Tuesday, August 10, 2010

a traumatic week

My arm has been giving me hassles. Well, when I saw The Lymph Lady two weeks ago, it was up. And I was shocked. But then it did not seem to go down. So I contacted her and got an extra appointment. And it was up again. And I was flying to Durban for the weekend. And although it's a one hour and 10 minutes flight, with my arm being up two weeks in a row (never happened before, she said I should wear a compression sleeve. I have been high risk for lymphedema since the week I finished radiation over a week ago but this was the worst it had been.
Well, I was devastated. Off to a hot place and I would have to wear long sleeves. Worst of all, it was my birthday over the weekend and I would spend it in a damn compression sleeve.
Well I have worn one now for five days. Plus she used kinesio tape on my arm and my upper back, a type of bandage which she said would act like a continual lymph massage drainage.
Well, my arm was damn sore this weekend. Each day started off fine but by about 9pm or later, I would be in agony, desperate to tear off the sleeve. I was in despair. Then by last night it felt better.
Today I saw The Lymph Lady. She measured both my arms and surprise surprise, my left arm, the one which she now calls "borderline lymphedema" (she used to call it "at high risk of lymphedema", was thinner than my right arm, except for the very top, which was the same measurement. Furthermore, my left arm was done everywhere except the very top.
It was also decided that I had some kind of infection (I told her I thought it was sinuses or something...Whatever it is, spent the weekend blowing my nose.)
Anyway, it has been decided that I will continue to wear the sleeve till I feel better, do no lymph drainage massage till I am better (she also declined to do it today), and do no gym till I feel better.
Yet now that it seems I won't need to wear this sleeve permanently, I feel jovial and in better spirits.
Also, had tests today.Chest x-ray - fine. Abdominal and pelvic scan - fine. muga - mmmmmm, down again.It was in the 70s pre-treatment, down to 65 six months ago, and 60 today. The Lymph Lady advised no exercise - no yoga tonight,no gym tomorrow - until I see The Tango Man tomorrow.
Only he can determine the seriousness of lack of it of the muga scan but it does show that the herceptin has affected my heart. A rate of 60 is still within normal rate but I am uncertain as to whether the decline is normal or not.
The severe strain I have been under is gone; but still have the problem of getting blood test results tomorrow - tumour marker, liver function etc.....
Oh, planning to go out straight from work tomorrow so not sure when will post results.
Funny, been delaying writing this post for a week cos felt seriously depressed about it. Much more cheerful today since it seems I might not need to wear the sleeve permanently. Well,I have to do one day on, one day off when I get better, but somehow I feel cheered. I do not want to a compression sleeve permanently. It is a big deal for me.

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