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 it....so again, there is no one answer for all of us.