Kim, I've gotten to where I simply use the affected arm and don't even think about possibly triggering lymphedema other than being careful to deal with cuts and scrapes as soon as I notice them as well as all the other basics like no sticks and no bp cuffs.
Like you, I was pretty scared about doing something I was told could trigger it, but the truth of the matter, my surgeon's nurse admitted to me, is that they've identified various things that seem to cause the onset of lymphedema but don't know for certain that they all actually do.
I am NOT going to pay attention to the "no lifting anything over 15-20 lbs" instruction I got unless I get told that's more important than I think when I go in for a lymphedema baseline evaluation this coming Monday.
I'd have to hire someone to do all kinds of handiwork around our place if I decided I ought not lift more than that little bit of weight. I'm careful to balance the weight and to use my leg muscles to aid the lift as much as possible, but I'm not about to let fears of lymphedema restrict what I'd ordinarily do within reason.
Geez, ya gotta live what life you still have, I think, without becoming a quaking mass of Jello. Probably my attitude because I really hate Jello. Ya think?
<message edited by Her Dotness on Sunday, March 27, 2011 2:57 AM>
dx 11/29/10 DCIS/IDC
1/5/11 lumpectomy, SLND 2+, ALND -
T1c, clean margins!
er +/pr + (My little nasty was an estrogen drunk, said my med onc.) HER2 -
Chemo: TC Done 4/30/11
Rads: Done 6/30/11