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All TopicsForum: Not Diagnosed but Worried → Topic: Armpit pain helped me find my lump

Topic: Armpit pain helped me find my lump

Forum: Not Diagnosed but Worried — Meet others worried about developing breast cancer for the first time.

Posted on: Jul 31, 2012 09:54AM

stormycj wrote:

I am new to this forum, but so far I have found comfort and answers to a lot of my questions.  About four months ago I started to feel what I thought was muscle soreness in my armpit.  I am in the military and we're always doing pushups so I chalked it up to something good, building more muscle.  After a couple of months I realized that it never really went away.  I backed off of the pushups and I still had this dull achy feeling.  On Friday I felt around that area and found a hard oval lump in my right breast, really close to my armpit.  I never really felt there when doing my self-exams.  I went to the doctor yesterday and he said it is 1 1/2 cm long by 1 cm wide, hard but moveable.  I have a mammo scheduled for 2 weeks from now.  They said the radiologist will do the mammo and will decide on the ultrasound based on what he sees.  The hardest part about all of this is that I don't really have anyone to talk to about this except my husband - which is hard because his mother died from cancer.  I don't want to worry my mother because I don't know anything yet and her mother died from Lymphoma.  I feel really alone, but this community has helped me realize that I am not alone.   Thank you so much!

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Jul 31, 2012 10:28AM amanda1116 wrote:

I know this is hard to do right now (I know from personal experience) but try to bear in mind that 80% of all breast lumps found on exam or diagnostic test are completely B9.  We are inundated with breast cancer news, and the scariest (I find) is the 1 in 7 thing (as in women who will get breast cancer).  However, that is over a lifetime and it means that 6 out of 7 will not be diagnosed with breast cancer.  The odds are very much in your favor.  I know this probably doesn't make you feel all that much better right now: this is only a website full of virtual strangers and even those we are close to sometimes can't really change or improve our fears or feeings.  But I bet diagnostic mammography and/or sonogram or MRI or whatever (if anything) is further recommended will improve them and soon!!!!  Good luck with this and most important: thank you for serving our country.

Amanda 

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Jul 31, 2012 10:33AM 44andscared wrote:

Hi, I just got on this website yesterday and new to this forum. I am replying to you because your story is similiar to mine. I have not been diagnosed with cancer yet and still waiting to hear back from my doctor about my mammo and ultrasound that I just had yesterday.  (I had to go back twice since my first mammo looked suspicious) My right armpit has been sore for a few months too but never thought anything of it until I read your post.   With me I don't feel a lump but when I push in between my armpit and right breast it hurts.  I am 44 yrs old with 3 children and I am scared. Its hard to tell your parents but you need not do this alone -I think you should talk to your mom as she is best support. I now know that I am alone either.

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Jul 31, 2012 05:55PM stormycj wrote:

Thank you both for your support. I am 31 years old and have 3 children. I will tell my family if I am diagnosed with bc, but I don't want to worry anyone. I hate being scared that Im going to find out Ive had bc for years and never realized it. I dont want to put anyone else through that. 44andscared, our stories are very similar! I pray both of our results are benign. Keep me posted!

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Aug 1, 2012 01:44PM MILCHICK wrote:

I hope that you are not going to a military medical facility for your mammo. My experience with them has been worse than horrible - down right unforgivable. But, hopefully your experience will be much different - better. I will be praying for you. If I were you... I would try to get a sooner appt for the mammo. I would demand to have a biopsy done regardless of the mammo findings because that is the only way to know FOR SURE.
My story: In 2010, I was transferred to Norfolk (I was in the Navy then). I was scheduled for my annual mammo and went to my appt as normal. A week or two later, my husband found a letter to me in our mailbox stating that there were suspicious areas on my left breast and that I should call and make an appt for a diagnostic mammo and ultrasound. This letter was from a private company that did the mammogram reading, kind of like what you get after you have your annual pap smear. My husband called me immediately and read me the letter. He was still at the old place preparing for the mil movers to come pack up and move our stuff. I got off the phone with him and t just went over there because I tried to call the mammo place but only got voicemail (it was a mil facility so i just went over there because it was close by). The lady who had done the first mammo looked me up in the system and said that I had apparently already called and made my appt because I had an appt schedule for that afternoon. I told her I had done no such thing and had no idea about the appt. so she gave me all the info(when, where, doctors name, etc). Then she verified my contact info, ALL OF IT WAS WRONG! In fact, it had all been changed to my commands address as my home address. My home and cell numbers were changed to the commands duty phone as well as listing a work number for me at the command (I did not have a work number in reality). So, apparently, the command made the appointment and did not tell me. I had and still have some serious medical problems which required that I be transferred to Norfolk for treatment. I was promised quality medical care in Norfolk. IMy husband and I were promised that they would take good care of me since my husband was not allowed to transfer with me. (he was active duty then). BUT, when I got to Norfolk, they started trying to convince me that it was in my best interest that I sign a form that "against medical advice, I would like to get out of my contract." I refused to sign it because I would be out of work and injured/I'll with no way to earn a living. And, in reality, they were supposed to take good care of me - they had promised they would. Then their head games began in full force. So, it is most likely that the command had seen on medical record (electronic) that my mammo was bad. I had been warned that missing any medical appointment for any reason would Result in my being admin sep'd without any benefits. I assured them that I would never miss an appointment. So, it is my belief that they changed my personal contact info so that I would not be notified and would therefore miss the mammo appt resulting in discharge. They did not think far enough ahead because at the first mammo I had to fill out a separate form for the diagnostic company to send me results directly, like I said before, just like with a pap. Anyway, I made it to the 2nd mammo/ultrasound appt on time. But was treated with utter disregard. The tech took several view on mammo. Then left. Came back and did several more. Left again. Came back and said a few more and then to ultrasound. She did the additional views and then came back and told me to get dressed and leave. That was it. I was confused. I asked about the ultrasound and she said that they decided not to do it. They decided that the problem area was just a swollen lymph node near my nipple. No reason given for why it would be swollen. No reason for the fact that that breast was almost twice the size as the other. I never received any additional reports about anything. Nothing. Nada. Zip. Zilch. I was mortified and very scared. BTW: I never did receive any medical treatment in Norfolk. I was medically dischaRged15 months later. I was told that I would not receive anymore medical care as long as I was on active duty even though I was supposed to have a hip replacement amoung other things. It's all very sad. Knowing what I know now and currently at 6.5 months post-op, I wish I had stood up for myself and demanded the medical care that I was promised and that I deserved. However, I was too scared to fight them alone and I was very alone.

God bless you. I will be praying that you receive that quality care you have earned and deserve.

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Aug 1, 2012 04:05PM stormycj wrote:

Wow Nikki, that is horrible! Hopefully I won't have a similar story. So far the doctor was great, explained everything, and told me what steps I needed to take. I actually was offered an earlier appointment, but I already had a trip planned so I pushed it out until the 14th. I am going to a military medical facility here in Germany. We recently had a guy diagnosed with testicular cancer and he seemed to get pretty good care there. But I guess we'll see what happens. I will let you know!

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Aug 7, 2012 03:34PM, edited Aug 7, 2012 04:08PM by marcellapaz

stormycj, I want to tell you what I think, it may be a good idea to tell your family regardless of what have happened before, I will tell you why, this may be a long trip, like mine. At the beginning I was dying inside, all the confusion, all the questions, and the stress was killing me. Not knowing the outcome was the worse of all. It will be 4 years in January since the first time that they find something on my right breast. It was a solid mass and because it was bigger than 1 cm they did a Needle biopsy. This procedure was done 3 times because it was not clear the results, so finally they wrote on the report "looks like" but it was not precise, so I went to see the breast surgeon after that and she told me that we needed to wait and see if this grew bigger they would do a lumpectomy to really check on the inside of the mass, but for now it will be just a lymph node enlarge. Besides the stabbing pain that sometimes I felt, nothing new for a couple of months. My next appointme came ( 6 months after that) and this time they found out that it grew very little not enough for other procedure, no biopsy this time, just the mammogram and ultrasound and the visits to the surgeon, but this time she added something new to my file "Dense Breast Tissue" and she recommended advil and Primrose oil every night, and see you in six more months. I was very disappointed and angry and stressed. I looked for a second opinion and that took me another 3 months to get to that, but by that time they wanted to to all over again, so did it, and this time they told me that the mass was ok, no growing reported but I had grown 3 new cysts and they needed to be aspirated and scheduled the procedure for next day. Everything went fine, except for the part that they tell you see you in 6 months, because now I was a high risk, why??? Dense Breast Tissue, it becomes more difficult to actually find tumors or other alterations inside. In that time I was crying all the time and my husband was my best support. Time passed and my mom got sick and it was cancer, Ovarian cancer and it was really quick, only 6 months and she was gone. I missed my appointment and when I was really ready to go back to my life was basically 11 months since my last encounter with the doctor. I hope I'm not boring you with my story, but sometimes is the best way to learn from other, I did it too. This was April this year, the first week, I went to see my GP and he was very concern after he got the news of my mom's passing, so he practically beg me to go to the Breast center for a new mammogram. After I said yes he scheduled me for friday, it was the sooner. I had cried a lot and very disappointed with all the events in the last few month that this procedure was nothing to be scare, I new that they will do the regular mammogram and I will needed to wait and they they will call me to increase the RAD which they did, and I was prepare, I had constantly checked my breast to note any abnormality ( as they told me), but nothing everything seem to be ok, but NO, for my surprise and it was big one, they told me to wait after my third change of RAD, and they told me that the doctor needed to speak with me. At that point I was very nervous, and I was alone. This conversation was bad, the doctor told me that I had this new thing, a big mass in both breast, but bigger in the left side , I exclaim " there was nothing on the left side!! how come now there is something there?", he started talking about percentage and probabilities and a bunch of things that I didn't want to hear. I need to have a Core Biopsy right away to see what kind of tissue was this enormous mass. At that moment when I left the Breast center I was very concern, and sad and really worry and I took a bad decision NOT to tell my husband until I had result, it was bad enough that we have to be waiting every 6 months to see if there is any changes. I was being consumed inside, couldn't sleep, eat or speak, this was friday saturday and sunday, my appointment was for tuesday morning, I needed to have 5 days without my other meds, but sunday night, it was passed midnight, my husband turned on the light and told, I need to know what's going on!! NOW. He was mad at me, because I didn't tell him right away, we cried for awhile and then he told me that what ever this was, we will get though it. I had my core biopsy they took 4 samples and the pathology report came back negative for cancer, but the diagnosis was 4 different things, I have a small papilloma growing inside one of the ducts, and I have abnormal cells growing like crazy, but they don't have Atypia, which when is present is like a closer step for breast cancer, so my biggest concern was "will my cells change to have atypia? and I was told that it was very possible, but there is no way to be sure just close watch, my next appointment including a core biopsy is in September, what a way to pass the summer, just waiting for good news. My message for you is share what ever it is with your family they will be your support, no matter what. Now try not to strees that much, at the moment I have several lymph nodes enlarged, and with some pain, Right side armpit, this one is the worse and then other two in the left side, less pain, one in my belly and one in my neck, they are all fine. I was told by my breast surgeon that lymph node get enlarge because they try to help in the area where is the issue going on, they are like filter so work more when something is not right in my case the abnormal growing of cells, even now is a benign condition they are swollen more that make me think all the time. Best of luck for you.