Last month in my post ‘My Feet – A Fresh Perspective‘, I concluded with the following –
Much has changed since I wrote that post back in 2015 except, I continue to appreciate my feet. What has changed? It was only 6 weeks ago I was walking 1-2 miles per day with some discomfort. I mentioned in several posts about my increased pain and how it was affecting my walking. Rapidly the pain increased in my right groin and the walking became worse forcing me to use a cane and now I am using a walker. Then came reduced physical activity and most recently a 7-day hospital stay where I remained bedridden for most of that time. This combination has caused severe edema in my feet and ankles.
My feet continue to function and do their job even though they are swollen and tired – I continue to appreciate my feet.
In today’s post, I begin with the following –
In the past 2 weeks, my severe edema has become worse and after communications with doctors at Moffitt Cancer Center, it was determined I have lymphedema. This is common with some cancer patients when the lymph nodes are affected. Since I have cancer in many of my lymph nodes and with the recent decrease in physical activity; the lymphedema is now another health condition to deal with.
This past Monday, I had a visit from home health care specialist to treat my lymphedema. My current treatment involves the wrapping of my legs with hopes the fluid will flow back toward the trunk of my body. With many of my lymph nodes having cancer, this process may be difficult and slow in progression or not work at all. If this treatment is unsuccessful, then other treatments will be considered.
Treatment along with exercise hopefully will help reduce the swelling at which time I will wear compression stockings for the unforeseen future. My understanding is lymphedema can be temporary or permanent, therefore treatment will continue for as long as the lymphedema is present. I hope I will eventually will reduce the swelling and improve my leg muscles so I have the ability to walk without the aid of a walker or cane.
My pain level prior to my recent hospital stay was a 10+, and afterwards I felt the level was about a 5. Now with the lymphedema, the pain level has slowly creeped up to level 6 or 7 and at times reaching to a 10+ again. I have an appointment today with Dr. C. in the Supportive Care Medicine group to discuss modifying my pain medicines or taking some other approach to reducing my pain.
With recent information concerning the spread of my cancer and the pain experienced on a daily basis; I am on a roller coaster of emotions. I accept what is taking place with my body and my life – I deal with it one day at a time. What upsets me the most, is the effect this cancer is having on my family and especially Gary.