Steve, Lymphadema can come at any time for many reasons or sometimes no reason at all. Some of the women who I know have had it, had terribly swollen arms and all kinds of problems, others seem to have lighter problems. However, it is something that needs to be dealt with and the sooner the better. I do not speak from experience, I have had no problem, but I know that left alone the lymph fluid can harden in the arm and then it takes a lot of therapy with massaging to get it under control again. There are sleeves, compression sleeves, gloves, all sorts of equipment to help those who need it. But only an experiencee therapist can help. Since I have no idea where you live and would probably not know of a lymphadema clinic near you, you will have to do your own research. One of our hospitals has a lymphedema wing. So get her help and be sure she follows through.
Hope this helps some, Mary K.