Stage III triple-negative breast cancer survivor: How I handled treatment side effects

After being diagnosed with stage III triple-negative breast cancer in the summer of 2017, I was treated at MD Anderson with a combination of chemotherapy, surgery and radiation therapy. I experienced a number of side effects from those treatments, including skin burns, lymphedema, fatigue and bone pain. Most of them are resolved now, but thankfully, the ones that remain aren’t very bad. Dealing with lymphedema and radiation burns The most painful side effect I experienced was probably radiation burns. Those left my skin feeling pretty raw, but applying a salve and medicated pads helped a lot. I also experienced bone pain from the Neulasta® shots I received during chemo to keep my white blood cell counts up. My joints hurt like I had the flu for several days after each injection, but exercise reduced that to just one. The most annoying side effect I experienced was probably lymphedema, which is when fluid builds up around tissues where lymph nodes have been removed. I developed that in my left arm after having 34 lymph nodes removed surgically from my chest and neck area. I could usually get the swelling down by stretching and wearing a compression sleeve. Staying hydrated helped, too. I run every day, so I drink a lot of water, and I noticed when my water intake was low, the lymphedema was worse. The hardest part of my breast cancer treatment The hardest part of my treatment was undoubtedly chemotherapy. My cancer was very aggressive, so my doctors hit me with the hardest chemo they had and it absolutely wiped me out. It was really rough. I only...