Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Travel Fund Donations and Cording/Lymph Node News

I heard today from the local cancer center - and on Monday from the national American Cancer Society - that I will receive $1100 from the local cancer center (for train/gas and food) and four free hotel stays for the first four visits. This plus the $200 Alaska Airlines gift certificate rounds out the total donations to about $2100. We are still waiting to here from the local chapter of ACS about whether or not there is a "gas card" available as well.

Thank you to everyone who is supporting my travel in this way - or if you have supported the ACS in the past with donations. It is very much appreciated!

In other news, I saw my physical therapist on Monday. She did some great stretches on my right shoulder (maybe some impingement but definitely some capsular contraction) and also stretched my left arm to help with the cording under my left arm pit.

She reports that the experts aren't quite sure what it is - and as Daria noted in her post - it's also referred to as Axillary Web Syndrome. It has something to do with the lymph channels causing the tissue to seize up in a cord - or something like that. She said that in the literature, it usually relieves itself but in the meantime, it could get more painful. The best thing to do is to stretch it - or get rid of what's causing the cording in the first place.

So, I had an appointment with my oncologist's physician assistant/nurse on Tuesday to ask about options for getting rid of the swelling in the lymph nodes. My colleague thought that maybe a fine needle aspiration would do the trick. In the end, they say they don't like to do it - that it's probably a mass rather than fluid and they are afraid of cancer getting into the skin since the needle is going through the skin. She did say that I can start taking an NSAID to help with swelling and that it would be okay to have the physical therapist move some of the fluid around the area to encourage the lymph nodes to drain using massage. She was going to call my physical therapist and tell her that that was okay. I am getting a back-up of lymph fluid on my upper left arm - it's becoming a little tender to the touch. So, stretching, ibuprofen, and some massage for now.

In other news, the fatigue has lifted. I feel normal today for the first time in over a week. The fatigue started lifting toward the end of last week, but then the time change messed up the length of time I could sleep, so I was tired. Finally got a bit caught up last night. Good thing, too, because there is a lot going on with work - applications for this or that opportunity for funds to keep momentum going on various projects. Whew.


Liz Kreger said...

Very weird about your lymph nodes, Dee. I've been lucky in that I haven't had any problems whatsoever. (Knock on wood).

Fantastic about your travel donations. If you're going to participate in studies, etc., its nice that you won't have a lot of out of pocket expenses. I'm interested in hearing how it goes.

Daria said...

Darn that cording ... it can be painful.

I'm so glad for you ... getting help with the trips to Seattle.