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View Full Version : anyone dealing with arm lymphedema and horsecare/handling?



gingerbread
Mar. 29, 2010, 06:40 PM
I am righthanded and had a right mastectomy.
Anyone out there dealing with how to do all their horse care/horsehandling activities carefully, to avoid lymphedema? I have not had it yet but my arm feels odd today after much grooming and practicing trotting my horse in hand. (shoveling 2 stalls as well)I feel it may be lymphedema (see doctor in 2 days)and am very discouraged.

PineTreeFarm
Mar. 29, 2010, 10:33 PM
I am righthanded and had a right mastectomy.
Anyone out there dealing with how to do all their horse care/horsehandling activities carefully, to avoid lymphedema? I have not had it yet but my arm feels odd today after much grooming and practicing trotting my horse in hand. (shoveling 2 stalls as well)I feel it may be lymphedema (see doctor in 2 days)and am very discouraged.

So far I've been able to avoid lymphedema but I'm very,very careful. The rule from the Dr was lift no more than 10 lbs on the bad side.
From time to time I do get some swelling but elevating the arm at night helps as does massage ( my oncologist provided me with a list of massage practioners - not all are OK , they need additional training). The Dr may prescribe a compression sleeve. I have one that I'm supposed to use for flying.
I use it anytime my arm will be under strain. Gardening and shopping can also cause some mild swelling.
The problem isn't going to go away. I've learned to live with it and compensate for it by using the good side more.

gingerbread
Apr. 4, 2010, 08:01 PM
Thanks for the input. My swelling did go away by the time I saw my doctor, but this is a bit of a wake-up call to take better care of myself. I have seen women who have developed serious, permanent swelling and don't want to be one of them.
Will cultivate the good arm, as suggested, and be much more mindful of the compromised side. I'm feeling so healthy and good lately that I forget about all that crazy breast cancer stuff...

FalseImpression
Apr. 4, 2010, 09:26 PM
I have been very lucky that, ten years post mastectomy, I have never experienced lymphedema. I was very careful at first not to do too much with my right arm, not to carry grocery bags with that arm. I remember one day working in the garden when it hit me that I should stop! Everything in moderation is the key! and rest often.

I also, even now, refuse to have any needle or blood test in that arm.

ToTheNines
Apr. 4, 2010, 11:27 PM
Just some words of encouragement.... I had right breast lumpectomy, 15 lymph nodes removed, and radiation in 1996 and never got lymphedema. I don't remember being especially careful either -- I was determined to do the same farm chores and riding activities as before. I have been careful to not get shots and have blood pressure taken in that arm though. Had right mastectomy a few months ago, with incredibly good recovery too.

2DogsFarm
Apr. 20, 2010, 07:03 AM
Like ToTheNines, I had lumpectomy, lymphectomy & radiation 12 years ago.

I was left with some very minor lymphedema but it has not interfered with my riding or barn chores.

Like others said, just insist that BP be taken from your left arm, same for injections.

FWIW:
the weekend after I finished radiation TX I rode in a Horse Trial.
Finished 2nd in my division :)

Heather1
Aug. 28, 2011, 11:01 AM
Hi, realise it's some time since you posted and things may have changed, but would suggest that if you have aching or feelings of heaviness in the arm, you have it examined. Combined decongestive therapy (manual lymph drainage, compression bandaging, skin care, exercise then compression garment) is the treatment of choice currently for lymphoedema. There is some disagreement as to whether in early stages CDT should be used, or just a compression garment supplied, I would go for the former if you can get it. If you haven't been offered this, sugggest you look at the North American Dr Vodder School website, for therapists and advice.