Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Week three of little lymph massage

I am so tired of being sick. Not 'cos I feel ill, 'cos I don't, but because it means I cannot do lymph massage.
Got better last week 'cos stayed home on Tuesday and doctored myself, so on Friday saw The Lymph Lady. "You sure you better? Sure you want to do this (lymph massage)?" she asked. I was sure. And sure enough, later that day I became worse.
By Saturday I was much better, so left the massage till was certain I was ok. On Sunday night The Yoga Man said I was still a little nasal, so decided not to go to gym the next morning (haven't been for weeks now). But when I woke up on Monday, felt so great that decided to do lymph massage. And true enough, an hour and a half later, I had a cold.
By today, I was what we call in Afrikaans gatvol (at the end of my tether). So off I went to the doctor.
I have a sinus infection. He said I will feel better soon-soon. So will be able to go back to gym by Monday, will be able to see The Lymph Lady for another session on Monday too, and hopefully, will be able to do manual lymph drainage massage "as soon as I feel better", which should hopefully be within a day or two. Start the medication tomorrow, with breakfast.
* Oh, one thing I was delighted about. My resting heart rate used to be 80. That was post treatment, with minimal cardio allowed.
Then earlier this year I was allowed to up my cardio to about 70% of my heart capacity. I have been meaning to measure my heart rate again but haven't done so and today the doctor confirmed what I had thought/seen on the machines at the gym. My resting heart rate is now 72. He said that is standard. Chuffed, cos cardio is still capped. So shows I went back to an ok level of fitness pretty quickly.

Monday, July 18, 2011

to wear or not to wear that damn sleeve

The Yoga Man thinks I have adult asthma. It's much worse than the childhood one, he says, which just goes away.
Don't you think you're being a bit dramatic, I ask. It's just flu, only been a week.... I mumble.
Exactly, he says. Dramatic. That fits you.
Bloody hell.....
Anyway, the fact is I am still sick. Would normally not give a damn. Yes my chest feels tight, yes my voice is not that great (it sounds gravelly) but I mostly feel fine.
The trouble is that I cannot do lymph massage when I am sick. And the days are passing and I am not getting better.
Is this tight chest caused from Herceptin, I wonder. Or am I just being neurotic. (Only last night read Joanna's blog, Life has its ups and downs  which referred to how, once you're had cancer, every little niggly pain becomes a major calamity.)
But my arm is not feeling great. So do I wear the sleeve? Wear it, says The Yoga Man, who doesn't think the sleeve is a big deal at all. Not sure I have the courage. It fills me with despair. Will see how I feel tomorrow. Just pulled up the sleeve of my t-shirt and looked at my arm. It looked fine to me. Will decide tomorrow. Maybe I will stay home tomorrow - again - (did so one day last week too) in an attempt to shake off this lurgy once and for all - for the sake of my arm and my anxiety re lymphedema.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

no lymph massage for a week

Got sick again. Had sore throat on Monday, stayed home and got better. Was fine on Tuesday and Wednesday, then sick again on Thursday and by Friday had almost no voice. So have not been able to do lymph massage. That is my biggest problem. Not being sick, which is minor. Just hope my arm is ok.
Otherwise, have really enjoyed the extra time this has allowed me. Gym time too. Look, prefer going to gym and would rather do lymph massage and know I am doing my bit to help prevent lymphedema but the plus side is that I have been reading and reading.... even before work on Friday - and that is just too wonderful!!
At the moment reading Ivan Vladislavic's Double Negative, which was shortlisted for the (South African) Sunday Times's Fiction Award - he has won both that and the Sunday Times Non-Fiction award in the past. And also finished this year's winning novel, Young Blood by Sifiso Mzobe, which is about a young school drop-out turned car thief in Umlazi township in Durban. Ivan's novel is about a young varsity dropout during apartheid and then post-apartheid in South Africa.

Sunday, July 10, 2011


Was driving to see The Lymph Lady the other day when I thought: Oh well, if I have lymphedema, then maybe that's the price I have to pay for not having cancer.
"What an about-turn!" remarked The Lymph Lady, and I suppose it is a change in attitude.
Meanwhile, though, happy to report that I don't have lymphedema. Still borderline though. Most recently my arm was up 4mm at the top though. I am now going only twice a month but did communicate with her via SMS today though, even though it's a Sunday, cos have had an incredibly sore throat which is possibly caused from blocked sinusus forcing me to breathe through my mouth. Didn't do my manual lymph drainage massage yesterday and contacted her to ask her what to do, but by the time she had responded had already done it. She said to wait another day and see how I feel, so I won't do it tonight. (Doing the massage when you are ill just makes the lymphedema/borderline lymphedema worse.)
Anybody else out there doing regular lymph drainage massage?