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"Flying isn't fun anymore," my brother-in-law frequently proclaims along with other travelers tired of security checks and crowded seats. I certainly agreed with him while I sat on full plane in New Hampshire for an hour waiting for clearance on my way home from visiting our children and new grandbaby. Flying definitely isn't fun anymore for me because I have lymphedema .
No one explained it to me at the time, but I was at double risk for this condition that causes swelling because I had 24 lymph nodes removed when I had my mastectomy , and I had extensive radiation to my chest and lymph nodes. Sure enough about a year after my cancer treatment ended, one day I noticed that all the creases in my right wrist were gone. Wow! Did I gain weight that fast? Nope, the creases were still there on the left wrist. The surgeon prescribed a compression sleeve to control the swelling.
The sleeve was uncomfortable and didn't help much, but I did get a little better. The next time I saw ...
Woman in position for radiation treatment, from the front. Middle radiation beam is shown.
A bright yellow indicates breast being treated
B light yellow part of the beam, beam in air, not touching woman
C opening of the linear accelerator
D arm holder supports woman's right arm
Learn more about how radiation therapy works .
Front view | Side view | Cross–sectional view
My name is Doug, and this is the story of my wife Keri Haberstroh. Keri was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2005 at the age of 25. This is an update on Keri's first radiation treatment, after we learned that her cancer had spread . Subject: One Down Sent: Monday, April 3, 2006 2:08 PM Hi Everyone, Just thought I'd write to let you all know that the first treatment went well this morning. I was in and out in about half an hour. The actual treatment only takes a couple of minutes, but the set up takes a little longer. I don't feel anything and I don't see anything. The machine makes a buzzing sound and that's how I know when they are doing the radiation. They do my right hip first then my left hip. When the machine turns to do my left hip it's kind of cool what I get to look at because they screwed in a part on the machine that looks like a smiley face. So I get to end with a smile looking at me. Then I'm all don...
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