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Mass involving ectopic parotid gland. Seeing Surgeon soon. Feeling overwhelmed and scared.

Mass involving ectopic parotid gland. Seeing Surgeon soon. Feeling overwhelmed and scared.

Posted by tboyle on Dec 26, 2020 8:17 pm


I am not sure what to write here I am just feeling like I need to share my experience.

I have been experiencing a swelling in my cheek for the past year. 
It came on in a very strange way.
It would enlarge several times a day to the size of a golf ball. I assumed that there was something wrong with salivary duct. When the large swelling was not present a small bump smaller than a pea could be felt in that area. 
When I went to my family doctor and they said I would be delayed seeing and ENT specialist because of the COVID-19 pandemic. 
As I was waiting for my ENT appointment to be booked I noticed that the bump was getting larger.
I returned to my family doctor with the update. They decided too send me for an ultrasound sometime in May. I got a call the next day and was told that there were no tumors in my cheek but that my lymph nodes on the same side of my neck were enlarged. I was actually pretty happy because I was never concerned about my lymph nodes but very concerned by the swelling in my cheek.
I was sent for a follow up a month later and the nodes were still enlarged. They booked a biopsy with the ENT I was referred to for late July. 
While waiting I did notice that my cheek was getting progressively larger. 
When I went in for the biopsy the ENT decided that is was unnecessary and instead sent me for a CT scan. He said that he did not think what was in my cheek was anything sinister and it was likely a saliolith. I got my CT Scan booked for Early December in mid October. 

After my CT Scan my family doctor called me telling me that I had medium sized mass in my mid cheek and the lymph nodes in my neck are enlarged. Three weeks later I had a follow up with the ENT. He referred me to a Head & Neck Surgeon. I also got an MRI a few days ago. 

I am concerned with the rapid growth of the mass especially. There was nothing detectable in my cheek 6 months ago now there is a 2cm x 2.8cm mass there. It seems fast. 
In the last month I have started to feel a lot of discomfort in my neck and cheek including some numbness in my mouth. 

Although I do not have a diagnosis of Cancer I very concerned that this is a possible outcome and am preparing myself for it. 

I am scared and frustrated. I feel like a lot of my friends and family members feel awkward and uncomfortable talking about my concerns.
I think that I have a legitimate concern regarding the issue being cancer but whenever I try to discuss it I am met with the "you don't know that yet" response or insinuations that I am catastrophizing .

Which is true. I do not know that but I want to discuss my fears in an open way. I am trying to detach myself from the situation but its not an easy thing to do. 
I think my day to day emotional state is overall positive but I need an outlet to express my concerns. 
I am in a pivotal point in my career at the moment and put in 10-12 hours daily and I am making huge progress. 
I am very concerned that a surgery or other treatments could significantly hinder me professionally and personally. 

I know that is a lot but I feel like I needed an outlet. 

Thank you

Re: Mass involving ectopic parotid gland. Seeing Surgeon soon. Feeling overwhelmed and scared.

Posted by Whitelilies on Dec 26, 2020 9:58 pm

tboyle‍ Hello and welcome to our caring site......
I am glad you found us.....we are your outlet!
Share here.....vent here.....ask here.....we will respond.
I am not an expert on this area, if it is cancer....but I **do** understand all the emotions you are feeling.
You want and need to discuss it, openly, with friends and family, and they do/may/ not.  They want to brush it under the rug.
You want an open door.....they may not be ready for this.  But......you are smart, and are in "boy scout" mode; be ready.
Please do not over-google......it may be very unhelpful.
Soon, your Dr will tell you his findings.
Waiting is also a hard part.......Use this time to do your favourite things.....walk outdoors a bit......have a new flavour of coffee.....call an old friend.
Keep focused at work, as best you can.  This is a great "outlet" too.
Keep your mind busy.

Keep sharing.....we are listening.


Re: Mass involving ectopic parotid gland. Seeing Surgeon soon. Feeling overwhelmed and scared.

Posted by Essjay on Dec 27, 2020 3:09 pm

tboyle‍ welcome.

Im sorry you are still in limbo, waiting for a diagnosis. There’s a lot of that with cancer treatment - waiting for a test, waiting for the results, waiting to hear what the plan is...

Hope you get some answers soon - I know how much it reduces the anxiety, just to know...

Triple Negative Breast Cancer survivor since July 2018