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Author Topic: Firm lump/lymph node? in suprasternal notch (throat hollow), cancer scare  (Read 1925 times)

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Offline Cassafras

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Hello everyone!  I am new to this forum, and have decided to join because my (usually mild) health anxiety is at an all time high.  About a month ago I was scratching my the front of my neck ( I was wearing an itchy wool scarf) and found a small lump in the hollow of my throat.  I was surprised because I had never noticed it before, but then again I had never felt around that area for anything.  The lump is located right at the top of the sternum, it sort of sits on the top of the bone but is very slightly recessed into the notch. It is almost right in the middle.  It does move around quite easily, is firm, completely painless, and about 1cm.  It has an irregular feel to it.  It is firm over all, but the edges are more firm, and it has a kind of dimple in the middle. 
I went to the ER about it because my doctors office said they couldn't see me about it for a month (!!!).  Plus I have been having unexplained pelvic pain that I had convinced myself was cancer and the cancer must have metastasized to my lymph system.  The ER doc just tried to calm me down, and called my DRs office.  He was able to get me an appointment with them for a few days later. 
When I did finally go to the doc, she did a pelvic exam and a pap smear.   She didn't say she found anything after the exam( and I was too afraid to ask), but she did schedule me for a pelvic ultrasound.  My pap results were supposed to be back the next day, but it wasn't, nor was it back three days later.  Supposedly it will be back today, but I am scared it was late because they found cancer and the lab needed more time to process and double check :/ 
My doc also checked the lump in my neck, seemed a little concerned, and said "yes, that is not a regular thing" and scheduled me an ultrasound on my neck as well.  So I go for both ultrasounds tomorrow morning.  I am not actually nervous about the tests, but super nervous about the results!  I also hate the waiting game.  I have no idea how long it will be before the tests are read and results sent back. 
I am most nervous about the lump/possible lymph node.  I know that supraclavicular nodes are something to be nervous about, and this is near that area.  There isn't much information about nodes in the suprasternal notch online.  And the info on sternum nodes are all for nodes that are under or over the sternum.  This is at the top of the sternum, between the clavicles. 
So yeah, I am freaking out.  I actually started planning my death and how I am going to try to die with grace, and that I will write my own obituary.   :sprachlos020:
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Online BuzzBee1

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Hi Cass,

Welcome to the forum.  You are now a member of our community, where you will find support and advice from other members in similar situations.   It's always nice to find someone else who understands, and to know you're not alone.

We have sections in the forum that address specific concerns, so feel free to post or start a new topic in the section that best fits your situation.  Feel free to explore the rest of the forum.  You may find the other topics helpful, and you may be able to offer advice or support to someone else.

We also have a chat room for members over the age of 18.  Once you have made three meaningful posts, you will be allowed access to the chat room.

Cass, I also hate waiting for test result!!  It would be so nice, if they could read them while you wait, wouldn't it?  Just remember that the chances of either of these being serious are very small.  I know your HA tells you differently.  There are many here at AZ who are also struggling with HA, so I'm sure u will find support and comfort here.

Good luck to you, and again, welcome to AZ.

Buzzy
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Offline Cassafras

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Thanks for the welcome Buzz:)  It surely is frustrating waiting for results.  I know the Drs offices are very busy, and I am not the only person they are taking care of, but it is so hard to wait when I am so FULL of anxiety. 

I weighed myself today for the first time in about a week and a half, and I have lost 6 lbs.  My first (rational) thought was "oh wow, my anxiety is really taking a toll and making me lose weight", my second (irrational) thought was "wait, unexplained weight loss is a sign of lymphoma".  Oy.
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Offline fannyanxious

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Hi Cass, I know what your going through, it sounds almost exactly like what I went through over a year ago, although my doctor didn't send me for a scan, she just did a wait and see if it grows method! But thankfully it didn't and I check it every now and then and its still the same size, so the doc concluded that it is probably just something that I've always had but like you probably just hadn't noticed it before. It is so hard to not worry about it and if I'm honest I did exactly the same, started preparing myself for the worst but I wish I hadn't, its such a waste of time and energy that should be better spent enjoying life. I know, its easier said than done ;)
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Offline Cassafras

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Thanks Fanny, it is nice to hear that others have gone through the same thing and turned out fine :)  You are a trooper for doing the wait and see.  I know that the odds are that I am fine too, but it's so hard when you look up symptoms and all you get are the bad results!  I have tried looking up benign things it could be, but there aren't very many, and some of the benign things are pretty rare.  I am hoping the ultrasound tech will at least tell me what she sees tomorrow (not a diagnosis, just literally what we are looking at).  Maybe it will put my mind at ease a little more.

And thanks again!
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Offline mollyfin

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Hope your ultrasound went well!
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Offline Cassafras

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Thanks, Mollyfin.  I just got eh results this morning.  My neck ultrasound did not pick up the lump, so my doc just wants to wait to see if it gets bigger because she's not concerned.  I do feel less anxious about it, but am still scared that it is a cancerous node and it should be biopsied to be sure its not.  The idea of waiting to see if it grows doesn't make sense to me, because if it does than am I just waiting fo the cancer to spread? 

My pelvic ultrasound went fine.  I do have a cyst on my left ovary that is bleeding.  So I need to have that checked by an obgyn.  But the pain I have been having is prob just from ovarian cysts, which are pretty benign.
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