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babyblueca2000 View Drop Down
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    Posted: Oct 12 2009 at 11:54am
Just curious if anyone wears a medic alert bracelet so in a emergency they do not draw blood etc from the arm that had lymphnodes removed?
 
Do you think this is necessary?
Tammy
TNBC
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2.5 cm tumor (IDC)
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote girlpower731 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Oct 12 2009 at 1:29pm
I was given a resuable plastic pink bracelet to put on when I would be going under for a procedure.
 
It says: Alert: Lymphedema. No blood tests, blood pressure, No I.V. or injections into this arm.
 
Does anyone have a standard medical bracelet for this out there?
 
Girlpower
dx: age 31. Stage 2a, BRCA1/2 -, Lumpectomy 8/09, AC/Taxol dense dose 9/09-1/10
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote dmwolf Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Oct 12 2009 at 1:34pm
On this topic, does anyone know what the research says on the real increased risk of lymphedema due to needle sticks to the cancer side?  I haven't read up, but my instinct is that the risk is greatly exaggerated.  I bet it hardly makes a difference at all.   For instance, they used to say not to exercise that arm for the same reason, and now it turns out even intense weight lifting or rowing has either no impact on lymphedema or actually decreases risk.   It might be like sugar.  People like to have the illusion of control.

-Denise

DX 2/08@43 stg II IDC; gr2,0 nodes. Neoadj chemo, first ACx2 (fail) then CarboTaxotereX6(better). Lump, Rads done 11/08; Clodronate. False alarm queen: PetCT lung & TM marker. NED. PBM w/recon 9/10.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Jessie Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Oct 12 2009 at 1:52pm
I wear a medic alert bracelet all the time.  I got  it online at http://www.laurenshope.com/ .   That website has a big selection, economical to pricey.  
 
My veins are very small (only part that is Geek) and many times inserting an IV takes several tries.  I had a touch of lymphedema last year so I'm probably going overboard protecting it now.  
 
Jessie     
 
  
IDC,Stage I,Grade 3,dx 4/06
dbl mast 5/06,
systemic MRSA post surgery
septic shock, heart attack
triple bypass 1/07
no chemo due to infections and heart issues
so far NED!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote krisa Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Oct 12 2009 at 1:56pm
i used my right arm(cancer side) for chemo, blood draws and then it happened:  lymphedema..so, no more blood draws from that arm.
i never have blood pressure done on that arm.


Edited by krisa - Oct 12 2009 at 1:57pm
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SusanE1104 View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote SusanE1104 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Oct 12 2009 at 1:59pm
This is a subject I've been confused about for some time.  I had lymph nodes removed from the left side 22 years ago, and I never worried at all about blood pressures and needle sticks on that side.  Never had a problem with lymphedema, but a hand therapist told me I could still get it. Now I've had a double mastectomy but no more nodes removed.  I'm told I shouldn't have blood pressures or stick on either side!  I had a Pic line for chemo, but I don't have it now.  So I just let them stick whichever side.  Sometimes I think I had a little edema in my right armpit, but it hasn't been evaluated.   Any suggestions?
Susan 62 1987 Stage 1   1/09 Stage IV bilat. mast. liver mets BRCA1+ Taxol & Avastin
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote unklez Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Oct 12 2009 at 5:37pm
Why would a blood draw on that arm increase the risk of lymphedema?
Wife Dx: Jul/09. Age: 37. Size: 3cm. BRCA: -ve. Lumpectomy: Aug/09. Micromet 1/9 node. Chemo Start: Sep/09. E5103. DD ACB-> DD Abraxane (Taxol reaction). Zometa (S0307). Canadian Fraction Rads.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote SusanE1104 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Oct 12 2009 at 5:52pm
Good question.  I don't know.  But I was told somewhere along the line that I shouldn't have B/Ps or sticks on either side.  Maybe risk of infection is the reason for the warning against sticks.  I guess I should find out.  My onc's office took my B/P on my forearm for months.
Susan 62 1987 Stage 1   1/09 Stage IV bilat. mast. liver mets BRCA1+ Taxol & Avastin
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote girlpower731 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Oct 13 2009 at 6:09am
I have never had my cancer side arm used after the surgery.  I went to my onc. yesterday and showed her my cancer side arm and I do have slight lymphademia.  Nothing that isn't reversible at this point.  I guess this topic is just like your treatment options.  You do the best to eductate yourself and with doctors on the best method of care for yourself and you take that leap of faith that you made the right decision.  I will continue to not have anything done on that arm, unless my health is at risk and that's the only way.
 
When I had my port put in, they did the blood pressure on my leg and it was successful once they fit me with the correct size.
 
Good luck to all.
 
Girlpower
dx: age 31. Stage 2a, BRCA1/2 -, Lumpectomy 8/09, AC/Taxol dense dose 9/09-1/10
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote trip2 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Oct 13 2009 at 1:21pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote lady4law Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Oct 13 2009 at 1:42pm
Pam

Note link #2 says, " Lymphedema usually occurs in parts of the body where larger numbers of lymph nodes have been removed, such as the armpit (axilla), groin or pelvic area" . No mention of the chest.

I had 16+ nodes removed on left, 2-3 on the right. All my blood draws (and BP) are performed on the right. ( least number of nodes removed). So far no LE - in my arms - but I have a terrible issue with truncel LE.

As I have very high BP, I am on 5 pills a day to keep it under control, I have to take my BP many times a day and, as yet, have had no issue with arms, only my chest area. I have not tried to take it on my leg.

I was wondering, any of you had BPs and blood draws taken on a leg? I have requested it, but no one will use my leg. (only once - at my cardiologist).

Another concern I have is the number of times I am stuck. It ALWAYS takes the nurse or even a Dr, a number of times to get that darn needle in my arm. They twist and jab me a number of times. That cannot be good.

I know one of the concerns is infection. I was told even a bee sting on the wrong arm could be very dangerious, cause an infection and spread to the heart.

Jean
IBC/TN 6/07 Lymph, Chemo, Mast w/rec, chemo, 2 infect surg, exchg (2x) redo rec (2x) 4 new tumors esophagus, colon, chest, mouth, (10/11- 5th SUV7)"Activity" in spine hip
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote unklez Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Oct 13 2009 at 1:59pm
Originally posted by lady4law lady4law wrote:

.....Another concern I have is the number of times I am stuck. It ALWAYS takes the nurse or even a Dr, a number of times to get that darn needle in my arm. They twist and jab me a number of times. That cannot be good.....


There are a few things you can do or suggest to make it easier for them to find a good vein which yields a good draw. For example:

1. Apply warm compress around your upper arm for 10 minutes relaxes the vein and makes it easier to locate.
2. Sit up and dangle the arm lower. This causes more blood to go thru' the vein and again makes the vein easier to locate.
3. Ask the RN if she can use a transilluminator, which is designed to show a vein's size and direction of travel, or a portable ultrasound. Both these devices come with sterile probe covers so they can see the vein in real time.
4. Ask the RN to palpate a vein before attempting to insert the cannula. Apparently fingers feel the veins much better than eyes can see.
5. Ask the RN to use pediatric IV locations - they are on different points (including 2 on legs) than adults and might work better for you.
6. Certain light exercises done regularly can help make the veins stand out a bit more. I can't find them on the internet right now. Someone else may know and post the links.

Good luck....
Wife Dx: Jul/09. Age: 37. Size: 3cm. BRCA: -ve. Lumpectomy: Aug/09. Micromet 1/9 node. Chemo Start: Sep/09. E5103. DD ACB-> DD Abraxane (Taxol reaction). Zometa (S0307). Canadian Fraction Rads.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Lillie Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Oct 13 2009 at 2:30pm
I wear a medic alert bracelet all the time. I ordered mine from www.tlcdirect.org. I got it in 2007, about 6 months after I finished treatment. It is a simple silver bracelet. It has a plate engraved with the medic alert symbol on one side and "left arm...no needles - no bp" on the other.

I have two friends both of whom developed lymphodema months after finishing treatment. One was replacing wallpaper in her bathroom and got some strong cleaning agent into an open sore on her cancer side arm. The sore got infected and that caused the lymphodema to begin.   The other friend was constantly moving furniture and such and injured the cancer side arm.

I also have read literature stating that if we don't take care of our hand and arm lymphodema can occur many years after cancer surgery and treatments.

I feel that as long as it isn't life threatening it is in my best interest to protect myself in any way that I can.

Love in christ,

Lillie
Dx 6/06 age 65,IDC-TNBC
Stage IIb,Gr3,2cm,BRCA-
6/06 L/Mast/w/SNB,1of3 Nodes+
6/06 Axl. 9 nodes-
8/8 thru 11/15 Chemo (Clin-Trial) DD A/Cx4 -- DD taxol+gemzar x4
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote trip2 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Oct 13 2009 at 2:42pm
Lymphedema can come over to the breast/chest area, called Truncal Lymphedema.
 
 
 
I too take BP med and always have them do my BP on my leg, have never had a problem. 
I have truncal and arm lymphedema, my left arm being the worst.  Right now I am really swollen clear down to my hand/fingers but also know had a busy out of town week-end and am sure I probably carried bags, overused my arm in otherwords.  Not thinking!
Tomorrow I am going to put on my sleeve.
 
When they will not use my port for blood draws or when getting some scans I have them use my "best" arm, although both have had nodes removed.  Sometimes we use a foot.
 
You are right Lillie, we should take care.  Having Lympedema can be major.
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote mainsailset Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Oct 13 2009 at 2:49pm
My surgeon told me he has an ongoing battle with the nurses about blood pressure and draws being taken on the same side as the lymph nodes were removed. He stance is that this goes back to the first masct's done in the 70's, which were a different procedure done than today's. For those he said it was important to use the other arm.
 
Today's he maintains don't make a difference, but the nurses doing the draws & BP quietly nodded their heads and pulled out my other arm....
 
I did have BP as well as blood drawn on leg. Wouldn't recommend it. I had a terrible time with the machine that does the BP, I swear it attacked me so would suggest having the BP done by hand.
 
dx 7/08 TN 14x6.5x5.5 cm tumor

3 Lymph nodes involved, Taxol/Sunitab+AC, 5/09 dbl masectomy, path 2mm tumor removed, lymphs all clear, RAD 32 finished 9/11/09. 9/28 CT clear 10/18/10 CT clear
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote kirby Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Oct 13 2009 at 7:30pm
Jean,
 
I hate having my blood drawn. Since cancer I've had it done so many times, I am somewhat used to it.  I started telling whoever was going to do the draw what difficult veins I have and how much I dislike the procedure that I only wanted to be "stuck" once and if they were not confident they could do that I wanted someone else.  I realize I come off like a b*tch  but I haven't had any problems. I state it nicely but am insistent. Most laugh and have the confidence to go ahead . I will no longer be nice about allowing someone to stick me a mulitude of times.
kirby

dx Feb. 2001. Age 44
Lumpectomy

2cm. no nodes stage 1 grade 3

4 rnds AC, 35 rads
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote musette green Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Oct 13 2009 at 8:20pm
babyblueca2000,
 I have and wear a medic alert bracelet. I don't know if it is necessary, but I don't want to take any chances. I work in a hospital and I see many people that arrive in the ED that are unconscious and Iv's and blood pressure cuffs get placed where ever there is access. I figure this is just one way I can protect myself from avoidable harm or injury. I had 20 nodes  removed from my left axilla and arm. Yesterday my onc. diagnosed the pain in my left arm pit and arm as the early stages of lymphedema. If I can get this treated and resolved, I certainly don't want any other possible insults to that arm. I hope the right people will see it if for some reason I can't verbally tell emergency staff workers.
DX 10/08. IIB,gr 3, 2.5cm. TNBC, BRAC1&2-, nodes+(left axillary, supraclavicular, ant. mediastinal & IM). Neoadjuv. chemo 4x C/T. Left mast.3/09,completed 40 rads 9/09. Reconstruction pending.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote trip2 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Oct 14 2009 at 7:02am
I have a medical alert bracelet, just reminds me to wear it more for good reason.Heart
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote lady4law Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Oct 14 2009 at 10:04am
Thanks Pam
I am on the way to my cardio today and will mention the, transilluminator. I have never heard of it, hope they have. lol
Jean
IBC/TN 6/07 Lymph, Chemo, Mast w/rec, chemo, 2 infect surg, exchg (2x) redo rec (2x) 4 new tumors esophagus, colon, chest, mouth, (10/11- 5th SUV7)"Activity" in spine hip
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote trip2 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Oct 14 2009 at 1:08pm
I wish you luck Jean.Smile
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