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Author Topic: Pretty sure I have melanoma  (Read 656 times)

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Offline Koth1989

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Pretty sure I have melanoma
« on: December 28, 2013, 11:14:01 PM »
I am a major hypo, so my family thinks I'm nuts. Unfortunately, I think it's a case of the boy who cried wolf.

About two years ago, before my HA, I was going to tanning beds frequently for a period of a few months.  During this time, a mole on my left shoulder blade became inflamed - larger suddenly, red and oozed clear liquid. Invincible and naive 21 year old me thought nothing of it. Skin cancer? Nah. Eventually this went away and the mole now looks almost normal. No puffiness, no oozing, light brown.

About a month ago, I noticed a rock hard lymph node behind my right ear. It is mobile but is as hard as the bone underneath it. By now I have severe HA. Convinced I had cancer, I went to see a nurse practitioner who was unable to even identity it. He couldn't feel it, but I could.

I got a referral to an ENT who looked at and lightly touched the node, and shined a light in my nose an mouth an ears. He said he was 100% sure I don't have cancer. 100%.

Using the head in the sand technique, I didn't mention the mole from 2 years ago, because I was afraid that it really could have been cancer.

Now I am making the connection. On Thursday, I am going to have the mole looked at and probably biopsied.

The only reasonable explanation is skin cancer, as far as I can tell.

I wish so badly that I could find something that said SOMETIMES maybe, a suddenly enlarged oozing mole might not be cancer. But alas, I cannot. I made a fatal mistake by not getting it looked at initially.
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Offline Bertz1985

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Re: Pretty sure I have melanoma
« Reply #1 on: December 29, 2013, 11:55:46 AM »
I don't know that much about melanoma, but I'm pretty sure cancer doesn't get better without treatment. I'm sure if it was cancer it would've continued to get worse and you would have had more moles pop up.
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Offline hayter

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Re: Pretty sure I have melanoma
« Reply #2 on: December 29, 2013, 11:58:39 AM »
100% agree with bertz! It wouldn't get better, it would of got worse after this amount of time
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Offline Koth1989

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Re: Pretty sure I have melanoma
« Reply #3 on: December 29, 2013, 01:09:29 PM »
Thanks, guys. This concept is my one saving grace in all of this mess.
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Offline Koth1989

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Re: Pretty sure I have melanoma
« Reply #4 on: December 29, 2013, 07:32:25 PM »
Anyone else have input?
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Offline stephtronic

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Re: Pretty sure I have melanoma
« Reply #5 on: December 30, 2013, 12:10:55 AM »
What you described sounds nothing like melanoma. Skin cancer would only get worse *especially over the course of two years*, and it doesn't ooze from what I know. Sounds more like some sort of infection due to irritation. If it were skin cancer, your mole would not have gone back to normal.

Also, the ENT said that you were fine and did not have cancer. They are the best people to go to about the lymphatic system of the head and neck. They're specialists. They know way more about what they're saying than you do. Even if you showed him the mole, he would have still told you that you're fine because what you describe about it doesn't sound like melanoma at all.

You're going to be fine!
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My fake plants died because I did not pretend to water them.

Offline Koth1989

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Re: Pretty sure I have melanoma
« Reply #6 on: December 30, 2013, 09:33:12 AM »
Thank you so much, Steph. Your guys support has made me calm enough to function until I see the doc. I owe you big time and will continue to do my part for this community helping others.
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Offline Koth1989

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Re: Pretty sure I have melanoma
« Reply #7 on: December 30, 2013, 04:59:24 PM »
Doctors appt Thursday. Preparing myself..
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Offline Koth1989

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Re: Pretty sure I have melanoma
« Reply #8 on: January 01, 2014, 02:22:02 PM »
Just discovered that the mole is soft and moves around.. Based on what little I know about bad ***** on your body, that's a GOOD sign. The hard node is still behind my right ear, and now there is a painful spot behind my left ear, but no node. Not imagining this. It's pretty bad. When I touch it lightly, it stings pretty gnarly
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Offline tiredoflivinginfear

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Re: Pretty sure I have melanoma
« Reply #9 on: January 01, 2014, 02:39:14 PM »
Please let us know when you come back.

Three years ago when I had an annual check up, my doctor happened to see a brown spot on my nail. He started with: "I don't want to scare you but..." - which is exactly the words you should avoid like the plague when talking to a hypochondriac.
He sent me to a specialist for close inspection. If I hadn't been so lucky to find a dermatologist who could take me in that very day, I think I would have collapsed under fear.
It looked exactly like melanoma...and when I got to the specialist, she looked closely with a loup and she couldn't give any verdict either. Tnhat was when I freaked out. It was absolutely horrible. So then she wanted to take a biopsy right there, so they got me on a little surgery table and cut my nail off...and when the nail was up, it was simply blood from an injury that had dried up all brown.
Usually blood dries up with some purple tint to it too, so this is why the doctor was not sure.

Those moments were absolutely horrible. I can't tell you "please keep in mind chances are it's not X" because I know a hypochondriac's mind does not function with knowing about "chances". It wants 100% assurance. Everything short of that will not work.

You will get this assurance soon. Just hold on a bit longer. I myself am counting the hours until my endoscopy.

Thinking of you,
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Offline Nurse86

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Re: Pretty sure I have melanoma
« Reply #10 on: January 01, 2014, 03:00:41 PM »
I had a lymph node behind my ear and was referred to a specialist whom said it was nothing. I freaked out. It was from a previous infection and stayed hard for a few years. I'm healthy now still. As far as your mole goes; I had a suspicious one for years and have a family history of melanoma so I finally had it removed 6 months ago. It had moderate atypical cells so no more sun for me but just understand that a mole is not just safe or cancer. There are many different stages for moles and being a nurse; I doubt it's something awful if it has persisted this long and you have no cancer symptoms. Best of luck; you'll be fine :)
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Offline Koth1989

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Re: Pretty sure I have melanoma
« Reply #11 on: January 01, 2014, 10:05:53 PM »
Thanks a lot, guys. Ire ally appreciate the support. It means the world to me. I've been feeling a ton better mentally but still quite apprehensive. Tomorrow my goal is to make sure that I get some type of testing done to give me a 100% definitive answer. Part of what is hard to deal with is when the doctor checks out the lymph node and says "not cancer but could be this or that". I can't handle a "could be"! If its not anything serious, I need a definitive diagnosis with evidence otherwise the possibility of something serious still weighs on my mind.
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Offline Koth1989

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Re: Pretty sure I have melanoma
« Reply #12 on: January 02, 2014, 02:59:49 PM »
Just left the doctors office. Kind of a dead end again with a twist.. Had her look at the mole and she said it looks fine. Then she goes and looks at the lymph node behind my ear and notices a mole on my scalp above it. Gotta be kidding me. She then tells me that she's pretty sure it's just a normal mole but that she's going to get me a referral to dermatology anyways. Obviously now I'm freaked out, big time. I asked that since the node has been swollen and hard for so long if we could image it or take it out or do ANYTHING, to which she told me no. We have to leave it for another 2 months and not touch it and if its still there, she will refer me to a surgeon. She's also Rxing me allergy meds to see if that's the cause.

So here I am.
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Offline tiredoflivinginfear

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Re: Pretty sure I have melanoma
« Reply #13 on: January 02, 2014, 03:56:33 PM »
I could not sympathize more about the "could be this or that" part. I absolutely hate it when they get there.
Like you, I need a 100% ruling out of life-threatening problems.

DO go to a dermatologist and talk to him about your need to know for sure.

I myself have just returned from the gastro doctor. I was secretly hoping for him to brush it all off and say that it's just anxiety or something, but instead he said that I may have had reflux for years and not know it and that he will want to do an endoscopy. I was going to insist on one anyway but the fact that he considered it so readily bothered me.
He said the risk for the "C" word in my esophagus is very low for a female my age (just turned 41) - but that does absolutely nothing to help me. 
I cannot believe that someone can have reflux for so many years and not know it.

I have to wait until Monday for the endoscopy and the wait is horrific.
Si please go to the derm - not because I think it is serious but just so they can rule out everything for you.
Normal people can't even come close to understanding how torturous the uncertainty (even 0.01%) can be for a hypochondriac.
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Offline Koth1989

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Re: Pretty sure I have melanoma
« Reply #14 on: January 02, 2014, 04:14:08 PM »
Thank you! I just saw a doctor at the mental health clinic and while speaking about my issue, he palpated the node and said he wouldn't even be concerned with it. I still have to go see a derm to check out the moles but I'm feeling much better.

I would just like to say: what an unlucky SOB I'd have to be for 5 different health professionals to miss cancer from my complaint about the lymph node. As well as being severely depressed about a cancer diagnosis, I imagine I'd also appreciate the comedy in the whole debacle.  Seriously, I've seen 5 doctors. I need to chill.
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