is there lasting effects after chemo

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Regular Member

Date Joined Mar 2005
Total Posts : 239
   Posted 7/8/2005 11:53 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi Ladies,i have two treatments left and i was wondering if it took some of you awhile to feel normal again.I am a lead custodian in a school (physical work)Im having my right breast removed next month(my choice)already had left removed.I dont know if i can go back to my type of work or not.Have any of you gone back to lifting heavy things and felt ok?I only had 6 lymph nodes removed so i dont know if it will effect my arm or not.Can you give me some advise? Thank You, Tammy

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2003
Total Posts : 2921
   Posted 7/8/2005 1:01 PM (GMT -6)   
I worked in a school system for years and know how hard custodians have to work and I am not sure what to say about being able to work. I have heard of lymphedema being a problem in an arm with less nodes removed. I had nineteen removed and so far have not had any problem. I do not lift really heavy things but I have never not used that arm. My daughter has horses and cattle and she carries around bags of grain and a lot of heavy stuff. She has never had a problem, and I think she had most of her nodes removed. Yet others have a terrible time. I saw the post about fitting a sleeve for flying. I have flown many times since my surgery and had no problem. I guess you just have to decide if you are willing to risk the possibility of having lymphedema. I have seen some really bad cases and and do not ever want to deal with it. Hugs MK

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2003
Total Posts : 2272
   Posted 7/8/2005 4:51 PM (GMT -6)   
Tammy, this is such a unique experience for each of us, no one can tell you how you'll feel or be impacted..but we can tell you our stories. Definitely ask the surgeon about whether you can work after lymph node surgery. It is so random as to who suffers from lymphedema issues or not. If you had just the sentinel node biopsy you may be in better luck. My doc had said it was "what gets cut", not so much as how many nodes get removed. With a SNB, there is less nerve tissue that gets cut and less risk of complications.
As for chemo, I personally have no lasting side effects. Others have a variety of problems that arose after chemo and may be attributed to again, there is no one answer for all of us.

Good luck-

Veteran Member

Date Joined Feb 2005
Total Posts : 730
   Posted 7/10/2005 10:07 AM (GMT -6)   

Hi Tammy! I have to agree that you should talk w/ your surgeon and oncologist to see if they are going to place any limits on your physical work. Personally, I am very careful about lifting and/or carrying anything really heavy on the arm where I had the lymph nodes removed. It took me awhile to regain all of my strength. I think that not only was it allowing my body time to recover physically from the chemo but also mentally. Don't be in too much of a rush. Allow yourself time to recover and enjoy being done w/ the treatments.



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