Thursday, June 05, 2014

Two and a half years post surgery

Been a long recovery from the tumor removal.
The stinging has never really left. I understand it's nerve damage.
( Nerve damage repairs very slowly ... like a mm a year or something)
What the surgery did leave me with, is lymphedema. Also known as lymphatic obstruction, is a condition of localized fluid retention and tissue swelling caused by a compromised lymphatic system.
I noticed it about 9 months after the surgery.
My lymphedema is from the mid thigh scar to the knee. Daily I feel the fluid run one way or the other, depending on my position. I often elevate my leg, to get the fluid to run the other way. 
I wore a compression stocking, and received lymphatic massages which miraculously reduces the measurement of the leg right then and there.
The lymphatic system really kicks in when we exercise. I noticed the worse thing I can do is walk a long distance. The fluid gathers in the leg, and it aches and is heavy. Its gravity... simple. The fluid goes down, and can't circulate upward. Biking, isn't so bad. On a bicycle we have our bodies spread out over three points, and the fluid doesn't accumulate as it does when walking.
I recently decided to seek out a specialist as it was getting worse.
My biggest fear was that the lympedema would go below my knee, but the specialist says she doesn't feel it will. She can't promise, but she feels it will be unlikely.
While there is no cure for lymphedema, it can be managed somewhat.
Massage, elevation of the limb, and compression stockings are what I will be using to keep the swelling down.
I am excited to have been fitted for a custom stocking, and look forward to wearing it.
If it fits well, I will get one to bike with, and get chain grease on it, and one for good use.

Do I regret having the tumor removed? How do I feel about having lymphedema instead ?
I honestly did not want either, tumor or lymphedema.