Saturday, 22 November 2008

Lymphoedema...

Well it doesn't rain but it pours, I woke in the early hours of this morning with my left leg so heavy and also numb which I realized as soon as I tried to get out of bed and almost tumbled onto the floor! Not a pretty picture!!! After using quite a number of words that I dredged up from who knows where, I managed to shuffle out to the kitchen, make some coffee and sit down at my desk. I have had swollen limbs below the knee for months and months, it actually started on the feet and ankles which I noticed because my shoes didn't fit anymore and I was horrified by this, then my calf started looking really large, actually calve(s) and I have been putting on weight at a rapid rate since the beginning of the swelling feet. I just thought I was getting fat (not the feet and calves so much) but my stomach was getting bloated and sticking out like I was 8 months pregnant and I put on about 17 kilos!?! My clothes didn't fit me anymore and all in all it has been quite depressing feeling so overweight, not to mention quite strange because I have always been quite a slim build, could eat like a horse and not put on anything - that sort of annoying person. But not anymore, still now I find out that lymph oedema can affect the tummy and make it very large and swollen. Anyway back to my horrid symptoms, I was basically paralyzed in one leg and the other wasn't a great deal of help. I phoned my mother this morning to ask her about these salts she had given me that she said I had to wrap around my leg in a towel and they would drain the fluid out??? So rang her to ask how long to leave them on anyway long story short I ended up phoning the doctor as I knew the salts weren't what was needed in this case. My doctor was very concerned that it could be Deep Vein Thrombosis which is extremely dangerous and causes heart failure so wrote up a form to get me an ultra sound this morning half an hour after I phoned him which was to his credit I must say. Rang mum back and told her my doctors concerns and was told, 'oh darling, I'm off to a wedding with Vaughan (her boyfriend) and it's right up in the Yarra Valley couldn't someone else do it?' I sucked up the hurt as per usual or more likely sucked it into my body and grew another tumor lol! I told her I'd phone Lee who only gets two days off per week and has three teenage daughters and a husband to spend time with by the way! Anyway phoned her and in her usual beautiful way she told me she'd be so happy to do it and that she was coming to see me today anyway - honestly I am so lucky to have her. She raced up here and gave me the biggest hug with tears in her eyes and then proceeded to tell me how disgraceful she thought it was that my mum just wanted to go to the wedding, she said not that she minded doing it at all but she thought surely my mum would want to be around this afternoon in case it was bad news and it was the Deep Vein Thrombosis! All I could say was that I was so sorry that I had to ruin her weekend but of course in typical Lee fashion she wouldn't hear of that and told me that she was just so sincerely happy to do it. She is just Angel. Mum phoned me on her way to the Wedding to see how I went at the ultra sound - I suppose I should be grateful for that! David has come back from Warragul and Jamie has come home so cavalry has arrived, thank goodness for these wonderful people.

The next concern is that the other leg will also go numb as it is not far behind in looks anyway. It is very swollen almost to the size the left leg was at so I am afraid that I will be completely paralyzed and in a wheel chair because of this lymph oedema - if it is indeed lymph oedema!

The other concern is that I have to keep my legs up above my heart level in order to have any hope of bringing down the swelling and in cases like mine this can apparently take weeks. Anyone that knows me, knows that this is torture for me, I hate sitting still and am up and down all the time so this is really going to test me terribly! I simply had to make a seating arrangement at the computer so I be online and can talk to you or I truly would go mad so I have this funny looking set up at the moment with another chair piled high with pillows for my legs and feet to go on and I can put my keyboard on my thighs to type. Where there's a will there's a way! Anyway darlings, talk more soon, when I can anyway, keep the prayers coming that it doesn't go the other leg please. I am feeling as though the cancer is getting a bit of a hold on me lately as I am suffering quite a few symptoms, however, I still intend to fight, as long as I can anyway. Take care sweet blog family, more soon.

29 comments:

  1. Oh Jenni, luv. You are really rather amazing. But I think you might already have an inkling of that.

    I don't know much about medical stuff, but have heard about massage for lympatic drainage. Not sure if it's possible in this instance, but might be worth looking into if it helps the fluids in your legs drain faster.

    Still praying, Jen. For every part of you.
    xo

    ReplyDelete
  2. Jen - please keep us posted. I am so worried. Hopefully it is just swelling and they can find something to bring it down. I will send lots of hugs and prayers. Shame on your mother! Shame! Shame! Hugs Lisa L.

    ReplyDelete
  3. hey Jen! So sorry to hear about your legs. Hold tight there and find some funny videos on YouTube to entertain you. We are thinking of you sweet love!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Oh sweet Jen, with a heavy heart I read your post today. Cancer is cruel. I pray that it's NOT thrombosis. You amaze me with your strength. Sending you lots of hugs and love.
    Keep the faith..
    Hugs,
    Rose

    ReplyDelete
  5. Will be praying for you while you work on recovering your legs. Maybe siting around awhile with your legs up is not a bad thing, lady, haha. Let those around you, do things for you...obviously not speaking of your mom but David, Jamie and Lee love you and will help you. Will Otis sit nice in your lap for some extra lovin'?

    Have you looked into massage?

    Love you,

    Cindy in Canada

    ReplyDelete
  6. Jenni darling,
    My prayers flow to you every evenings. Thank God there is Lee, a real angel on earth. Always concerned on this side of planet and praying.
    Love to you dear.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Oh sweet Jen, how I wish there was something I could do to help ease your burdens! All I can offer from this side of the pond is my faithful love and prayers!

    ReplyDelete
  8. The pain you are suffering must be unbearable.... I am so sorry.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Thinking of you and sending you warm thoughts and prayers. You've been through so much and you deserve the best quality of life. This is all so unfair!

    Much love *hugs*

    ReplyDelete
  10. Jen, I'm so sorry to hear you are having these problems with your legs.
    I wish I lived near you so I could come help you.
    You are always in my thoughts and prayers.
    Hugs,
    Dodie

    ReplyDelete
  11. Oh Jen, bless your heart! Wish I lived closer so I could run over and help too. I would. I really would.

    Praying for you sweet friend!

    Hugs!
    Kat

    ReplyDelete
  12. Jen - when I tell you to let me know when you need help I mean it. Lee is an angel.
    Did the doctor suggest some pressure stockings - a friend who has just had a large number of lymph nodes removed has to wear them to help prevent the swelling. They may give you some relief.
    Take care and keep those legs up hun,
    lvoe and hugs
    K xx

    ReplyDelete
  13. You, my dear, are one determined lady. I'm praying for your legs (and the rest of you).

    ReplyDelete
  14. Hi Jen, Just wanted to let you know that your always in my thoughts and prayers. Hugs Linda

    ReplyDelete
  15. Hi Jen, Just waned to let you know that your always in my thoughts and prayers. Hugs, Linda

    ReplyDelete
  16. Get yourself a bell and put your "peeps" to work! ha.

    It's horrible, Jen! I'm sure the swelling is bad enough, but then the numbness too? Ugh! You might need to secure yourself a wheelchair. I'm sure it's the LAST thing you want, but you may need it soon if that numbness gets any worse.

    Stay off your feet and keep us posted. Here's a funny video I saw today on a girl's blog here in the States. It's super funny.

    http://ca.youtube.com/watch?v=f86qKQJg3Z8

    ReplyDelete
  17. Oh Jen how very rotten!Have you read Louise Hay?! And Wayne Dyer btw?! Very silly questions as do not know what to say except lots of love from London - where it is snowing - and pink blessings upon you dear heart, pouring continuously and taking away the pain, the fear, the swelling and reminding you that you are an eternal being...xxx

    ReplyDelete
  18. Hey Sweets...thinking...i want to come over...to make you comfortable on your chair...and tape you to the chair so that you can sit still...with flowers all around you...if you turn left...you'll see barbeton daisies...bright red, yellow and orange ones...to the right....roses are red...violets are blue...so is my love for you..teehee...can't remember it...

    just teasing...and dreaming...of sitting with you...massaging your legs and giving you some big big love!!! xx

    ReplyDelete
  19. Sorry to hear of the complications. Here in the US we use these things called TED hose to help with edema and circulation. I hope that's what it is and it does sound like it. Anyway, maybe that and the elevation will help. And maybe some diuretics? Once the swelling is down the feeling will come back. I'm glad you have your computer to keep us all informed of your happenings. You are right! Where there's a will, there's a way! (your mom should keep that saying handy, huh?)
    I'm so grateful for your friend. She does, in fact, sound like an angel. And I'm sure there was nothing that would have made her happier than to help you. Don't feel like you're imposing; we are all here to help eachother. I think (and I'm sure your friend does too)that's what life is about. That and love. That's it.
    Lots of love to you,
    Kathy

    ReplyDelete
  20. So sorry Jen to hear this latest news. It's lovely to know that your friend Lee is there for you when you need her. It's so good to have someone you can rely on! Thinking of you, much love, Suzanne:)

    ReplyDelete
  21. I wanted to check and see how you were doing and award you with a friendship blog award. You inspire me! Nobody deserves it more!

    ReplyDelete
  22. (The award is on my blog, of course:-)

    ReplyDelete
  23. Oh, dear Jen. How I wish I could be near and give you a hug. I so hate that you are having to go through all of these complications.

    My prayers for you are constant. I know God is carrying you in His arms.

    ReplyDelete
  24. I've been with you since your blog began, and am so sad to hear this latest development. I hope the article in this link might help....there is a mention of Decongestive Lymphatic Therapy about a fifth of the way down the page, and evidence that massage may prevent Thromboses from developing when oedema is present. It's a bit long-winded, being a medical article, but it seems well researched. I hope there is a practitioner close by to you - would the Hospice know? When my Mum was at a Cancer Hospice, they provided massage treatments for free for both the patient and carers - it was wonerful! I hope this is some help, best wishes and love Jo
    http://www.emedicine.com/pmr/TOPIC200.HTM#oldmethod

    ReplyDelete
  25. Hi Jen,
    Keep us posted on what the u/s and doctor says. I'm hoping for the best and that it doesn't happen to your other leg, too.

    Oh boy, that mom of yours. Perhaps "woman that birthed you" is a better title? "Mom" is much more suited to someone like yourself that gives and cares and loves endlessly! Just my 2 cents...

    We love Lee!!! Thank goodness for her! So happy she came to be with you and to help out - mostly her just being there for you is the best thing ever.

    Keep us posted and yes, check out Louise Hay (author) but I suspect it's all stuff which you already know - mom trouble and growing a tumor, that stuff.

    Sending you blessings and prayers from afar...
    xo,
    Cate in No. California

    ReplyDelete
  26. Dear Jen
    So sad for your complications and the fact that the cancer has spread to your lungs. One of my good friends who I lost to cancer about 8 years ago, she was 27 at the time - was given under 6 months to live and they didn't want to do chemo because they told her she wasn't strong enough. She went to a naturopath and she had amazing results from it - she was healthier, it helped keep the cancer at bay and she did manage to sneak another year longer than they originally antipicated she would get. They also commenced chemo near the end of that year because she was stronger. It was good to have her for that much longer but very difficult to see her lose her battle.

    You do whatever you feel you need to try, you are such a strong brave woman and are doing amazing. Prop those pillows, curl up with Otis and play.

    I am also sad that your mom didn't take you to the hospital, but so happy that you have such an amazing friend.

    I have been sick all week, so haven't had a chance to check in.

    Always in my thoughts and prayers. Hugs to you, your boys and David.
    God Bless
    Nicky from Canada

    ReplyDelete
  27. Hey Jen...

    Another obstacle for you to overcome...hope you get some good news really soon.

    So glad that you have a great friend who you can rely on in your time of need. That is a true friend.

    Please let us know how your u/s goes...we are anxiously waiting.

    Much love,
    Sarah

    ReplyDelete
  28. Hi, I tried to leave you a comment on your newest post but it didn't work, so here goes. I'm rooting for you here in Seattle, and I am so thankful for this chance you have given your readers, to bear witness.

    ReplyDelete