A woman is urging people to be vigilant with their health after she discovered a bump on her face was actually an incurable lymphoma.
Melea Patton shared her story on TikTok, saying she had noticed the “large bump” on her face more than a year ago but didn’t have health insurance, so she didn’t see a doctor until friends and family started noticing it growing bigger .
At the clinic, she was told it was most likely a swollen lymph node and was given steroids and then told to come back if the bump hadn’t reduced in size in 10 days.
“[Then] it actually clears up and it goes completely down,” Patton shared in her TikTok via the popular “Put a finger down” trend, which involves users sharing stories like they’re playing “Never Have I Ever.”
“Then three days later, it comes back and so you’re like, ‘Oh, no, I should probably go see a doctor.’”
Unfortunately, as she didn’t have health insurance yet, Patton postponed seeing a doctor for another six months. When she did, they removed the lump and had it biopsied in case it was something more sinister than a swollen lymph node.
However, the lump came back as cancerous, which was confirmed by a PET scan, with Patton then undergoing radiation.
“[The doctor] says this is the earliest case [he’d] ever seen,” she said, adding that he told her they’d do radiation on the one area.
Patton underwent radiation, admitting it was “really hard” on her body and was “kind of scary.” But after a while, she recovered and her life went “back to normal” — until she had her post-radiation PET scan.
“You’re sitting in the waiting room alone because you didn’t ask anybody to come with you because you’re a very optimistic person,” she continued in the TikTok. “And they tell you that there were two more lymphomas inside of your body.”
‘This is an incurable disease’
Trying to be optimistic, Patton asked her oncologist what the next steps in her treatment would be — and was told the news she never expected
“The doctor says, ‘Well, because it’s not going to cure it to do treatment because this is an incurable disease and, basically, we’re just going to watch and wait,’” she said.
“A lot of people live 20 more years, a lot of people live 40 more years and when something flares up, then we’ll treat it but, if not, you’re just gonna keep coming back three times a year for the rest of your life,” she recalled the physician telling her.
“PSA: make sure to check your lymph nodes regularly,” she captioned the TikTok.
The video has been viewed over 260,000 times, with followers flooding Patton’s TikTok with well wishes, many sharing stories of friends and family that have been in similar positions.
“I live a very normal life,” she said, thanking followers for their concern. “[The diagnosis] has actually made me really confident about chasing the life I do want to lead”.