Yes, yet another new side effect to talk about. It turned out that the arm pain that sent me back to my PT/Lymphedema specialist was something called Axillary Web Syndrome, which is a not uncommon outcome when they go digging around the lymph nodes in your armpit. My arm was curiously painful from the wrist all the way up, and tight cords were evident under the skin.
J, my PT, had been there when we first decided that the painful lump I’d found was serious and and that I should get it checked out, so she knew that the cancer had spread and she had been keeping an eye on my progress over the past few months. She knew immediately what the problem was, and massaged my arm to both ease the lymphedema and to loosen up the cording. She also gave me exercises to do that have really helped both the pain and the range of motion in my arm. The massage felt great, but because I’m taking a whole lot of blood thinners to move from the Lovenox shots to oral Coumadin, her very gentle massage left me with some spectacular bruising. As J walked me out of her office, we were chatting and she said that it had been good to see me again. Then she stopped, looked at me, remembered our last visit, and said that it wasn’t just good to see me again, it was really good to see me!
Side effects are kind of a drag, but this one, at least, has been relatively benign and easy to deal with. I feel like I’m getting more than my fair share of them, but it’s all part of the package, I guess. Thanks to everyone for their continued good wishes.