I had complete axillary lymph node removal in April following a R forearm melanoma with probable micromets to sentinel node (long story–6 dermopaths couldn’t determine whether the node had normal pigmented lesion or melanoma). Axillary nodes were clear, PET scan was clear, and further treatment other than every 3 month checkups and 6 month CT scans were advised.
I had my first CT with contrast last week. I got a call from the nurse at my former oncologist’s to ask me if I was seeing a melanoma oncologist because they received my report (by mistake). I casually asked her if it was OK, and she said there were “soft tissue changes in the area of my surgery.”
Now I’m anxious. I don’t see the melanoma oncologist till the 20th because he’s out of town. I tried googling this but apparently “soft tissue changes” is too broad and has too many meanings.
I am HOPING this means that the area in which my nodes were removed looks different, and not that I have recurrent, internal disease.
The CT guy DID tell me that my lungs and organs looked disease-free (but I know, he’s not a radiologist).
Just when I hope this horrible nightmare is behind me, anxiety strikes again.
If you didn’t find anything specific to melanoma with regard to the soft tissue changes via google, then it sounds as if there are other things it can be besides melanoma. And that’s not a bad thing to keep in the back of your mind.
I had a scare at around the 6 month mark where after my scan, the onc told me they spotted “something” and he couldn’t say with 100% certainty that it was scar tissue. I was then scheduled for a fine needle aspiration with ultrasound. For me, during the ultrasound the area of concern showed fluid moving about — blood. It was just a bulging blood vessel that was part of the healing process after my axillary dissection. They never even had to stick the needle in me!
The waiting is no fun but you are going to have to bite the bullet and try to hang in there until your visit to the onc on the 20th. If your onc decides that they need to take a closer look, then it’s possible you may have to undergo the same procedure that I did.
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