Why am I Running from Cancer?

Why am I Running from Cancer?. . . check out this post for an explanation

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Losing weight and Lymphedema

Since I have not been able to run . . . did I mention . . . I feel like a broken record. . .  I have a stress fracture . . . I have to add some other methods of exercising.   I purchased a Jillian Michaels 30 day shred DVD and as of today I am on day 5. So far so good. I am still doing level 1 - but figure I will move on to level 2 tomorrow.  I am committed to doing this 5 days out of 7.

I am also going to try and lose 6 pounds. I have lost a couple of pounds since winter - in February I was at an all time high, except during my pregnancies ;-)  of 138.  I am currently at 135 . . . but would really love to be under 130.  Beyond the "normal" reason that it would be nice to weigh less - I actually have a medical reason to lose some weight.

As a result of some of my treatments for breast cancer, including surgery and radiation, I developed Lymphedema in my right arm. Lymphedema is a swelling of the soft tissues caused by a build-up of lymph fluid. The swelling can be accompanied by pain, tightness, numbness, and sometimes infection.  Any excess weight can be the enemy of lymphedema . . . so losing 5-6 pounds should help with my arm.

In 2004, at the time of my mastectomy I had 13 lymph nodes removed, as a result of that - my remaining lymph nodes are not adequate to transport the lymph fluids through out my right arm.  Although I do not have an extremely serious case - my right arm is at a minimum 1 inch larger than my left arm. I wear a compression sleeve most days.  I am very thankful . . .  actually I am extremely thankful, that my hand is not really effected by the lymphedema.  Otherwise, I would have to wear a compression glove on a daily basis.

I am suppose to wrap it each evening.  I have not wrapped my arm in months.  Trust me - I had done it almost every single night for almost 5 years - and this last winter I just got fed up with it and decided that I would take a break. The wrapping should help reduce the swelling over the evening - but honestly - it doesn't make that much difference.

So my mission for the next 3-4 weeks is to lose weight - and use other methods to exercise.  I was in my flower gardens for 5 hours yesterday and about 4 hours today.  Plus today I biked for 10 miles - 8 by myself and 2 with my dog, Sophie.  

My goal is to be 130 and maybe - just maybe 129 by June 1st.

I will keep you all posted.


  1. Great job on the 10 mile bike ride!! It boggles my mind how many conditions are the result of side-effects...glad your hand is not affected by this. I know you'll do what you need to do...cause that's the kind of woman you are :)

  2. Great job on your workouts!!! Good luck with the weight loss!!! That is crazy to see the difference in your arms. I hear you when you say it does not make a difference to wrap it though. Have a great night!!

  3. Ouch, your poor arm! Way to go getting out and biking and doing Shred (which I find quite challenging BTW) and keeping active even though you can't run.

  4. I just returned from a stress fracture (afer 3 months), picking goals was the best thing I did to keep me sane during my time off from running. Good luck!

  5. Wow -- I would give anything to be in the 130's!!!
    I had no clue that was a possible side effect. Interesting. You take care of yourself girly.

  6. Good you are sticking to Jillian's DVD. I have PX-90 and like it but for some reason exercising at home is hard for me. Well, I am pretty good doing rowing at home but maybe because I get to watch some shows on Hulu since we haven't had TV since last June.
    Would compression sleeves runners use work for you? Some are actually quite cute.

  7. thats how my arm looks! and I see that this posting is old - but wonder if still check it - do you wear a compression sleeve sometimes?