A while ago, by accident, I discovered an excruciating stretch that seemed to clear up the armpit, side and rib cage lymphedema I've had since radiation. The improvement in the swelling in those areas has been profound and so far, permanent (its only been a few weeks).
The swelling in my arm and hand are somewhat improved. I don't wear my sleeve as often. Some days I don't feel that weird, tight sensation on my hand at all and then I think, wow, I never once thought about my arm / hand all day. Other days it really bugs me.
The swelling in my breast continues, unchanged. At the last ultrasound I had Dec 1, the tech was trying to get all my scars recorded and she said, 'I'll have to get this one down here too'. This one 'down here' wasn't a scar. It's where my breast swells and oozes around my underwire, leaving a deep, angry gouge in my boob every day. To her it looked like a scar. No, just a lot of really nasty and painful swelling. She even commented that the edema in my breast was clearly visible on the ultrasound.
This is what is puzzling and upsetting to me. Every time I lay on the floor and do those stretches, it hurts like hell. It's like in the course of a day all my chest tissues shrink, seize up, bind together and it's like I gain no ground exercise-wise. It hurts just as bad now as the first time I did it. I keep thinking that like all physical work in the past, it gets easier and you get better as you keep doing it. Until now. Every time I stretch it feels like I've never done it before! Is it going to be like this the rest of my life? What is going on in my body that those muscles or ligaments or whatever they are just keep shrinking and seizing up?
I used to be quit flexible. When I lay on the floor, flat on my back, arms straight above my head, one arm lays flat on the floor. But the other, the bad boob arm, it hovers just an inch or so off the floor. It cannot lay flat! And I wonder, is this radiation? Is this because something in my armpit was cut digging for lymph nodes? I guess I may never know for sure. But does anyone else find that each day it's like they've never done their exercises before? It feels like it's the first time you've ever asked your body to move that way? Or will this angry radiated boob and underlying structures ever settle down and get better? (But I am happy to no longer wake up with that thick, heavy feeling under my arm, like I was carrying a stack of school books under there!)
3/23/2017, IDC, Left, 2cm, Stage IIB, Grade 2, 0/1 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
4/12/2017 Lumpectomy: Left; Lymph node removal: Sentinel
7/5/2017 Whole-breast: Breast
Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone)
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