Survivor Celebration - Inspiring and Empowering Cancer Survivors

Hey Survivor Sisters. I've been going to physical therapy for my recently diagnosed lymphedema and it's been great. I'm 5 years cancer free and I wish I had had this physical therapy 4 years ago. I thought I would get relief for, what I've been told is incurable lymphedema, and at least keep the slight swelling in check. The swelling in my hand has actually been reduced by 10 cm so far. 

The best part is the massages I've been getting that are breaking up the scar tissue at the surgery site. It is bringing the circulation back and the radiation burns are starting to fade. I am getting feeling back at the surgery site, too. These are great extra perks that I didn't expect. Especially after so much time has passed.

So Sisters, if you haven't already done so, take advantage of the services offered by your hospital, if you can. Next month I'm going to a free lymphedema lecture, to learn more about the most recent treatments, risk reduction practices, and precautions.

 Also check out this website: http://www.lymphedivas.com.

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Comment by A.J. Ali on October 24, 2012 at 4:58pm

That's awesome.  I'll share this info with Jane too.  I think she'll be very interested in us featuring programming about this at the Miracle Wellness Center.  I wish you and Earl could come see the place (www.mwcbaltimore.com).  It's amazing.  I hope to open our west coast wellness retreat center soon!  

Comment by Denise Billings on October 24, 2012 at 4:53pm
Yes, A.J. I think that would be a good idea. I found out that once the lymph nodes are removed they don't come back and the work they did to keep the lymphatic fluid flowing stops. It builds up and causes swelling. The Physical therapy manually drains the fluids and the compression gloves and sleeves keeps the swelling in check.

I also found out that the lymphedema can occur anywhere up to 30 years after cancer treatment, and there are ways to avoid the bad swelling. Like wearing a compression sleeve while flying.

Sadly the doctors don't know a lot about lymphedema. They figure once they've gotten rid of the cancer, their pretty much done. I've learned kinder, gentler ways to maintain my range of motion near the surgery site, too. My physical therapist is passionate about our treatment and is always on the lookout for the latest developments and she gives the monthly lectures, to patients and doctors and nurses. Spreading the good news.
Comment by A.J. Ali on October 24, 2012 at 4:02pm

This sounds like something we need to explore and do at our wellness center in Baltimore!  

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