Female, mastectomy March 2000 seeking advice! Authored by Anonymous
I'm so glad to find these chronicles because I've been feeling like the only one in the world with lymphedema. I had a mastectomy in March of 2000, with the tram flap reconstruction; I'm beginning to look like a normal person again. Suddenly, 10 months after the surgery, I developed lymphedema in the hand, arm, and the new breast. I thought physical therapy would fix it. It didn't. Despite binding at night and a surgical sleeve during the day, I still have swelling that is uncomfortable and very depressing. I had hoped to wear my little black bikini when summer comes, but that won't be happening. Fortunately I have a husband who loves me and children who are very supportive; one of my daughters is a massage therapist and is learning to do the lymphatic drain technique (for all the good it does). Since I'm new at this, can anyone advise if long-term physical therapy has been helpful and whether we can take off this compression sleeve sometime before the grave!?