Home Forums Newly Diagnosed Stage III/IV 1 week post-lymphadenectomy experience/tips Reply To: 1 week post-lymphadenectomy experience/tips

#62723
charissa1969
Participant

Hi, Madeleine,

I am so glad you found my post helpful. I can certainly empathize with your concerns about the surgery and beyond. I also mourned the thought of giving up my active lifestyle, primarily clogging and hiking, like you. What I wish someone had told me (though I didn’t express all of my worries at the time) was that you can’t think that far ahead. To be honest, I wish I had been more prepared for dealing with the drain that will be in for +/- 4 weeks. It was uncomfortable and inconvenient, and it messed with my mind more than it should have because I was convinced that things would not get much better. I moved as much as I could each day and was very proud to make a mile walk about 3 weeks after surgery. But nothing compared to getting the drain out. After that point, I really took off, healing-wise. But then a month after the drain was out, I developed lymphedema and I had to learn how to manage that. It was a setback and something I had tried really hard to avoid (by exercising everyday, drinking lots of water, keeping my leg elevated, etc.). But then, after a while, that was OK, too. I just recently found my “sweet zone” which was switching from a 20-30 mm compression stocking to 30-40 mm. Even though I have to wear it all day every day, my legs are the same size again. And as for doing the things I love, I started clogging again about 8 weeks after surgery, and while I can’t last as long as I used to, I’m grateful for being able to still enjoy it. I’ve been on a couple of hikes, but I haven’t attempted a mountain…yet. ;) The biggest difference I deal with now is the amount of time I can sit with my knee bent instead of being straight out. After 20 minutes, I am still very uncomfortable. It makes driving difficult and long trips are probably out for good for me. But on the bright side, it keeps me up and moving around. I’ve found a rebounder (mini trampoline) helps when my leg is feeling heavy and achy which is just something I deal with. Also numbness in my thigh. But all in all, I feel extremely grateful for where I am now. I read on this forum every day and have great admiration for the Stage 4 folks who deal with their illness with an amazing amount of grace. Please email me personally with any additional questions you have. I wish you the very best. God bless you.

Charissa

jcsampson@twc.com