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Jun 16, 2018 10:24AM
I don't have lymphedema. I was fitted for sleeves and gauntlets and wear them for flights over an hour, heavy yard work, and my dance class if I have any swelling for any reason (like hot weather). There's no research that shows this to prevent lymphedema, but it has been the consistent recommendation of every medical provider except my surgeon (who said "you won't get lymphedema," a statement that can't be supported). However, I've had several friends who developed lymphedema after shoveling or raking, and possibly after a flight. One person knew she was doing heavy yard work without sunblock or a sleeve, but kept going and had a month-long LE flare.
For exercise or other exertion of the arms, the recommendation is to build up gradually, stop what you're doing if it begins to hurt (in other words, no "feel the burn!" business), and to alternate different uses of the arm. I'm about to go outside to garden. That means sunblock and long gloves to prevent damage to the skin, and rotating my activities (15 minutes shoveling holes, a short break and some water, then 15 minutes of planting).
It's hard to sort out, but I'd rather do something that may be preventive. If nothing else, it provides the peace of mind of knowing I did what I could.
Mutant uprising quashed.
1/2015, IDC, Right, Stage IIA, 1/1 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
1/2015, DCIS, Left, Stage 0, Grade 3, 0/2 nodes
Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone)
Lymph node removal: Sentinel; Mastectomy: Left, Right
Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Taxotere (docetaxel)