May 10, 2006 07:38PM Binney4 wrote:Oh, Naomi, there's nothing dumb about it -- this post-bc stuff is so hard. Not only do we panic over our cancer history, but just the thought of dealing with doctors again can cause all kinds of nasty anxieties. Doesn't seem to get any easier, does it? You'd think we'd all be pros by now...
I'm really sorry nobody's bothered to inform you about your LE risk and the steps you can take to prevent it. That's really important -- and doubly so for those of us who are bilateral! Here's a web site or two to get you started:
That's the National Lymphedema Network, one of the best groups for LE advocacy and education. They have Prevention Guidelines that should help get you acclimated to the fairly simple lifestyle changes you can make to help avoid LE.
Or try LymphNotes for easy-to-read articles on all aspects of LE:
I'm glad your P.A. is at least aware of LE, but I'm wondering if she was aware enough to take the blood for the thyroid test from your foot, since both your arms are at risk. Unfortunately, our medical personnel are not well trained in the lymph system, so we do have to be our own advocates and educate ourselves about it. If your insurance will allow it, a visit with a well-qualified LE therapist to get baseline measurements and to teach you some massage and prevention helps would be a great idea. You can find qualified therapists near you by using the therapist finder at:
As for your throat problem, your neck could conceivably be affected by LE (especially if you've had sc radiation), but that would be really uncommon, and I'd think you would have swelling elsewhere as well -- either arm and hand or more likely back, chest or side. Also, I'd think there would have to have been some incident that would trigger it -- an injury to your neck, say. It would, in other words, be conceivable, but barely so. There was a thread or two up on the Moving Beyond board recently about thyroid problems post-bc, and it seems to be a fairly common problem, and fortunately one that can be very successfully managed. Neck swelling also happens with infection sometimes, so you might want to keep track of your temp and report any elevation in that to your P.A.
I know none of that helps with the anxiety -- the only thing that helps that is to know what's going on and fix it! But hopefully your new interest in LE prevention will keep you out of ever having to deal with LE at least. Please let us know what you find out, and do feel free to ask any questions you may have about LE as there are lots of ladies here who are dealing with it successfully.
Be well. Let us know!