I went off to the doctor yesterday, in hopes of some resolution for the new symptoms – now this is a lymphedema specialist, a survivor of breast cancer herself, and she came very well recommended indeed… and she can do nothing for me. Physical therapy is unlikely to benefit me, being that I’ve already got greater flexibility and range of motion than most women, pre or post surgery; I can easily do all the exercises, that’s not the problem.
The AWS will most likely go away in time, and it may recur in time, especially with radiation and other stressors. The heightened sensitivity (aka pain) will most likely diminish in time, or I’ll need to readjust to this being the new ‘norm’. She feels that I’m unlikely to develop lymphedema as long as I exercise reasonable precautions, being that I’m so skinny (less flesh, less tissue to produce lymph), but if I do, it can be managed.
Ok, on one hand, I’m grateful not to be medicalized, and I do like the attitude of “don’t panic, manage” – on the other hand, it would have been nice if she had been able to give me a bit more concrete advice than I could get off the web or, you know, a solution.
Apparently there isn’t one.
On the good news side, the extreme sensitivity has been reduced; though the whole arm still feels tender, and rather more so in some areas, it’s not acutely and constantly painful at this time. None of this is dangerous, per se; none of it will kill me; my arm isn’t going to erupt in weeping sores, the flesh won’t corrupt and fall off; it’s just pain, it’s just another thing I’m going to have to learn to live with.
How perfectly goddamned delightful, to be sure.
Thank ye gods and little fishes for passive entertainment. And coffee.