Underarm Pain,,,worrying too much?

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Underarm Pain,,,worrying too much?

Postby JennyMK0908 » Wed Nov 08, 2017 8:06 am

I was diagnosed with a .43 mm stage 1A, 0 mitosis, no ulceration melanoma on August 17 on my right calf. Removed by WLE with wide and clear margins a week after diagnosis. In October, I noticed some pain under my left arm. I didn't notice any lump but I did have it checked by my Ob/Gyn during an appointment. He also didn't feel any lumps but did send me for a repeat mammogram (had annual in April) and an ultrasound of my armpit to be on the safe side. Both came back clear. The ultrasound tech said she didn't see anything, not even a swollen lymph node. My GP said that he has noticed a lot of tension in my neck and shoulders and is treating me for muscle strain on the left side of my neck. My question is...should I ask for further scans to check my lymph nodes in that area, or should I just relax and believe that it could be related to tight muscles? I am constantly nervous about every little twinge that I feel now. I do have an appointment with a Cognitive Behavioral therapist today to, hopefully, help me deal a bit better with this diagnosis. I am still having a really difficult time. Thanks in advance for any advice anyone may be able to offer.

Jennifer
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Re: Underarm Pain,,,worrying too much?

Postby Catherine Poole » Wed Nov 08, 2017 11:13 am

That is normal, to be anxious and hypervigilant with your body. We have all had that! Tension of muscles goes with it and the neck and shoulders are prone to have that tightening from stress. You had a low risk lesion and it wouldn't seem to be an issue with recurrence. You are on the right path seeking counseling and you might try massage and meditation too. It's ok to get things checked when you are worried though. You know your body best.
Catherine M. Poole, President/Founder
Melanoma International Foundation
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Re: Underarm Pain,,,worrying too much?

Postby JennyMK0908 » Mon Nov 13, 2017 3:41 pm

Thank you for your encouraging responses Catherine! I can't tell you how much your words help. I started with my cognitive behavioral therapist last week and have another appointment tonight. It has helped to talk about things. I also saw my primary doctor last week and he said he felt no lumps in my neck or armpits, he said the pain is most likely associated with the strained muscles in my neck and back. He gave me a OMT (osteopathic manipulation therapy) session and it helped some for a couple of days, but I have noticed that the tension is starting again. I think it is because I am just having a really hard time focusing on the positives of my situation (thin low risk lesion, it was completely excised with clear margins, I am now on top of derm appointments, any tests I've had have come back normal,etc), instead I find it easier to believe that the worst will happen (that I will be the 1% that will have it spread). No matter how many times I read the positives, I still tend to focus on those darn negative statistics. I am hoping that with time I will begin to believe that I can be one of those that live another 20+ years melanoma-free.
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Re: Underarm Pain,,,worrying too much?

Postby Bella4444 » Tue Nov 14, 2017 7:27 am

Hi Jenny,

Sounds like we are twins haha I have been having pain around my underarm and I freak out thinking the worst but then I remember my cat was sitting on my chest and his paw was digging into my underarm area.

I think to some extent we will always have an “uh oh moment” when we feel not right but as Catherine has said it eventually goes to the back of your mind and with meditation and positive thinking it will be less and less of a consuming thought. It’s great you are seeing a therapist, I was thinking of doing the same, I’m trying not to make my family crazy with all the questions haha

I come on here when I get a bit worried but I feel much better after posting or even reading through the forum and seeing the responses from previous posts.

I wish you all the best and keep us informed how the therapy is going if it helps I may go and see if it works for me :D

Oh and stress does crazy things, I had so much tension built up in my shoulders that the muscle was compressing the nerve that runs up the side of my head so every time I stressed and moved I would get shooting pains up the side of my head which of course made me think “great now I have brain cancer”.

I think it’s natural after what we all go through :)
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Re: Underarm Pain,,,worrying too much?

Postby JennyMK0908 » Tue Nov 14, 2017 3:04 pm

Hello Bella 4444!

I stress myself out on a daily basis since this diagnosis back in August! Every twinge, ache, pain, spot scares me! I'm hoping with time, this will subside. Logically I know that my lesion was low risk, but in the dark corners of my mind...well, you know! :(

I had an appointment with my therapist last night. It does help to talk things out with her. She is helping to bring me back to the reality of my situation, and helps me to not focus so much on the bad things that probably won't happen. It's easy to focus on those things when you see the scary stories online, but like you, I come here when I need to vent or when I need to see what other people are going through and see what Catherine has to say to them to help calm their nerves. What she said to you about being "unlikely to get it again" and that if we do get it again "it is not going to be more aggressive" really helped me get through yesterday. I guess this is struggle will just be day to day.

I appreciate you commenting. It's nice knowing someone else is out there going through the same fears as I am, as unfortunate as they are!

Take care! :)
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