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Topic: Painting.......... lymphedema risk??

Forum: Lymphedema —

Talk with other about how to lower your risk of lymphedema and how to manage it if you've been diagnosed.

Posted on: Jul 15, 2007 05:43PM

cayenneblue-2007Jun02 wrote:

Hi all-

I heard of a woman on the Komen boards that developed lymphedema after painting. Is this truly a risk? I used to be the painter in the family, and I'm itching to get my guest room painted! I had 5 sentinel nodes removed in my left arm, and no nodes, but a bilateral mastectomy on my right (painting) arm.

I'd just hate to have my husband have to do it all! Actually, that wouldn't be a good thing, because it would never get done!

Thanks!!

Theresa Log in to post a reply

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Jul 15, 2007 06:57PM rrs wrote:

Theresa - you are so wise to ask that question and to do whatever you can to avoid lymphedema. There is so much information here. I wish I had done that.

I developed painful cording and arm and hand LE after painting and overdoing it on exercise - had just moved into a new house.

Then, last month, I did a "little" more painting and tried to use my other arm as much as possible. I developed swelling in my hand again. If I had it to do over again, I would not paint anything, ever. And, I love to paint.

There are just things that it would be wise for you to avoid if you can. I know that is a bummer but it is even a bigger bummer to have lymphedema. Seeing a therapist and being fitted for a compression sleeve and gauntlet to wear when you use your arm and hand for things that could be a problem is a good idea.
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Jul 16, 2007 03:56AM cayenneblue32 wrote:

Thanks for the info! Darn - one more thing to add to the list!!

I do have a sleeve and gauntlet - my physical therapist (I developed a frozen shoulder after my surgery) ordered one for me for flying. I wonder if that would help?

Do you ever feel like people don't totally believe you when you tell them that you can't do certain things? I know I get "the look" at times, when I tell friends, my kids, etc. that I can't do things like lift luggage, heavy bags, and other things like that. I guess to them I look perfectly fine. I just get that feeling sometimes that they think I'm over-reacting.......... It's quite annoying!
Dx 3/24/2006, IDC, <1cm, Stage I, Grade 1, 0/5 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Jul 16, 2007 07:21PM rrs wrote:

Yes, I have gotten the looks but sometimes I wonder if I'm just overly sensitive. No matter, it is worth it not to over do to avoid LE. When you exercise and use your hand and arm a lot it you can wear the compression garments. If you really think your family and friends need an education in LE - information is out there that you can share with them. It is also not a bad idea to see a LE therapist who can help you with all of your questions and take baseline measurements in the event you ever have problems. Again, you are very wise to learn about this and to take such good care of yourself to avoid LE.

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Jul 16, 2007 10:14PM ravdeb wrote:

I had only one sentinel node removed. It's my left side and I'm right handed but use my left hand for many things except writing. I spoke to two oncologists last summer before flying overseas and they laughed at me when I asked about a sleeve for flying. They told me only one node removed..no chance of a problem..just walk the plane a lot and excercise arm a lot on flight. I had no problems but I think I was lucky. I know the risk is low but there is still a risk. I'm flying overseas again and will do the same precautions. But my family helps me when I tell them I can't lift heavy things (also have a back problem). It's my oncs that laugh at me about it!

I want to start working out more with weights and plan to join the health club when I return from my time abroad. Should I seriously get a sleeve before doing any of that?
IDC, 2cm, triple negative, grade 3, node neg Dx 9/5/2005, IDC, Left, 2cm, Stage IIA, Grade 3, 0/1 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2-
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Jul 17, 2007 05:53AM cayenneblue32 wrote:

My physical therapist has told me that she's had patients develop lymphedema with only one node taken (and others with lots of nodes removed that never develop it). So, who knows how your body will react. Makes sense to take precautions, even with just a snb, just in case........

My ps DID recommend a sleeve for flying, even with a snb. (I had 5 sentinel nodes, so it's a bit more than you, but she would have recommended it anyway)

She didn't say I needed it for weights, but did suggest that I work up to them slowly, to allow my body time to adjust.

Good luck!
Dx 3/24/2006, IDC, <1cm, Stage I, Grade 1, 0/5 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Jul 17, 2007 06:46AM OLBinNJ wrote:

Deb,
Go to www.lymphnet.org and print out the info on LE. Take it to your Onc and/or your PCP. and get someone to send you to an LE trained PT. Get measured for a sleeve and a glove (a gauntlet may allow your hand to swell), or learn to wrap your arm. Wear the sleeve/glove or wrap when you fly. It is a good preventive measure, and it may lead others to help you with your luggage. Also, do the same when you use your arm a lot, like exercise or painting. Hope you can prevent LE.
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Jul 17, 2007 08:56AM Binney4 wrote:

Yes, Deb, by all means get fitted PROPERLY (by someone with plenty of experience) for a sleeve and glove and wear them when exercising or whenever you might strain your arm (holiday cooking with lots of chopping, rearranging the books on your shelves, etc.) Also, stay really well hydrated; avoid over-heating or taking a hot shower after working out (warm is fine); and by all means stop at once if you sense any strain to your arm, tingling, itching or numbness. Elevate your arm if that happens. You can go back to it the next day, but always stop when you sense any strain. Takes LOTS longer to work up do your goals than it did before bc, but recent reseach efforts are aimed at proving that careful exercise and strength-training is actually good for both preventing and treating LE.

Cayenneblue, same precautions apply if you decide to risk painting. The problem there is stopping yourself if you're half-way through a wall. Takes a lot of extra strength of will to stop, but I promise it's worth it to avoid this stupid LE. I'd have to vote with rrs to avoid it entirely, but certainly the choice is yours.

Enjoy anyhow!
Binney
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Jul 17, 2007 01:44PM DoreenF wrote:

Here's a tip to help if you need to stop painting to rest your arm ... wrap the paint roller or paint brush with plastic wrap and it will keep for several hours ... when your arm is rested you can unwrap the plastic wrap and continue painting.

Doreen
"Cancer May Leave Your Body, but It Never Leaves Your Life" - Lance Armstrong Foundation Manifesto. Dx 4/18/2005, IDC, <1cm, Stage I, Grade 2, 0/2 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Jul 17, 2007 04:07PM rrs wrote:

Yes, yes, yes -- by all means wear compression when you exercise with weights. My first indication of LE (that I ignored) was after exercising I would wash my hands and noticed that a had a little sensitivity/pain when I washed my hands. I just thought "oh, that is just because my hands are a little swollen from the exercise..." If only I had paid attention to that... Oh, well. Word to the wise.

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Jul 18, 2007 03:44PM sushanna1 wrote:

I went from minimal swelling to stage II lymphedema in my hand after painting. Took a couple of months to get it under control. Please be careful. Much as I like to paint, it will be a while before I try it again.
Sue

Sue
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Sep 11, 2021 03:00PM exbrnxgrl wrote:

kimorajaso,

This thread has been inactive for about 14 years. Not sure if the op or others who responded are still active on bco.

Bilateral mx 9/7/11 with one step ns reconstruction. As of 11/21/11, 2cm met to upper left femur Dx 7/8/2011, IDC, Left, 4cm, Grade 1, 1/15 nodes, mets, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 9/7/2011 Lymph node removal: Left; Mastectomy: Left, Right; Reconstruction (left); Reconstruction (right) Dx 11/2011, IDC, Left, 4cm, Stage IV, Grade 1, 1/15 nodes, mets, ER+/PR+, HER2- Hormonal Therapy 11/21/2011 Arimidex (anastrozole) Radiation Therapy 11/21/2011 Bone Hormonal Therapy 6/19/2014 Femara (letrozole) Hormonal Therapy Aromasin (exemestane)
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Sep 11, 2021 04:25PM exbrnxgrl wrote:

Very weird! My response, above, was to a post made today and now it has completely disappeared, not just a deleted post, but completely removed. Strange.

Bilateral mx 9/7/11 with one step ns reconstruction. As of 11/21/11, 2cm met to upper left femur Dx 7/8/2011, IDC, Left, 4cm, Grade 1, 1/15 nodes, mets, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 9/7/2011 Lymph node removal: Left; Mastectomy: Left, Right; Reconstruction (left); Reconstruction (right) Dx 11/2011, IDC, Left, 4cm, Stage IV, Grade 1, 1/15 nodes, mets, ER+/PR+, HER2- Hormonal Therapy 11/21/2011 Arimidex (anastrozole) Radiation Therapy 11/21/2011 Bone Hormonal Therapy 6/19/2014 Femara (letrozole) Hormonal Therapy Aromasin (exemestane)
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Sep 11, 2021 06:08PM Jelson wrote:

exbrnxgirl - I believe you!! but how odd.

skimming through this thread from 2007 I noted the posters who said that their oncologists were the people most dismissive of their concerns about their risk for lymphedema and their desire to take precautions. I hope in the almost 15!! ensuing years that oncologists have become more enlightened.

Dx 4/17/2009, DCIS, <1cm, Stage 0, Grade 3, 0/0 nodes, ER+/PR+
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Sep 11, 2021 07:13PM exbrnxgrl wrote:

Thanks jelson! I feel a little bit perplexed but let’s put this thread back to it’s 14 year old slumber

Bilateral mx 9/7/11 with one step ns reconstruction. As of 11/21/11, 2cm met to upper left femur Dx 7/8/2011, IDC, Left, 4cm, Grade 1, 1/15 nodes, mets, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 9/7/2011 Lymph node removal: Left; Mastectomy: Left, Right; Reconstruction (left); Reconstruction (right) Dx 11/2011, IDC, Left, 4cm, Stage IV, Grade 1, 1/15 nodes, mets, ER+/PR+, HER2- Hormonal Therapy 11/21/2011 Arimidex (anastrozole) Radiation Therapy 11/21/2011 Bone Hormonal Therapy 6/19/2014 Femara (letrozole) Hormonal Therapy Aromasin (exemestane)

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