Long stressful wait for pathology!!!

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    • #11793
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      Hey all. In a weird way was hoping to maybe just observe and read instead of having to submit my own questions. But tonight my anxiety has taken a strong hold and the waiting game is tearing me up. I had a suspicious mole on my right arm removed September. Went to have stitches removed two weeks later to find out it is melanoma. December 9 I hade a wide excision, and sentinel node along with two other nodes removed. Ended up with a baseball size seroma in my underarm and fluid draining until about 5 days ago. I have no pathology report back. My local GP and surgeon are shocked there is nothing yet. (I am 3 hours away from Edmonton). My surgeon in the city promised he would “get on it” and call asap. Still no call. Is this normal? Has anyone waited this long for their pathology report?? I am trying so hard to keep busy and remain positive but finding it harder as time passes. I have 3 kids, 11, 7, and 4. I just need to know I’m ok.

    • #11796
      Annette Cyr
      Participant

      Hi there. I think the vast majority of us have played the waiting game. And it is agonising – almost harder than knowing. I feel for you having to wait this long. Likely the Christmas holidays may have delayed, but quite honestly, you are well past a month. Normally, pathology should be back within two weeks, maybe three if there is a holiday in there. But yes, this is too long for sure. You have to make noise, like you have..be persistent. Tell them you are having great anxiety – whatever you have to. Ridiculous to take this long as you will still have to have an appointment to get the results. Get on the surgeon and his office and your GP. No reason for this length of delay – especially in a large centre like Edmonton that has a treatment centre for melanoma. Let us know what happens – sometimes things get misplaced, but there is no reason for this length of delay.

      Annette – MNC

      • #11804
        Anonymous
        Inactive

        I can’t thank you enough for taking the time to respond. I called right away this morning and by this afternoon they had results. She (my surgeon’s office girl and not sure if she is a nurse), was able to tell me over the phone that 4 nodes came back negative, I thought only three were removed. However that gives me such huge relief. She said there is something “suspicious” from the tissue of wide excision and the dermatologist needs to diagnose. I am very relieved and will call the derm tomorrow to set up follow up. I won’t wait for them to call as she didn’t seem to have any other info for me. I am learning very quickly that you have to be your own advocate. I have felt very alone and greatly appreciate having found this group on my own. It makes me sad that there really is no support or literature given immediately upon diagnosis. That being said I of course am the first patient with Melanoma that my GP has encountered. Thank you again.

    • #11808
      Annette Cyr
      Participant

      You are so welcome. Believe me – we all know what it is like to wait and the times just seem to be getting longer. It is so hard to be your own advocate when dealing with the stress and fear from a diagnosis. We shouldn’t have to do that. We expect more understanding, professionalism and empathy from our medical providers, but sometimes they lose the focus or don’t understand what it is like to be on this side. So yes. This is the time to stand up and be counted. Believe me, if you aren’t on them, in a polite way, you may be sitting in a pile and not a priority, surprisingly. Wonderful that you have some good news about the nodes. I can send you our booklet on melanoma for patients – best one our there! Just send me an email or you can download from our website. What you mentioned about the margins – they may have to go in and get a bit more tissue as what they took out may not have given sufficient clear margin – not uncommon, but may mean another day surgery. Hoping it is nothing. My email is acyr@melanomanetwork.ca Let us know if you have any other questions. Have a good one.
      Annette

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