Lymph node Seroma

I developed an unexpected huge seroma due to my lymph nodes been taken out in my second surgery. During the first surgery they took out a few nodes to test to see if the Cancer had spread. It had, so they then wanted to take the rest out to test them as well. They said, ‘we can take them out and they might be clear (which they were) but without taking them out we wouldn’t know’.

So I agreed. The Surgeon told me, as I had just finished chemo, my body would be finding it harder to heal itself and the seroma might swell up again. I joked and said could it get as big as my head, he said it could do but let’s cross that bridge if we have to! Gulp.

Out of Surgery

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A Trip to A&E

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This is the least offensive image I have! After a few days my seroma really started to swell. My Oncologist team didn’t like attaching a drain as they said your body gets used to it, so it could take longer to heal if they drain it. There is also a risk of infection with a drain. So I put up with the swelling in the hope that it would go down once my body learnt what to do with the extra fluid and where to put it now my nodes in my armpit were gone. But each day it was getting bigger and I could no longer put my arm by my side and it was causing great pain to my neck and back. It felt like the skin was going to burst as it was so tight. It’s amazing how much your skin can stretch. I woke on a Saturday and it was just too much I was nearly passing out with pain. I went to my local walk in doctors, waited 2 hours and as soon as the doctor saw me she was horrified. She rang A&E directly and told them I was coming and even wrote me a letter to try and get me fast tracked. There are some perks to Cancer!

Finally at A&E I was so thankful that my friend Debbie had come with me to keep me company and take my mind of the pain. The Surgeon said they needed to operate but they thought it best to consult with Mr Roberts the Breast Care Surgeon. The surgeon said they needed to operate but were not sure and mentioned about sending me home and to come back on Monday, when I could see Mr Roberts. I was in so much pain I didn’t feel I could stand the pain until then. They decided to call Mr Robers and amazingly he said he would come to the hospital that evening and drain it. My angels were looking out for me and him that night as he had to come through a snow storm to get there.

A few hours later he arrived and opened up the Breast Unit. It was quite fun almost like school kids sneaking around school out of hours. He said he would numb the area first then drain it with a huge needle. It was such a relief! He told me the only issue is that the same would probably happen again as the fluid would still keep being produced. The body just needs to learn to heal itself. He gave me a compression band to strap around my body to try and keep the swell down. He said to come back on Friday or before it if got too bad.

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Here I was on a night out with Natassia and Gemma in a club with the big seroma under my arm. It was very painful and I thought to myself how no one in that place would realize what was going on inside. It made me think how you should always be kind to others and never judge a situation as you never really know what is going on. It got bashed so many times that night.

A Second Drain

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I went back on the Friday and the seroma had swollen up the same again. He drained it again but this time he did it with no anesthetic as I said I could handle the pain and I didn’t want more drugs in my body. It hurt but it was a relief to be able to put my arm down again. This time my body learnt and it only swelled up a little more before finally going down and staying down. Ahhhhhhh pain free and my scar was healing as well.