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Friday, October 06, 2006

Get thee to a ... Physical Therapist

Things seemed to be getting better with my face and neck region - until today. I am experiencing more swelling on my neck, probably due to the lymph not having anywhere to go. The only support group meeting I have been able to attend had a physical therapist that demonstrated how to keep scars supple and how to move lymph around missing (due to surgery) or damaged (due to radiotherapy) lymph nodes. I have been practicing both manuevers since then, VERY gently, when I clean the burn cream off my face in the morning. I also practice a form of retail therapy in an effort to keep the neck moving - going to Sam's Club, and trying to read the lables on the very top shelves (grin!). I will check with the radiation oncology clinic next week to see if I can be referred to a physical therapist for more instruction, and possibly a compression bandage. A page of information can be found here: If the swelling remains, it can become permanent. I know I may end up with a triple chin (hey, I had the double one all ready worked out!), but to drive I really need to look over my left shoulder (right?). If I can fight this with exercise and bandages, I will. Besides, it may add that great air of mystery to me the next time I teach students...


Anonymous said...

Once again, I can only marvel about your unbelievablely good attitude. Hang in there, girl. Some of us are still rooting for you!

Love, Maryelen & Don

Anonymous said...

An "air of mystery" with students can definitely be a good thing! I also like that "retail therapy" idea. You're so creative about all this! If you're ears were burning extra on Thursday it was because Barb Jones and I were talking about you. In a good way, of course!!! We were both at the Missouri Library Association Conference. She was an exhibitor and a presenter. The conference was in Columbia this year. First time in 20 years they've hosted it and they did a terrific job. We had over 560 registrants out of 800 members. The highest registration number in at least 10 years. We also had 72 exhibitors which was a record for the last 10 years, too. So we are really turning things around. The big news we have for next year is that they are bringing the "Lusty Librarian" as the main speaker! Can't believe we're getting her for our conference! Should be a big draw! Would love to get you and Diane Johnson to come and join us for old times sake. Remember the conference in St. Louis when we had the party in my room. You were just in the process of moving to Nebraska and were trying to buy a house, sell a house, move, etc. What a great night that was. I miss having you in the state. Keep up the good work on recovery.


Anonymous said...

Hey, I have a suggestion for your lymphedema (swelling from the lymph nodes). I had surgery and radiation for pharyngeal (throat) cancer a few months ago so I know exactly what you're going through. My radiation oncologist recommended I buy a small paint roller (yep, get thee to a hardware store) and roll my neck 100 times twice a day. It helps to "fluidize" the lymph fluid and I think it has been helping. Hang in there and good luck.

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