Am I crazy, Paranoid or what?

  1. Ok, this is a wierd post, but I am a bit nervous about the whole thing -So, last week, I noticed a small about pea sized lump under my arm, and at first I figured it was just some sort of boil or complicated pimple (Yes, I bathe, but, I guess that can happen to anyone?). So I hot soaked it and all that. Now it has stopped hurting and is still the same size, and hard, not painful-except where I had been squeezing it and poking...(oops)


    So, as my insurance had just changed, I attempt to get an appt with my new internist whom I have an appt with in August... I , being afraid of Cancer, request the triage RN see if I couldn't get in a little sooner (not today or anything, but maybe within the next two weeks) She says, well if it isn't hurting, it could wait probably until you appointment in August, after all it is probably just a swollen lymph node.) I feel great, no fevers, no pain etc, so I don't think my lymph nodes should be at all activated. I ask her to speak with the MD and see if I warrented a sooner appointment. She very shortly tells me she will do this and reiterates that this complaint should wait the two months- Within ten minutes she calls back and offers me 6 different appointments, including one immediately today (which I couldn't take- family obligations). SO, of course, i get to go to the MD, but I am wondering:
    1. What does a triage RN consider important for internal medicine??? Do I have to be in excruciating pain or bleeding profusely???? I know they deal with a lot of stupid people, but I explained that I had doen XYZ and gotten no relief.

    2. Does this sound like Cancer to some of you more experienced Onco RN's?? I'm really scared, I have fibrocystic breast disease, but have never thought about having Cancer before...yikes.

    I see the MD on Friday (1st time available with my work schedule...) ANy thoughts which could ease my mind until then would be appreciated. Katie
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  2. 12 Comments

  3. by   nursedawn67
    I would be interested in this myself...I had one about a week ago that dissapeared...but now I have another one just below. I realize they are probably just an ingrown hair or something like that...but I did have cancer about 11 years ago and freaks me out anytime I think theres a chance...no matter how slim.
  4. by   live4today
    Hi Katie

    Have you changed to a new deodorant lately? Sometimes when I change deodorants, I get a small lump under my arm, but it is always tender to touch. After a time, it disappears.

    Also, I have fibrocystic breast disease, too. I know from my own physician exams that a lump that is NOT painful to touch, and is 'fixed' in place is a lump that needs further evaluation.

    If a lump can easily be moved around, it is usually noncancerous, but no lump should be taken for granted so I'm glad you are going to have it checked.

    Have you ever had a breast biopsy before? If so, what did your previous biopsy (sies) show? Women, like you and I, who have fibrocystic breast disease have very lumpy breast most of the time. These lumps become more tender around the time of month we ovulate, or on or near our monthly menstrual cycle. Although they are generally just a pain in the breast, no palpable lump should be ignored. Perhaps the doc will ultrasound the area to see what it is while you are in his/her office. If not, suggest one be done, especially due to its location (under your arm) - no mammogram will be able to reach that far. My prayers are with you because I know from personal experience that any lump felt is nerve racking. :kiss
  5. by   kids
    Sounds like a sebaceaus cyst.

    Just a quick slit and out they pop like a pearl...
    If they go to long they will eventually fester and pop (gross and painful)..

    I have learned the hard way that they are usually not an emergancy for the Doctors office and it is just easier to remove them myself than have it fester while waiting for an appointment.

    Now if only I could do my own tummy tuck...
  6. by   MPHkatie
    Kids R Fun- I have actually already tried opening it with a poke from a scalpel and NOTHING would budge out, I have seen a bunch of the sebaceous cysts in the ER this isn't acting like one, but it is in an ideal location for it. and yes, it doesn't move too well, seems to be anchored, but we'll see, so many of these things turn out to be nothing. But since I have the rapid appointment as it is, I'll just let them poke at it - and I am sure I will get a lecture for poking at it myself- despite my use of sterile technique ha ha:chuckle

    Seriously though, thanks for your support. Cheerfuldoer- no biopsies prior to this, as I just have lumpiness- when I cut back on caffiene it gets way better- no mammogram- the MD won't approve it - despite their exclamations over the lumpiness I am "too young" to get cancer....
  7. by   duckie
    If a person your age is too young to get cancer, then ask your doc to explain why children die daily from it and insist on a mammogram!!!!! I will keep you in my prayers and please keep us posted on your outcome. Also, if you're not happy with his words of wisdom, there's no harm in a second opinion. Please take care of YOU for there is only one of you and that makes you very special.
  8. by   caroladybelle
    Do you have any auto immune disorders perhaps??

    I ask because I have ulcerative colitis - for about the last 13 years - and while I rarely have any GI symptoms (The disorder shows up clearer on GI biopsies), I do tend to have the skin manifestations (rashes, lesions like you describe in the armpit, erythema nodusem patches on my joints - occasional febrile arthralgias). The armpit lesions started first. I also know people with asthma, RA, fibromyalgia, and lupus that have those little knots.
  9. by   NurseDennie
    Just a quick slit and out they pop like a pearl...
    Oh Man, I'd LOVE to see that!! How big are they, generally?

    Love

    Dennie
  10. by   live4today
    Originally posted by MPHkatie
    ..........Cheerfuldoer- no biopsies prior to this, as I just have lumpiness- when I cut back on caffiene it gets way better- no mammogram- the MD won't approve it - despite their exclamations over the lumpiness I am "too young" to get cancer....
    My dear Katie, NO ONE - ABSOLUTELY NO ONE is TOO YOUNG to get cancer! Tell that doctor a bazillion nurses told you so, and get that mammogram! Research it for yourself...go on a website that is a support group for breast cancer recipients and you will see the numbers of young women with breast cancer. Call your local American Cancer Society and ask them for the statistics...they'll be more than glad to mail you a brochure/booklet on the stats. And, I'm not your mother or sister or even bestest of friend, but I am a fellow nurse like yourself and I care about YOU! Sounds like you need a second opinion by a real doc who isn't as narrow minded as the one you will be seeing on Friday. It is also NOT true that if you don't have a family history of breast cancer or any other kind of cancer that you aren't a candidate for the disease because stats have proven that statement to be wrong as well. Take control of your body! TELL that doc you insist on a mammogram, and a biopsy of that lump...ultrasound it if they must, but whatever you do, learn to take charge of your body, and don't believe everything some dimwit of a doc tells you. Whenever a doctor tells a woman she is "too young" to have a mammogram, she needs to tell him to go tell that lie to the many women who are "too young" to be dying of cancer right now because some dimwit doc told them their lump wasn't to be taken seriously because they were "too young" for such nonsense. How long have you been a nurse? What area of nursing are you working in? How old are you?

    Excuse me for being so BOLD - and having NO shame in my game - but it's being 50 years old that gives me such audacity to ask you these questions and to be so forthright with you. I myself had my first breast biopsy at the tender age of 29. From that age on, I have had four breast surgeries...all benign - Praise God -- and mammograms every year since then because of my "questionable history". The very first time I had a breast biopsy, the general surgeon gave me the following advice: (1) take vitamin E 400 IUs per day, (2) avoid caffeine at all cost, (3) get annual mammograms (4) always always always question to understanding any lump I get in my breast or under my arms no matter what anyone says.

    You'll be in my prayers on Friday, as well as that doc! He should be shot for telling young women the nonsense he does! I'd call him myself and give him a good piece of my mind if you post his number here. Heck, I'll even call him before your Friday appointment and school him on a few things about the realities of having breast and armpit lumps, etc. Let me at 'em!
    Last edit by live4today on Jun 4, '02
  11. by   shootemrn
    It may be a sebacous cyst. I had one on my wrist and my instep foot. It got hard but not painful. I showed to my ED doc and he said it was a sebacous cyst. There are two tx for these. you can incise them like a former poster stated. Or smash them with a PDR! He said when you do that you make many little drain holes. Incison can lead to infection (DUH) and you have a possibilty of them returning.
    He Bashed me a bunch of times and the cyst turned mushy and they both went away. Both of my cyst's were on bones so I dont know if the book trick will work for you. But get it checked out right away. Just ask a friendly doctor to check it out in the hospital. Say "Hey doc I need to show you something..in private..I need to take of my blouse!" May save you some anxiety and a copay at least.
  12. by   MPHkatie
    The PDR!!!! That is too funny.... I caught myslef laughing at the computer. I honestly don't know what the thing is, which is why I am going to the MD- who is a new doc for me (not the one who said I was too young for CA) and a female, so I am hoping she will understand it better...and tell me its a cyst and aren't I foolish.
  13. by   CATHYW
    [QUOTE][i]Originally posted by NurseDennie

    Oh Man, I'd LOVE to see that!! How big are they, generally?

    Oh, dennie, I don't know if you do or not-the "festering" part that was referred to is entirely gross. I have helped with some of these in the ER-the festering part looks like cottage cheese, and smells worse than smegma. Once all of that is expressed, then the waxy-looking "pearl"comes out.

    Katie, best of luck with your exam on Friday. The reason that the Dr. wanted to see you (thank God you persisted!) is that, while there are half a dozen things it could be, there is ONE thing he doesn't want it to be. But, since that ONE is the one you don't take a chance on, he told his nurse to get you in there, ASAP. IMHO, telephone triage nurses can be dangerous-they are essentially practicing medicine without a license. She should have known the same things the MD did, and should have set you up as quickly as possible. By putting you off, she was deciding (essentially) that it probably wasn't cancer-if that isn't a diagnosis, I don't know what is! I realize some docs need "gatekeepers," but they should get someone who is very experienced to do that, not just anyone. I, for one, even though I have almost 20 years of experience, most of them in critical care, would be afraid to do telephone triage. You only have to miss one person's sx, and you could be done for. To me, it isn't worth it, for pts. or nurses!
  14. by   live4today
    originally posted by mphkatie
    the pdr!!!! that is too funny.... i caught myslef laughing at the computer. i honestly don't know what the thing is, which is why i am going to the md- who is a new doc for me (not the one who said i was too young for ca) and a female, so i am hoping she will understand it better...and tell me its a cyst and aren't i foolish.
    new doc...female...what a relief that is! whew! praying for the best for you, katie! (((hugs)))

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