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Axillary Node Clearance

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Re: Axillary Node Clearance

Daisydi - that is a very positive start to the day, I’m pleased to read that. Sometimes just sharing our anxieties and knowing that we are not alone with such thoughts helps massively. I relied heavily on this forum when I was having surgery and treatment. Xx

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Re: Axillary Node Clearance

Thanks Evie.  It is nice to off load on here.  Surely it can only be a good thing.  Just had my letter from the hospital and I have to be there at 6.30am on Thurs.  After the fiasco of last time and them forgetting to do my anc I asked to be first on the list and they have kept to their word!  Positive thoughts .....

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Re: Axillary Node Clearance

Hi Bluetit and daisydi

 

Bluetit - I want to wish you all the best for chemo, may it be as kind as possible to you - it affects everyone very differently. I’m sure you will have found the monthly chemo threads to join. I had chemo before my op so happy to answer any questions.

 

daisydi - sending you a big hug. I really understand what you say - I’ve been having some weird pains this week and now my mind has gone into overdrive imagining the worst. I should try and take my own advice, but that’s not so easy! Do come on here and offload any time if that helps you at all.

 

Hugs, Evie xx

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Re: Axillary Node Clearance

Hi Bluetit thanks for thinking of me.  Think thats good then isn't it?  I am having a bit of a tough time as my mind is playing games not letting me sleep and imagining all sorts of nasties.  I feel that I have been waiting forever for this op and that if anything is in nodes it is spreading all over the place while I am waiting!  Cant wait to get next week over with as I really need to know what is going on and yes I think it will be a good thing to know one way or the other.  Hope you are feeling ok.  I will let you know how I get on and please do the same. xx

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Re: Axillary Node Clearance

Hi Daisydi- I've been wondering how you are feeling today/in general. I had my post op appt this afternoon (hence why I thought of you).

My original SNB showed 3/4 nodes positive. Today the surgeon said that one more node was found positive on ANC. So that's a total of 4/11 nodes positive. I feel strangely happy to know that the ANC was worth doing. Next step chemo xx
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Re: Axillary Node Clearance

Thank you Evie.  Think Im just having a bad day today, time of year! I am trying so much to be positive but every time I go back after surgery its bad news.  Just wishing for some good luck this time x

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Re: Axillary Node Clearance

Bluetit - thank you for such kind and lovely words and for making my afternoon. Xx

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Re: Axillary Node Clearance

What a brilliant post Evie, you are amazing x
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Re: Axillary Node Clearance

Bluetit - I am sure you will be fine as your body is used to lifting people and equipment. I was told to be careful with heavy suitcases because I don’t lift those everyday so my arm isn’t used to that weight. What has your consultant advised? Driving will be fine too - just take your arm off the steering wheel when you stop at junctions for example and flex it. I think they want people not to drive for 6 hours non stop gripping the wheel.

Evie xx

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Re: Axillary Node Clearance

Daisydi - the time beforehand is hard as the mind can work overtime, I know mine did (and still continues to). I’ll see if I can help at all. First of all the drain won’t come out, they are hard to get out when the time comes. You may find that you don’t move so much in your sleep after the operation as subconsciously your body probably won’t want to roll onto the site. There doesn’t seem to be any answer as to who gets lymphoedema and who doesn’t, so you just need to take reasonable precautions but also live life as normally as you can. Keeping active is supposed to help, moving the arm around to help the lymph fluid circulate. I have a friend who has lymphoedema and you wouldn’t know she has it, she lives a very full and active life and it doesn’t stop her doing anything.

As to the fear of spread, you are not alone with that worry. At the most difficult times I was advised to take one day at a time, or even one hour at a time, and not think too far ahead. That really helped me. Focus on treating yourself with your favourite things, get things prepared at home for when you will be recovering, buy some easy to watch dvds/chocolate. I’ve just re-read your diagnosis post - try to focus too on what your surgeon told you, that they have caught it early and also that only one of the two nodes tested was affected. Have you been offered a CT body scan? From what I’ve read some hospitals routinely offer them and some don’t - maybe you can investigate this to put your mind at rest?

I hope that chatting on here will help get you through. Remember the Winnie the Pooh quote “You are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem and smarter than you think”.

Hugs, Evie xx

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Re: Axillary Node Clearance

 I am absolutely dreading my anc on 10th Jan. I am so worried about everything. I seem  to move around a lot in the night.  How will the drain stay safe, what if I get lymphodema, what if all my nodes are positive,what if the cancer has spread everywhere.  I cant find anything positive to think about at the moment....

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Re: Axillary Node Clearance

I'm definitely not going to attempt to iron with my left hand.. hahaha, that would be disastrous... top points for you trying though!

I'm a Community Physio - so a fair bit of driving & moving heavy people/equipment. Time will tell. I will take it day by day & get through treatment first.
xxxx
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Re: Axillary Node Clearance

Bluetit - I don’t know what your job is, but I was told that it was ok to continue with things that your arm is used to doing. And you will find as time goes on that you can do lots of the same things - I started trying to iron with my left arm, that was a disaster and my surgeon said it was fine to iron with my right, so I do it with breaks and stop if my arm aches. It wasn’t long since your surgery so you will definitely find things improve as time goes by. And you will also find your left arm skills improve a lot too!!

Evie xx

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Re: Axillary Node Clearance

I'm definitely getting more and more left handed at the moment! I just combed my daughter's long hair & now I'm achy. Not surprising, it was knotty!! But yet again I'm on high alert. I'll phone for advice when the kids have gone back to school. Urrrgghh. This will so impact on my job and it's scaring me. I've got chemo and radio first, it's such a hard slog but I can cope with that. It's just the 'forever aspect of my arm which is distressing me.
xxx
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Re: Axillary Node Clearance

Hi Bluetit

I’m glad to hear you are feeling better. I know exactly what you mean about lymphoedema being in capitals in your head. I am still very careful. I lift everything with my left arm, especially heavy things (or better still try to find someone else to lift it!) It’s almost impossible to stay asleep in a “safe” position, at least it is for me as I seem to move around all night, but that would be a good question if you do call the lymphoedema society. However, I have become a bit more relaxed after my surgeon explained that one episode of doing something won’t bring on full blown lymphoedema. Some of the nurses at my hospital gave totally wrong and scary information about it so to start with I was terrified of lifting even a cup of tea! The main rules to follow are being careful not to get any cuts on your bad arm infected, not to burn yourself on that arm, not to grip things for long periods without a break (steering wheel, iron), or carry lift heavy things with bad arm.

Hugs, Evie xx

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Re: Axillary Node Clearance

Hi Jackdaw, and welcome to the forum. I had a mx and recon at the same time as ANC and I had to keep a sports bra on all the time for the recon. Mine was about 18 months ago so I can’t quite remember how the bra sat with the drain, but I’m pretty sure it must have sat over the top of the drain judging from the position it was in. Can you ask your consultant?

All the best to you for your recovery.

Evie xx

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Re: Axillary Node Clearance

Thanks, that’s really helpful!

xxx

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Re: Axillary Node Clearance

Thanks so much for your kind words!i did sleep well, thanks to painkillers!

xx

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Re: Axillary Node Clearance

Hi I wore my sports bra over the top of my drains both times , at times I just kept lifting my bra to double check X hopefully this will help you X have a happy day , xx
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Re: Axillary Node Clearance

Welcome Jackdaw, I hope you slept ok last night.
I have only just recently started wearing a bra again, so I'm afraid I can't offer you any words of wisdom on the drain/bra dilemma. So tricky to get differing opinions. I wonder if you start a new thread if you'll find someone more helpful than me xxx

Daidydi, sorry I'm only just replying now. I'm doing much better now, thank you. Movement is good (not full) & I'm getting more stamina. Have to admit I'm over aware of the word lymphedema which is in 'capitals' in my head. (I really must phone for advice/ information like Evie suggested). Things like the most low risk sleeping position & other practical things like that.
Anyway, enough rambling. Please let me know how the 10th goes for you xx