On monday I noticed my left arm was swollen in comparison to my right arm. This is not good.
So several thoughts ran through my mind.
- More fluid retention from hospital
- Signals of puffiness from Chemo (which can happen all over)
- Lymphedema (Symptoms may include severe fatigue, a heavy swollen limb or localized fluid accumulation in other body areas, including the head or neck, discoloration of the skin overlying the lymphedema, and eventually causes a permanent swollen deformity)
Obviously the worst and most serious one there is number 3. So I booked a GP appointment for Tuesday lunch time.
I wore my long sleeved compression bandage to bed and slept with a big pillow by my left hand side to keep my arm elevated all night. The results of doing that on tuesday morning were quite effective. It was still not 100% better but it had definitely helped.
My GP measured both my arms and left pen marks which I was advised to re-mark in permanent pen to keep track of them with a measuring tape over the next few days. Indeed yes, my left side was 1.5cm wider. In general, the hand you use most – for me it is my right side, should be bigger than the other arm. So it is a little bit of a worry, which is why I have jumped onto it as soon as possible and get help. The GP informed my Oncologist by phone and called me later an hour later to say keep an eye on it with the measuring but its possible its hospital fluid still. If it gets worse I will be referred to the Lymphedema Association. I will not allow this to happen to me…
I asked about my stomach swelling – which is also present in my legs (unnoticeable to the public eye, just when I squat down or bend my legs its so tight it feels like they are going to explode), hands, feet (cannot wear my lace-up vans or any other closed in shoes as my feet won’t bend) and my face when I wake up in the morning. It should still be hospital fluid retention. She examined my body and told me it will subside, yet keep an eye on it too. I feel like a swollen beast!
Tuesday afternoon M & J took me to Karrinyup shopping center briefly to get some nice lazy jammies from Peter Alexander and a quick snack.
Mum bought me a really sweet light weight baby pink and white robe with heart prints and two big heart pockets. Yes, VERY me. The perfect clothing item to throw on when I get home and need a nap, or to just walk around the house comfortable in. (Along with my baby pink PA slippers from Alana! <3). I wasn’t very hungry but I thought I should try eat something. We walked around to each kiosk at the food court going ‘Nah you can’t eat that, Nope they definitely aren’t fresh! Nup… thats got chilli. ETC. Especially Bain Marie food is the worst. But then I thought, why not rely on my favorite trusty Japanese. Its almost always fresh and I could always ask. Plus before I got to there I already knew what I wanted. I approached the counter and there was an old smiling Japanese man.
Me: ‘Hello! Do you mind if I ask you an important question?’
Man: ‘Hi! Yes! Ofcourse!’
Me: ‘Are the vietnamese rolls here all freshly made today?… I am unwell and can only eat food prepared within 24 hours.’
Man: ‘Most definitely, all Japanese food must be. Everything is also on special because its 3pm.. You are unwell? I hope you are okay.’
Mum: ‘She is unfortunately, but I must ask, are you sure because shes on chemotherapy, its very important!’
Man: ‘Ooooohhhh… no… I am so sorry. Yes I can assure you they are.’
Anyway, I proceeded with the 2 pack vegetarian vietnamese rolls and a bottle of pepsi max. As I passed the man some cash, he refused to accept it. Japanese people are seriously the best!
Here is an example of what vietnamese rolls are, if you don’t know they are they best things on earth!
After getting home I had a nice warm bath, gave myself a manicure and pedicure and re-painted the black on all my nails. On a couple of my fingers (after removing the old black nail polish) I noticed there was some possible discoloration to the nails. Starting to mildly turn blue/black.
An early night tonight. So so so tired.