Well, I've survived another bout of cancer--this time it was armpit cancer. No, of course I didn't REALLY have cancer. If you've read my blog for a bit, you'll know that I always think of the worst--and probably the most farfetched--diagnosis for each suspicious medical ailment. Mostly I think I have cancer a lot. In other words, when I hear hoof beats, I think zebras; not horses.
Last week, on Thursday, Gran and I had a little shopping excursion (I'll have to tell you more later--perhaps a Day of Beauty is in order soon) followed by lunch (yes, we DO seem to manage to work food into our excursions, don't we?!). I had been bothered by a bit of pain under my arm for a few days, and on Thursday, by the time we were at the restaurant, it seemed to be getting worse. By Saturday, I had convinced myself it was some kind of cancer that had metastasized into a lymph node. Or maybe it was a cancerous tumor. Cancer of the armpit. (I hadn't HEARD of armpit cancer, but maybe it's just not talked about a lot?! What do they PUT in deodorant anyway? Can it really be okay to use it day after day?) At times, the pain radiated from my armpit toward my back and if I pressed on the painful spot, it was a burning pain--kind of like when you were a kid and scraped all the skin off your knee. Remember that? (It probably wouldn't have hurt as much or as often if I had quit pressing on it, but it was hard to decide whether there was a lump/tumor or just a spot of intense pain, so I had to.)
I was supposed to see my workers' compensation doctor on Tuesday, although I wasn't sure if I should see HIM for my armpit cancer or whether I should make an urgent appointment with my own family physician, but in the end, I decided to wait. The pain was not as intense as it had been, and I finally reasoned that the burning nature of the pain may be due to nerve involvement--the reason I was seeing the workers' compensation doctor in the first place.
As I drove toward the doctor's office, I grew apprehensive. How do they treat armpit cancer? After all, they can't amputate an armpit. Would I ever see my cats again? The Sweat Shop? Hubby? Would I be rushed from the doctor's office to the hospital for surgery? (Was I wearing clean underwear?)
Yeah, you already know the outcome--it wasn't cancer after all. The doctor told me it was most likely related to the problem with my hands/arms because the pain was located in an area where a bunch of nerves come together and then travel down the arm to the hands. In fact, he thought I may have irritated the nerve as a result of the physical therapy exercises I was given to do at home. Which also supports my opinion that exercise is a dangerous thing, and my physical therapist was a sadist. But at least I don't have armpit cancer. Yep, I'm a survivor. Yay me. (And what color is the armpit cancer ribbon anyway?)