Sunday, March 10, 2013

Oncologist appointment

I saw my oncologist this past Friday. The best news is that my tumour markers are still holding steady at a nice, low 34. Yay!

However, my oncologist was quite concerned about the lymphedema I've got. It's still in my left hand and arm and it hurts when I try to do certain things like put my hand flat on a hard surface and straighten my arm, or bring my hand to be perpendicular to my arm, or if something puts pressure on a part of my forearm.

Then on Wednesday I freaked out a bit because my underarm felt strange. If I raise my bent arm to shoulder level, the skin just at the front of the skin is all dimply. If I raise my hand above my head and straighten my arm as much as I can, there are three ropey things in my underarm.

My oncologist looked at all this and told me that my breast (this is the one with morphea) is full of lymph fluid, as is my side, and those ropey things are lymph vessels that are showing up because there's so much fluid in the whole area (this phenomenon is known as "cording"). Of great concern to her is the fact that my morphea breast is pinker than usual; apparently when fluid builds up and sits there like this, a cellulitis infection can show up and it starts with pink skin. I'm to watch for pain in the area and/or a fever and they show up, I'm to head to the emergency department immediately.

Apparently the cancer center has a physiotherapist who specializes in lymphedema and my oncologist is referring me to this person. She's hoping to get me in urgently because of the cording and swelling everywhere. She also wants to see me in four weeks instead of our usual three months because if we can't get the fluid moving we need to scan to figure out what's causing the blockage.

Hopefully I can get in to see the physiotherapist and we can get the fluid moving so that I can use my arm and hand again.

1 comment:

Thandi said...

Oh boy. Hoping desperately that this can be sorted out asap.