One of the things I have heard others say is that they are worried about scars on the neck, if the nodes are removed from there, to use in the transfer. I must say when the doctor first told me this I too was a bit concerned and started to grow my hair before the procedure!! However seven months down the track the scar is just a fine line along my collar-bone. There is a slight hollow behind the collar-bone where the tissue was removed but probably only noticeable to me! This is the latest photo taken before I go for a swim.. Yesterday in Australia it was 39C in October, which is crazy weather for this time of year. Heat is always a challenge for those with Lymphedema so this summer could be very difficult if yesterday was anything to go by… The hotter it gets the more Lymph our body produces and the more our Lymphatics are put under stress… So swimming can be a great help as it cools the body as well as allowing exercise without over heating and the water is a natural compression.
The scar on my knee is not quite so pretty, but I do not think many people will be bending down to check out the inside of my knee!! What I have noticed over the last few weeks is the swelling has gone down and the scar sits flat against my knee. I thought after surgery I had added a lump at the side of the knee as well as LE!! It shows how patient you have to be as it takes a long time for the body to heal and settle and then for the nodes to grow.
The overall results at this stage are difficult to calculate due to a loss of pre surgery data. I am to see the doctor again on 25th October so will be able to compare results from three months after surgery. I feel my lower leg responds better but I don’t see much improvement in the thigh at this stage. A plus is that I have had no infections since surgery, which was one of the main reasons for the LNT. Many of you who experience Cellulitus know how debilitating this is, it would entail me having IV antibiotics on a regular basis either in hospital or at home. The main down side since surgery is the numbness I am still experiencing from the inside of the knee down to the foot. This affects my balance and the leg is weaker, so I have to be careful especially going up and down stairs or walking on bumpy ground. However I am told this will improve in time… I sure hope so!! I am wearing a 30-40 compression stocking during the day but no compression at night, just elevate the bottom of bed a little. After surgery I used the Ready Wraps from Solaris instead of bandaging and I have them if needed, which has been very little of late. I have MLD at least once a fortnight with Lisa Higgins in Balgowlah who also uses a hand-held laser on the knee area to help the scaring and to stimulate the cells in the newly transferred nodes. If you live in the Sydney area she is a qualified Vodder Therapist and worth a visit.
I will post another update after the 25th October when I see the doctor.
I also wish to send a get well message to Kimber who is recovering after her major surgery in New York.. Hope you start to feel better soon.. Remember slow and steady wins the race!! Also a friend who had liposuction here in Sydney.. Get well soon girls…