’t have a good defense system there to fight infection so I could end up on antibiotics or in the hospital. I really have to take care of myself.
I go see the Oncologist in a few minutes. I looked at my most recent blood test last night and while most everything is low, my white blood cells skyrocketed. They were already high thanks to Neulasta but this week they tripled. I am thinking this is once again because of the Neulasta shot and I will be clear for that last chemo. I am also hoping that we skip that shot since this is the last round anyway.
My plans for today is to sew another hat for myself. I will post pictures if i get it done. We will see how I feel.