So, I had a series of appointments with a physical therapist who purportedly specialized in lymphedema treatment several months ago. I had no visible swelling at that point and had actually asked my surgeon for a referral to a PT to help with scarring under my arm (full ALND). Let's just say I was not impressed and I've since looked online and can not find her listed on any of the lymphedema certification lists of therapists.
Now I have visible swelling in my upper arm as well as aching, etc. I know I need help. My surgeon has since retired so I asked my GP for a referral. Unfortunately, when the referral appointment call came, it was for the same therapist I saw last time. I plan to call the one place nearby who have certified LANA therapists and find out if they take my insurance and if they will see me.
In the meantime, I'm hoping some folks on here with personal experience and, hopefully, competent therapy sessions, can help answer some questions on how I can optimize my self care.
I'm trying to drink lots of water, do the exercises and MLD that the first therapist taught me, and elevate the arm. I also do wear a compression sleeve. Unfortunately, I have no confidence in what I'm doing as every time I tried asking the therapist for clarification on exactly how to do the exercises or MLD or which to do first (exercises or MLD), or whether to perform MLD on bare skin or through clothes, etc., her standard response was "it doesn't matter."
Does it matter? What do you find most helpful when combating new swelling? Any online resources that you have found especially effective?
6/2016, ILC, Both breasts, 2cm, Grade 2, ER+/PR+, HER2-
7/28/2016 Lymph node removal: Left, Sentinel; Mastectomy
8/31/2016 AC + T (Taxol)
9/7/2016 Femara (letrozole), Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone)
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