Let me preface this by saying that I am in the midst of a VERY stressful time in my life -- it's all good stuff, but involves moving my family across the country. I have been stressed to the max by the whole process, plus I'm in one of those phases where it seems like I see cancer everywhere I turn. One of my son's former teachers, the dad of one of the kids at my daughter's bus stop, a friend of a friend. It feels like it's everywhere right now. I'm doing all the right things, but I'm still feeling very vulnerable and on-edge.
About 1.5 years ago I noticed that the contour of one armpit was different from the other. Basically, there was a bit of armpit towards to bottom that seemed to stick out on one side more than the other. It's definitely visible, but I can't feel anything when I press on it --- it's just a fattier area if that makes any sense. About 9 months after first noticing that, I was diagnosed with a benign tumor in that armpit. It was actually a breast tumor, but in the armpit. I don't think that the tumor was related to the different contours. The tumor was removed in December and, at first, I didn't notice the difference in contours (probably because of all the swelling). I'm seeing it again now (maybe more pronounced?) and trying to just tell myself that it's normal asymmetry. I was doing mostly OK with that until today when I got out of the shower and noticed a bunch of dry skin on my nipple -- one the same side as the weird armpit. I know it's normal to get some flaky skin on your nipples, but this was more than I ever remember seeing. It rubbed off (it wasn't even really attached, if that makes sense) and my nipple looks totally normal underneath. I checked for discharge and there was nothing. I had some dry skin on the other side, but only about 10% of what was on this side.
I am, of course, freaked out that there's some sort of cancer in the breast tissue under my arm when has spread to my nipple. I am up-to-date on my mammo (8 months), but 4 months late on my GYN annual because we're moving out of state and I need to find a new doctor. I can't even do that until late next month because our new insurance is very regional and I'm 1100 miles away from our new home. As part of my road to surgery, I had an ultrasound on this armpit in December. They were looking at the mass, but it's not a big area and I have to image they'd have seen something else while they were in there, right?
I realize that a big portion of what's going on is a reaction to the other big stress in my life, but it doesn't make it any less scary. I'm trying to stay calm and reasonable, but it's hard.
So help me -- armpit asymmetry isn't really the harbinger to anything sinister (especially where there are no discernible lumps) and women get skin that rubs off their nipple sometimes, right?