Found new lump in dissected armpit this morning.

Molly001 Member Posts: 419
Hi everyone, I've not been on here for a few months as my life's been pretty full of non-cancery things. I recently left the family home with my two little ones and it's been an intensely stressful and emotional experience. Anyhow, this morning whilst showering, I found a lumpy area in the armpit which has had all the nodes removed with my mastectomy. I'm less than a year out of active treatment. I was on tamoxifen but switched to zoladex & exemestane a few months ago. I'm also on a clinical trial investigating palbociclib as a preventative. The feel of the lump is all too familiar, but I just don't want to face it. I don't want to tell anyone because sharing the knowledge of its existence means it's really there and I have to do something about it. I'm giving myself a day of denial then I'll have to think about that shit-awful process of scans and needles to confirm helldom. I'm not sure, even, if I should contact my breast surgeon or my oncology trials team. Damn this Ahole SOB disease. Any lymph-cleared, irradiated ladies out there, can you tell me if lumpy scar tissue might be a possibility? Marg @Zoffiel I know you had a local recurrance in the axilla. How did this play out for you? Any help or advice would be appreciated!


  • arpie
    arpie Member Posts: 7,445
    BUGGER  BUGGER  BUGGER @Molly001  .... SO sorry to learn of this scare - I hope that you get it checked out & all is OK.   I've just had stuff done yesterday & now awaiting results on my other boob ... so sort of know the feeling.

    Bummer about the upheaval of the family life as well ... it is all added stress, sadly.  I hope you and the kiddies are going OK.

    I am sure Marg and the others will have more specific advice for you ... but I'd be getting it checked out sooner than later, for your own sake xxx  All the best xx
  • Zoffiel
    Zoffiel Member Posts: 3,372
    edited July 2018

    Hi @molly001 Give yourself a day to put your head in the sand, then it's big girl panties on and off to get it checked out. Please.

    Lumpiness in that axilla is not necessarily sinister. It can take a long time for lymph systems to re-establish themselves and there can be major changes in the landscape, including odd pockets of fluid, while that is happening. Scar tissue is also a problem, it changes all the time and  year is not very long when you consider the sort of insult the surgery caused. It can also make it very difficult to identify a new tumour when everything under the skin resembles over cooked scrambled eggs..

    I'd suggest hot footing into your GP to start with, they are likely to send you off for an ultrasound which will give everyone the first bit of information. They will also contact your surgeon and your oncologist. If there is any hesitation on their part chuck a tanty. If, at any time, you fell like you are being dismissed it's time to be difficult. The whole team needs to be up to speed;  see all of them. 

    The surgeon is the one who is probably going to drive this and, yes, there is every chance someone will want to stick a needle in it.

    I originally had a seroma, then scar tissue in the spot my recurrence sent down roots. It happens, but mine took quite a while and the unusual geography made it difficult to determine exactly what was going on.

    Molly, I'm sorry you are in this situation. Even if it turns out to be a non event, it rattles your cage. I do remember what a shit time you were having  during treatment and I'm so pleased that part of you life is behind you, tough as that must have been.

    Make the GP appointment, tell the door bitch it is urgent and don't take no for an answer. Keep digging until you are satisfied with the result, then tell people about it. Best of luck, I hope it is all a storm in a teacup. Marg xxx

  • Zoffiel
    Zoffiel Member Posts: 3,372
    Ah, just absorbed the 'Oncology Trials Team' bit. Contact them yourself, but I'd still see your GP as well. Mxx
  • Sister
    Sister Member Posts: 4,960
    Shit! I can't offer anything other than what has been said. So hard to stick your neck out for answers but don't be sidelined. Thinking of you.
  • socoda
    socoda Member Posts: 1,767
    Best wishes @Molly001, crossing everything that it's just the landscape. Xx 
  • Afraser
    Afraser Member Posts: 4,327
    My self discovered lump in the other armpit (hadn't even finished chemo!) turned out to be a schwannoma - had to look it up but critical information was that it had probably been there for ages and was totally benign. We all fear the worst. You do have to get it checked, by whoever seems appropriate, but take heart, it may just be one of the weird but harmless things our bodies have that we don't know about! Best wishes. 
  • kezmusc
    kezmusc Member Posts: 1,544
    Hey @Molly001.

    This disease really does suck.  Every little lump and bump sends shivers.  I had lumpectomy, level 2 aux clearance and 30 rads.  There are lumpy bits under my arm, mostly near the scar tissue, plus I think you can feel more weird stuff because so much has been removed in there.  I spend half my life feeling my bits and trying not to freak out.  Things go up and down depending on the weather, what bra I wear and sometimes for reasons only known to itself. My supraclavicular nodes are a bit puffy at the moment where they were nuked, but they do that on and off.
    Goodness knows how I would feel anything in the offending boob.  It's still like a bit of a rock.

    Hopefully if you can get some sleep you will feel a bit better in the morning and be able to muster the strength to go and get it checked.

    Fingers and toes crossed for you lovely  

  • primek
    primek Member Posts: 5,392
    It could be anything from scar tissue or cording. I'll put money on cording  which feels just like a node and it's springy. But if course you have  to go through the bloody investigation process. Yeah to leaving your stressful as it is...things will improve eventually  as you settle into your new life. X
  • Kiwi Angel
    Kiwi Angel Member Posts: 1,952
    Hi @Molly001 - did you make an appointment to get the lumpiness checked out?  How did you go?
  • Molly001
    Molly001 Member Posts: 419
    Hey @Kiwi Angel thanks for checking in. I've decided that since I'm not sure if the lumps are new or not I will monitor for a week & see if there's any changes first.
  • arpie
    arpie Member Posts: 7,445
    Hey @Molly001   - I got checked out a few weeks after finding an unexpected lump in my other boob - and all is good - I just need to get it checked again in Nov/Dec & keep an eye on it.  

    See if you can get it checked, sooner than later - it will save you some anxiety, I reckon!  xx

    Interesting that you've mentioned Exemestane - it is the first time I've seen it mentioned on the forum - especially as I am now on it myself as of today!  Had you been on Letrozole previously?  Exemestane is hopefully going to give me less aches  pains.  Is it working for you?

    All the best xxx
  • kmakm
    kmakm Member Posts: 7,974
    It pops up every now and then @arpie:) K xox
  • Molly001
    Molly001 Member Posts: 419
    @arpie exemestane is otherwise known as aromasin. I was on tamoxifen prior as I was pre-menopausal at 39yo. My oncol changed me to zoladex injections, which supress the ovaries and keep me in artificial meno, with the exemestane, as he believes it's slightly more effective and lower risk. Plus he thinks 5 years on exemestane may be enough as opposed to 10 years on tamoxifen.
  • kmakm
    kmakm Member Posts: 7,974
    @kezmusc Is the above post something that could work for you?