I previously posted that I’d be returning to work on August 28th. Well, I didn’t.
I have my first of 33 radiation treatments this Thursday. Per my radiologist, “Radiation may cause side effects including fatigue, skin irritation, pain and possible lymphedema and the date she may return to work is unknown”. Breastcancer.org is more specific about the side effects of radiation and adds you may possibly have heart problems, but your heart will probably regain its strength and full function after treatment ends.
Lymphedema is very rare. The second paragraph in Wikipedia starts Lymphedema (also see Elephantiasis). That is really scary. It is possible I could have something similar to the most revolting picture I saw as a child. It was in one of my mom’s old nursing books that ended up being the highlight of my 12th birthday sleepover.
I’ll be seeing a physical therapist next week to learn exercises to minimize the possibility of lymphedema.