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Nov 21, 2012 11:58PM
Lee_S - have you been evaluated for lymphedema? I know that's always a possibility when lymph nodes are removed.
Right after my BMX in December 2011, I had VISIBLE swelling in my abdomen - I looked 8 months pregnant!!! What was not so visible was the feeling of having golf balls under my armpits. I walked like John Wayne - with my arms out to the sides.
I had an SNB on the left, with 3 nodes removed. The bandage that was wrapped around me in the OR was so tight I thought my arms would fall off. There were huge dents in the tissue all around the top.
Both surgeons examined me post-op, and said everything was fine. However, when I met with my MO 3 weeks later, she told me I had a small seroma in my left armpit that would go away on its own. It did.
The numbness in my left armpit which also ran down the back of my left arm was driving me crazy. Now, almost a year later, a lot of the feeling has come back.
HOWEVER - I was cautioned by my medical team to never shave under my arms with a razor again. I should only use an electric shaver, as the razor blade causes tiny cuts in the skin as it removes the hair. With the risk of LE being so high, they said that using a razor was a sure way for bacteria to enter the area where the lymph nodes were removed, so stay away from the razor blades!
9/15/2011, IDC, <1cm, Stage IA, Grade 2, 0/3 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
12/4/2011 Lymph node removal: Left; Mastectomy: Left, Right; Reconstruction (left): Tissue expander placement; Reconstruction (right): Tissue expander placement
8/21/2012 Reconstruction (left); Reconstruction (right)
9/4/2012 Arimidex (anastrozole)
10/21/2013 Femara (letrozole)