confused, please help

Posted By
8/11/2010 2:58pm
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Replies: 6

It has been about 5 years since I have used this site - a lot has changed. 

Currently I am upset and confused and would like some feedback from this community to help ease my heart/mind.

My initial MM occurred in my upper back in 2001.  I had a local met in the skin just below the initial site and 1 lymph  node with a very small MM.  I had an axilla dissection and then about 6 years later I had a very small subcutanious lump taken out of that same dissection site that was also MM.  I had radiation and nothing has happened to that axilla since - I call it my perfect armpit since no hair grows there anymore :-)

About 4 months ago I suddenly had a lot of pain in my hip/buttock - to the point that I couldn't really sit without discomfort.  It felt like I had a muscle knot in that area.  The pain went away and then it came back again about a month later.  Again, the pain went away.  Then at the beginning of June I felt an enlarged lymph node in my groin - it popped up suddenly and was very painful.  I went to a GP who put me on anti-biotics.  He left the "muscle knot" on my hip and thought it could be a lipoma so he sent me for an ultrasound.  The ultrasound said that the "knot" was some kind of vascular tumor. 
My oncologist thought the "tumor" was also just a lipoma so he sent me to see a surgeon.  By the time I got to the surgeon, the skin above the "tumor" had become very inflammed, red, swollen and very very sore.  It was like a band of pain that went from my hip to the lymph nodes in my groin. 
The surgeon thought that it looked very much like an infection of some kind.  He put me on Keflex which helped with the pain and the redness has gone down a bit and the lymph node is no longer sore.
In the mean time, I had a regular appointment yesterday with the oncology surgeon who took out that little lump in 2008. He looked at the lump on my hip and told me that it is probably melanoma - which he said is likely a met from the very first one on my back in 2001!!!!!!  WHAT!?  He did a needle biopsy and I have an MRI on Friday and then get the results on Tuesday.

I am very confused.  Has anyone else every had a MM that got inflammed like an infection and responded to antibiotics?  How could my first MM travel down to my left butt/hip without leaving anyother pieces in other pleaces - all my scans and blood work came back normal late June.  How could three other doctors who all knew my history, not think that this lump is melanoma.  I don't know what to think.  I am going crazy.  It if is MM, it is very big compared to the other ones I have had, and now there is lymph node involvement.  I don't know what to do.  The two different surgeons seemed to both be so sure about what they think it is, but they both think it is something different. 

I am so upset.  Please send me your thoughts. 

All signs look like lipoma. Just continue to push for answers untl you are comfortable with the decision.

I guess it will feel like a lifetime until Tuesday rolls around.  I wish you well.

 

http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/lipoma/DS00634

TAC - (8/11/2010 - 4:19pm)

It just seems that some doctors try to rule out the simplest cause (infection) first. But given your history, I needle biopsy should have been done, in my opinion.  I had a situation that the tragus (little piece of flesh in front of each ear) on my left ear "lighted up) on my scan. Off to surgical oncologist. Looked at it and immediately ordered a needle biopsy. Was melanoma. Surgery followed with a skin graft to fix the piece of my ear that was now missing.

As to how melanoma got to your hip area....lymph system. If it turns out to be melanoma, you should also get a scan just to be sure that everything is OK elsewhere. Best wishes.

KatyWI - (8/11/2010 - 11:29pm)

I am so sorry this is happening to you.  Hang in there because it still could all be nothing.  But, unfortunately it could be MM.  Once it decides to metastisize, it can travel anywhere in the body.  My primary was on my shoulder in 2001, I had five years of clear scans and had a clear chest Xray just weeks before having a subQ pop up in 2009.  My primary doctor knows my history - in fact she removed my inital MM in 2001.  And still she believed it to be a sebaceous cyst.  I even asked if it could be MM and she said no way.  Doctors just don't know.  They make the best available guesses with the best available information.  And frankly, for you OR for me, a recurrence showing up 8, 9 years after the fact is just not that common.  Most recurrences show up right away.  Key word, unfortunately, is most.

As for your lump responding to antibiotics, I don't know why that happened.  Could be it really IS an infection - that would be good news!  On the other hand, IF your lump really is MM, it could have been conicidental - mets can grow so fast they choke off their own blood supply, get really painful and enlarged, and then collapse down a little.  That's what the one on my neck did.

Hang in there,

KatyWI

Just keep going!

JuleFL - (8/12/2010 - 4:56pm)

I'm glad that you are getting this checked and biopsied.  My husband was seen by a dermatologist on 2 occasions who said his lumps were lipomas.  She did no further testing.  When he saw his oncologist after finding melanoma in his lung, the onc saw the lumps and said they were melanoma.  We lost valuable time by not being able to pursue treatment early.  His original melanoma was on his shoulder 21 years earlier.  I don't mean to cause you any more stress, but those with melanoma need to be very vigilant as the disease manifests itself in different ways in different people.  The quicker you get things checked, the less worry you will have.  I'll be happy to hear that your biopsy shows a true lipoma.  Best wishes.

Jule wife of Cal

Oh, I have slipped the surly bonds of earth and danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings.........put out my hand and touched the face of God.
John Gillespie Magee, Jr

JoanR - (8/12/2010 - 5:05pm)

I wonder how many dx incompetent derms have screwed up. I don't know why Drs don't send MM or suspected mm case to an oncologist instead of a derm, derms are seldom oncologists, and melanoma is cancer not a  skin condition..just my rant...has been for years...Joan R

Sharon in Reno - (8/12/2010 - 6:59pm)

 I  (like many) have a host of doctor's to see and they all have their different opinions but most important is moving fast when it comes to the beast... I just got back from seeing my surgeon b/c a CT scan from just this past Monday is showing 2 oval rounded lesions on my left lateral cheat wall that was not on the last scan (4/10)....in english...2 new suckers popped up next to my #4 rib on my backside ....so ..... surgery is set for Aug. 31....and just like that.....I am back in the hospital fighting the beast but just as fast as melanoma pops up I am blasting it back to hell.

Move fast and don't let no one push you around, when you "know" something to be true then fight for it....Good Luck & God Bless. love, Sharon in Reno Stage IV

To Thy Own Self Be True & Move Fast When You "Know" You Have To!!