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Topic: Swollen arm, elbow, wrist, hand

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: Sep 19, 2021 01:38AM

Veeder14 wrote:

Hi I haven't had any swelling issues since surgery however I fell 4 days ago and broke my shoulder/humerous. will see orthopedics on Monday. the swelling has been moving down my arm a little bit more each day. I'm really scared about this hand swelling, its so puffy. I wonder if missing 7 lymphnodes in the arm pit is contributing to the swelling. Any one have a similar situation. Does this sound like an emergency? Keeping arm in sling.

Dx 1/2/2018, ILC, Left, <1cm, Stage IB, Grade 1, 0/7 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 1/25/2018 Lumpectomy: Left; Lymph node removal: Sentinel Radiation Therapy 3/7/2018 Hormonal Therapy 2/28/2019 Hormonal Therapy
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Oct 1, 2021 11:53PM SerenitySTAT wrote:

Oh, I meant shoulder mobility. When I hurt my shoulders, I couldn't raise my arm much at first. It took a long time before I could raise my arm above my shoulder.


"Do not overlook the little joys!" (Hesse, 1905) 💉💉🐶☕️🛀🖼🥐🌲🎭 Dx 11/2015 IDC L IIIC 10/11 nodes ++-, 12/2015 L Mast, 2/2016 4 AC+12 Taxol fasted, 9/2016 Rads Nodes Chest wall 15+4 boosts, 10/2016 Tamox, 4/2019 Exemestane, 12/2019 Ibrance/Xgeva
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Oct 2, 2021 02:46AM Veeder14 wrote:

Shoulder mobility about zer

Dx 1/2/2018, ILC, Left, <1cm, Stage IB, Grade 1, 0/7 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 1/25/2018 Lumpectomy: Left; Lymph node removal: Sentinel Radiation Therapy 3/7/2018 Hormonal Therapy 2/28/2019 Hormonal Therapy
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Oct 2, 2021 10:10AM SerenitySTAT wrote:

You must still be in so much pain. I remember the pain waking me up just from moving a little. Changing clothes was challenging.

Do you take supplements? Magnesium and vitamin B12 are good for nerve problems. Go easy with magnesium. Too much at once leads to diarrhea.

Since your arm movement is limited, you could focus on your hand. Throughout the day just open/close your hand, tap your fingers, or touch each finger to your thumb. Do MLD on your hand. You can try to do the breathing exercise while keeping your left arm still. It will help with overall lymphatic movement.

Hope each day you see some improvement.

"Do not overlook the little joys!" (Hesse, 1905) 💉💉🐶☕️🛀🖼🥐🌲🎭 Dx 11/2015 IDC L IIIC 10/11 nodes ++-, 12/2015 L Mast, 2/2016 4 AC+12 Taxol fasted, 9/2016 Rads Nodes Chest wall 15+4 boosts, 10/2016 Tamox, 4/2019 Exemestane, 12/2019 Ibrance/Xgeva
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Oct 2, 2021 07:43PM Veeder14 wrote:

SerenitySTAT

Yes, this is the most pain I've ever been in and for such a longtime. I'm avoiding the narcotics because I don't want to be sick to my stomach. Hard to fall asleep and the pain wakes me up.

I take B12 shots so glad to hear that helps nerve pain. Haven't tried magnesium.

I am moving my fingers frequently to help push the fluid out. My hand is so swollen that I can't touch my fingers to my thumb. thanks for all your support and suggestions.

Dx 1/2/2018, ILC, Left, <1cm, Stage IB, Grade 1, 0/7 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 1/25/2018 Lumpectomy: Left; Lymph node removal: Sentinel Radiation Therapy 3/7/2018 Hormonal Therapy 2/28/2019 Hormonal Therapy
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Oct 2, 2021 11:21PM SerenitySTAT wrote:

This is one of the worst pains. It's surprising how involved your shoulders are in most movements.

What do you take for pain? I've been able to take narcotics when required, but have you checked if there's an alternative? Being in constant pain can prolong nerve pain. For severe sciatic pain I took a combination of Lyrica, an anti-inflammatory, a muscle relaxant, and an opioid (as needed). I no longer take any of them, but I did resist taking them at first. I found rehab exercises worked better when the meds reduced the pain first.

Are you able to do MLD on your hand? I have a facial massage roller that would probably work for hand massage. They're not expensive.

Hope you can get some sleep tonight.

"Do not overlook the little joys!" (Hesse, 1905) 💉💉🐶☕️🛀🖼🥐🌲🎭 Dx 11/2015 IDC L IIIC 10/11 nodes ++-, 12/2015 L Mast, 2/2016 4 AC+12 Taxol fasted, 9/2016 Rads Nodes Chest wall 15+4 boosts, 10/2016 Tamox, 4/2019 Exemestane, 12/2019 Ibrance/Xgeva
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Oct 3, 2021 01:44AM Veeder14 wrote:

Worst pain in my life. I've been getting Toradol injections, taking Extra Strength Tylenol, Muscle relaxant some nights, and a compound cream with 2 muscle relaxants, gabapentin, and lidocaine.

I literally can't get out of bed if taking narcotics due to nausea, dizziness so couldn't even think about taking that and going to therapy. Will talk with my doctor this week about meds.

I think I can do MLD on my hand, I have a small massage roller to use.



Dx 1/2/2018, ILC, Left, <1cm, Stage IB, Grade 1, 0/7 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 1/25/2018 Lumpectomy: Left; Lymph node removal: Sentinel Radiation Therapy 3/7/2018 Hormonal Therapy 2/28/2019 Hormonal Therapy
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Oct 3, 2021 04:50PM SerenitySTAT wrote:

I did have to increase my Lyrica dosage so you might be able to do the same if you haven't been on Gabapentin long.

Hope your doctor can prescribe something else.

"Do not overlook the little joys!" (Hesse, 1905) 💉💉🐶☕️🛀🖼🥐🌲🎭 Dx 11/2015 IDC L IIIC 10/11 nodes ++-, 12/2015 L Mast, 2/2016 4 AC+12 Taxol fasted, 9/2016 Rads Nodes Chest wall 15+4 boosts, 10/2016 Tamox, 4/2019 Exemestane, 12/2019 Ibrance/Xgeva
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Oct 4, 2021 06:27AM catchphase wrote:

hi

My daughter had lymphedema and the only thing she was prescribed was oral morph

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Oct 4, 2021 06:31AM catchphase wrote:

My daughter also under went a lumpectomy the surgeon didn't remove all of the cancer she didn't receive and radiation and went with out any further treatment for 12 weeks. Anyone else know someone that was in a similar situation and what was the outcome

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Oct 4, 2021 09:31AM Veeder14 wrote:

I’ll see the surgeon Friday and will discuss painmeds. I’m wondering about lidocaine patches so the arm feels numb temporarily. Anyone hear of that for treatment?


Dx 1/2/2018, ILC, Left, <1cm, Stage IB, Grade 1, 0/7 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 1/25/2018 Lumpectomy: Left; Lymph node removal: Sentinel Radiation Therapy 3/7/2018 Hormonal Therapy 2/28/2019 Hormonal Therapy
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Oct 4, 2021 09:39AM Veeder14 wrote:

Catchphase

Thanks for your input regarding pain meds. Are you looking for another surgeon to remove the remaining cancer your daughter has and to receive further treatment of radiation


Dx 1/2/2018, ILC, Left, <1cm, Stage IB, Grade 1, 0/7 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 1/25/2018 Lumpectomy: Left; Lymph node removal: Sentinel Radiation Therapy 3/7/2018 Hormonal Therapy 2/28/2019 Hormonal Therapy
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Oct 10, 2021 01:08PM SerenitySTAT wrote:

How's recovery going? Hope you have less swelling and pain.

"Do not overlook the little joys!" (Hesse, 1905) 💉💉🐶☕️🛀🖼🥐🌲🎭 Dx 11/2015 IDC L IIIC 10/11 nodes ++-, 12/2015 L Mast, 2/2016 4 AC+12 Taxol fasted, 9/2016 Rads Nodes Chest wall 15+4 boosts, 10/2016 Tamox, 4/2019 Exemestane, 12/2019 Ibrance/Xgeva
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Oct 10, 2021 03:29PM Veeder14 wrote:

Hi SerenitySTAT,

I am having less pain but I think the pain I'm having is from muscle spasms all up and down my arm, especially at my elbow. Who knows what pressure was being put on my arm during the surgery in addition to the fall. I'm going to ask PT if she can release some of the knots. The swelling is going down but my fingers are still quite swollen. I'll ask the LE therapist tomorrow about that. The compression for my arm hurts and seems to make my elbow more tight so I'll ask about that also. Compression isn't suppose to cause pain is it? My surgeon gave me a referral for regular PT and I hope to get in this week.

Dx 1/2/2018, ILC, Left, <1cm, Stage IB, Grade 1, 0/7 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 1/25/2018 Lumpectomy: Left; Lymph node removal: Sentinel Radiation Therapy 3/7/2018 Hormonal Therapy 2/28/2019 Hormonal Therapy
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Oct 10, 2021 04:20PM SerenitySTAT wrote:

Compression shouldn't cause more pain. Does it feel too tight? Any feedback on kinesiotaping?

Magnesium deficiency can cause muscle spasms. Try getting it from multiple sources throughout the day. Right now I take a tablet at night and eat prunes (also good for bones). I used to drink magnesium calm, but I don't feel the need anymore.

Nerve issues can cause both spasms and knots. I don't know if anyone would try to work out your muscle knots while you're so swollen. I had a huge muscle knot from sciatica. I tried deep tissue massage, but what eventually worked was relaxing the nerve. Taking the muscle relaxant helped.

How much range of motion do you have with your arm/shoulder?

"Do not overlook the little joys!" (Hesse, 1905) 💉💉🐶☕️🛀🖼🥐🌲🎭 Dx 11/2015 IDC L IIIC 10/11 nodes ++-, 12/2015 L Mast, 2/2016 4 AC+12 Taxol fasted, 9/2016 Rads Nodes Chest wall 15+4 boosts, 10/2016 Tamox, 4/2019 Exemestane, 12/2019 Ibrance/Xgeva
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Oct 10, 2021 07:06PM Veeder14 wrote:

ROM I can reach my other shoulder/arm, sitting I can touch my feet. I'll let the LE therapist know about the pain, the tubigrip doesn't feel tight but it's putting pressure on my already sore elbow. I've taken some muscle relaxant but mostly as a topical application. My stomach can't handle so many pills. Forgot to ask about the tape.

Eating black figs, beans, spinach, and milk for magnesium.


Dx 1/2/2018, ILC, Left, <1cm, Stage IB, Grade 1, 0/7 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 1/25/2018 Lumpectomy: Left; Lymph node removal: Sentinel Radiation Therapy 3/7/2018 Hormonal Therapy 2/28/2019 Hormonal Therapy
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Oct 10, 2021 07:37PM SerenitySTAT wrote:

Can you hold your arm out to the side at shoulder level?

If so, you can try this. A few reps slowly throughout the day. Stop if pain increases.


"Do not overlook the little joys!" (Hesse, 1905) 💉💉🐶☕️🛀🖼🥐🌲🎭 Dx 11/2015 IDC L IIIC 10/11 nodes ++-, 12/2015 L Mast, 2/2016 4 AC+12 Taxol fasted, 9/2016 Rads Nodes Chest wall 15+4 boosts, 10/2016 Tamox, 4/2019 Exemestane, 12/2019 Ibrance/Xgeva
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Oct 10, 2021 10:56PM Veeder14 wrote:

I can't move my arm out like that at all. Thanks for the video, it will be much later in recovery to do that motion.

Dx 1/2/2018, ILC, Left, <1cm, Stage IB, Grade 1, 0/7 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 1/25/2018 Lumpectomy: Left; Lymph node removal: Sentinel Radiation Therapy 3/7/2018 Hormonal Therapy 2/28/2019 Hormonal Therapy
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Oct 11, 2021 01:56AM JosieO wrote:

Hi Veeder,

Been following your thread. Will just add a few comments from experience:

- If you take Lyrica, be sensitive to evidence of swelling as a side effect. My mother took it for leg pain and she had swelling of her toes. She switched to generic gabapentin and the swelling went away

- lidocaine patches work well with no side effects. If your insurance won’t cover the 4% lidocaine patches, you can buy the OTC3% lidocaine patches by Salonpas at Walmart and Costco, which has the best pricing.

Hang in there.

JosieO


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Oct 13, 2021 01:04AM Veeder14 wrote:

Hi Josie,

Thanks for your input.

My arm swelling is going down but my hand and particularly my fingers are still swollen, can't bend them very far. LE therapist is doing MLD each time and that helps. Also, she gave me a smaller edema glove and new tubigrip for the arm since the swelling went down. I still have the nerve pain from the elbow down and wondering if one of the arm nerves is trapped/very irritated from the swelling. Trying to keep my elbow straight instead of bent. Will need to check with the doctor if it doesn't go away.

Dx 1/2/2018, ILC, Left, <1cm, Stage IB, Grade 1, 0/7 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 1/25/2018 Lumpectomy: Left; Lymph node removal: Sentinel Radiation Therapy 3/7/2018 Hormonal Therapy 2/28/2019 Hormonal Therapy
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Oct 13, 2021 04:14PM BlueGirlRedState wrote:

Does anything else cause swelling/fluid retention? I have been dealing with lymphedema in R-arm since June 2019. Compression, pumping helped until cancer blew up 11/2020 and became MBC. Switched from Ibrance/Arimidex to Exemestane/Everolimus(Afinitor). Radiation April/May 2021 really knocked down the tumor R-axilla and swelling went way down. Late July at the coast I noticed my L-foot looked like a pancake and leg slightly swollen, calf had edema rings from socks. Pumping/elevation help. But now getting some swelling in R- leg as well. Probably have about 5 pounds of water retained in legs. MO says it is probably the cancer. Now wearing compression stockings that almost go to crotch on both legs. I urinate regularly ( every 2-3 hrs). Any diuretic teas ?

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Oct 13, 2021 11:48PM SerenitySTAT wrote:

Veeder - Glad that the arm swelling is going down. When I first had LE my hand would swell more when I walked with my arm swinging. I had less hand swelling when I held my arm close to my body.

BlueGirlRedState - Have you checked with your PCP to see if they can find a different cause for your leg edema?

"Do not overlook the little joys!" (Hesse, 1905) 💉💉🐶☕️🛀🖼🥐🌲🎭 Dx 11/2015 IDC L IIIC 10/11 nodes ++-, 12/2015 L Mast, 2/2016 4 AC+12 Taxol fasted, 9/2016 Rads Nodes Chest wall 15+4 boosts, 10/2016 Tamox, 4/2019 Exemestane, 12/2019 Ibrance/Xgeva
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Oct 13, 2021 11:56PM Veeder14 wrote:

Hi SerenitySTAT

I am trying to keep my arm up but not bent all day so the swelling doesn't pool up at my elbow. I really wish my fingers would unswell so I can use my hand. The LE Therapist looked at the previous compression glove 15-20 and said that's too much at this point. I'm using an edema glove for now.

Dx 1/2/2018, ILC, Left, <1cm, Stage IB, Grade 1, 0/7 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 1/25/2018 Lumpectomy: Left; Lymph node removal: Sentinel Radiation Therapy 3/7/2018 Hormonal Therapy 2/28/2019 Hormonal Therapy
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Oct 14, 2021 12:17AM SerenitySTAT wrote:

I'm left-handed, so when my left hand was swollen it was a pain. I already do most things right-handed, but I'm a lefty!

I hope your hand can recover soon like mine did. I'm still tapping my fingers out of habit now.

How do you hold your arm up? I have a foam roller that's the right height to hold my arm at shoulder level when I'm sitting. I used to sleep with my arm on a pillow.

"Do not overlook the little joys!" (Hesse, 1905) 💉💉🐶☕️🛀🖼🥐🌲🎭 Dx 11/2015 IDC L IIIC 10/11 nodes ++-, 12/2015 L Mast, 2/2016 4 AC+12 Taxol fasted, 9/2016 Rads Nodes Chest wall 15+4 boosts, 10/2016 Tamox, 4/2019 Exemestane, 12/2019 Ibrance/Xgeva
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Oct 14, 2021 11:23PM Veeder14 wrote:

I’m left handed also and this is a pain having to be right handed for now. Thanks, I hope my hand recovers soon so at least I can type and stuff like that while being non weight bearing. I’m using a pillow to prop up my arm when sitting. When laying down it’s too painful to have my arm and elbow ona pillow pressing against it so just putting my arm by my side.

Dx 1/2/2018, ILC, Left, <1cm, Stage IB, Grade 1, 0/7 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 1/25/2018 Lumpectomy: Left; Lymph node removal: Sentinel Radiation Therapy 3/7/2018 Hormonal Therapy 2/28/2019 Hormonal Therapy
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Oct 22, 2021 09:52PM SerenitySTAT wrote:

How's your recovery going? Hope you have less pain and swelling.

"Do not overlook the little joys!" (Hesse, 1905) 💉💉🐶☕️🛀🖼🥐🌲🎭 Dx 11/2015 IDC L IIIC 10/11 nodes ++-, 12/2015 L Mast, 2/2016 4 AC+12 Taxol fasted, 9/2016 Rads Nodes Chest wall 15+4 boosts, 10/2016 Tamox, 4/2019 Exemestane, 12/2019 Ibrance/Xgeva
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Oct 22, 2021 11:29PM Veeder14 wrote:

Hi SerenitySTAT,

Thanks for checking in with me. Recovery is moving along slowly. Had first visit with PT and she loosened up the muscles where my shoulder meets my chest. I do have less nerve pain now, she thinks that was part of the problem not at my elbow. LE Therapist measurements are down in all areas of my hand/arm. We might try my regular sleeve and glove this week. My hand/fingers are still swollen and they turn blue but all the bruises are gone. After I take a walk in the park my hand is regular color from circulation improvement while moving.

Dx 1/2/2018, ILC, Left, <1cm, Stage IB, Grade 1, 0/7 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 1/25/2018 Lumpectomy: Left; Lymph node removal: Sentinel Radiation Therapy 3/7/2018 Hormonal Therapy 2/28/2019 Hormonal Therapy
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Oct 23, 2021 09:43AM SerenitySTAT wrote:

Progress! 👍

Recovery takes longer than we want, but hopefully it goes in the right direction. You may have some setbacks as you try to do more, but just keep up your rehab gently.


"Do not overlook the little joys!" (Hesse, 1905) 💉💉🐶☕️🛀🖼🥐🌲🎭 Dx 11/2015 IDC L IIIC 10/11 nodes ++-, 12/2015 L Mast, 2/2016 4 AC+12 Taxol fasted, 9/2016 Rads Nodes Chest wall 15+4 boosts, 10/2016 Tamox, 4/2019 Exemestane, 12/2019 Ibrance/Xgeva

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