Improved Edemic Arm Measurement
Saturday, February 12, 2011
I have chronic acute secondary edema in my right arm caused by axial node dissection followed by radiation and, of course, my lifestyle.
After the surgeries and radiation I did not pamper my arm as I perhaps should have. I was adamant that I was not going to let my cancer diagnosis and subsequent protocols interfere with or alter my lifestyle.
Don't get me wrong; I did not deliberately flout the advice I researched (yes, researched, because at the time NO ONE on my health team even mentioned lymphadema or the risk that I may develop it). Naturally, as soon as I was feeling better I was out in my garden, chopping out stumps and digging my pond by hand , . .
Yes, you betcha, I developed lymphadema, big time.
So in the course of having to alter many daily things I sometimes even went in the opposite direction - babying my arm.
I decided that while it could get worse I was going to forge ahead and do more strength training for my upper body, shoulders & arms with free weights. I purchased a Harley Pasternak DVD set that is really, really good. The fact that he's not too hard on the eyes helps as well.
Yesterday I went to my specialist fitter to get the annual measurements taken for the custom compression sleeves I must wear 24/7. Never have the measurements decreased over the past 10 years.
Never until yesterday, that is.
All measurements were down, some as much as 2.5 cm, EXCEPT for my bicep, which had a .75 cm increase. My specialist was thrilled as was I. I can even see musculature in my arm, whereas before all you could see was a swollen mushy mass, and it's only been 5 weeks since I seriously began the program (I used to kinda, sorta toy with weights in the past, again never pushing myself lest I "hurt my arm").
Do I have motivation to continue with the strength training?
Do fish swim in the sea?
Thank you Harley, for an excellent routine.
Thank you Doreen, my amazing sister, for insisting that I strength train.
Thank you SparkFriends for your never-ending support and encouragement.