I got my second COVID-19 vaccine on Friday afternoon and a couple of days later something happened that scared the living daylights out of me. I got a lump under my arm. When I got my shot on Friday, I didn't really have any symptoms until Saturday morning when I woke up to pretty significant fatigue, muscle aches, and achy joints. I spent the day moving from my bed to the couch and back again and there were some long naps in between cups of tea. I thought I had gotten over the worst of it but Sunday night I found that scary lump.

A little back story. My family has a terrible history of breast cancer. My paternal aunt died after a prolonged battle with breast cancer, and my maternal grandmother had breast cancer that required a double mastectomy and the removal of virtually all of her lymph nodes. The symptom of her breast cancer? A tennis ball sized lump in her armpit. My arm had hurt since the shot on Friday and on Sunday morning I noticed that my underarm had also started hurting like I had lifted too many weights on a chest day. When I got undressed for a shower on Sunday night, I discovered the lump.

Patricia Martinez
Patricia Martinez

I immediately panicked and began googling symptoms. From the ABC News website:

"Sometimes lymph nodes, especially in the armpit, swell after the vaccinations. It's a normal reaction by the immune system but one that might be mistaken for cancer."

So it turns out this is a normal side effect but even though it is, you should let your doctor know if it doesn't resolve within a few weeks, sooner if you feel worried. This article is the one Darren found for me on Sunday night when I was terrified at the discovery of the swollen lymph in my armpit. It is very helpful in explaining the immune reaction when you get a vaccine of any kind. Read it and hopefully it will put your mind to rest.

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