Tuesday, November 29, 2011

A different kind of lymph massage

Since the week I finished radiation two years ago, I have been seeing The Lymph Lady. I don't have lymphedema but am high risk for it and in the past while, as in the last month, my arm has not been good because I travelled long distance (from South Africa to Paris and then Budapest) and also because I was ill before I went (sinus and tight chest and had to go on a nebuliser, even on the day I flew out) and also when I came home, and so could not do lymph massage. I did it a few time while on holiday before I became ill again, but started again on Friday.
So my arm has been a little haywire and I wore the compression sleeve for most of my trip but as it was the dead of winter, well, really only autumn but freezing for me, it didn't matter much as I also wore gloves.
Anyway The Lymph Lady is away. More than that, she had first one op on one arm and then another on the other arm and so cannot work else it won't heal. And she is unavailable till January 23 although she did see me briefly to measure my arm cos I was panicking. 
So I saw Lymph Lady 2 today. My goodness. Have seen her before as a physiotherapist. Lymph Lady Original is an occupational therapist. It appears (and I am talking here from what I can see from a website) is that she is Casley-Smith trained, which is one form of lymph treatment. Lymph Lady 2 might have a different training. It took place in Germany recently. She also did a nerve/neural stretch which Lymph Lady Original told me should never be done without movement (my biokineticist had done it on my arm).
But the most astonishing thing about Lymph Lady 2's treatment was how rough it was. Instead of gentle yet firm movements which move the lymph, this was an aggressive assault on my body, penetrating deep into the lymph nodes in the groin area, and aggressively manipulating the lymph nodes around my neck and on my back and...
Amazingly, my arm felt remarkably better afterwards, a more noted transformation than I have felt with The Lymph Lady. But now I am sore under my armpit, possibly as a result of yoga tonight. And when I did a hanging dog pose at yoga tonight, my arm hurt the same as with a neural stretch, and so I had to come out of the pose.
Am very curious to hear about others' experiences of manual lymph drainage massage.


  1. Hi Gillian

    Thank you for documenting your journey. I went back to your first posts to see how you started off because I'm in the early stages of my journey.

    4 months into chemo for triple neg BC, agressive but early stage i.e. no lymph nodes involved. Got two months to go (yeehaw), then one final breast reconstruction op (had double mast. Mis my old girls quite a bit but accepting the perky barbie look at 40-something.

    Identify with much of what you experienced terms of side-effects - eish!! The fatigue, food ups and downs, tummy issues etc. Except that my hair has only gone extremely thin - it hasn't completely disappeared (now understand the benefits of the er... "comb over" men are famous for. The type of chemo I'm doesn't include the red devils. I was so grateful for not having to lose my hair - admire all ladies who cope with it well, I think it would have floored me. I bow to your grace and creativity with the stunning range of hats.

    Because I read on one of your posts that there were only a few comments - trust me, loads of ladies are finding and reading your story :-) keep on truckin. Don't matter if not a lot of comments. You're helping many "travellers".

    All the very best, hope all is OK now after your most recent post.


  2. Thanks so much for your comments. Really, really appreciate them and feel touched that you find my blog helpful.
    Wanna know what's interesting. Reading all you said about the side-effects I had from the chemo, I realised that I had mostly forgotten about them. And that is truly amazing. Yes, I do remember having throat thrush and not being able to eat solids and living off chicken corn soup from the Chinese restaurant - was talking about it today in fact - but the rest have almost dwindled away in my memory.
    Anyway, thanks again for your comments. And yes, arm is much better thanks. Will write a post hopefully tomorrow. It's quite late now - almost midnight - and been busy, busy all day.