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Author Topic: Lymphoma  (Read 586 times)

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Offline cravenmobile

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Lymphoma
« on: January 05, 2014, 02:02:15 PM »
Hey everyone,

I have been looking all over the internet to share a little of what I'm going though and hopefully someone can help me alleviate some concerns. First off, I am a 28 year old EMT Firefighter who got out of the Air Force in 2011. While I was in we used to smoke and drink a lot, especially over seas. Since I got out I cut it down a lot but it's not gone completely. I enjoy learning as much medical information as I possibly can, which ended up being my downfall.

Here is the story.

About 6 months ago I noticed that the lymph node in my neck had become hard, swollen, and remained that way. I had other symptoms which I immediately related to this; occasional fatigue, sweating at night (Other people described theirs as drenching, mine was nowhere near that bad). I self diagnosed myself with Lymphoma and was terrified, too scared to go see my doctor about it.

I finally had the courage to go talk to her two weeks ago and she was concerned. She decided to run a blood panel and said that if there was anything irregular she would call me, but otherwise she would send me the results in the mail. Then two days later, I had a missed call from her which made my heart stop.

Once I called her back she said that the levels of white blood cells and platelets were normal, being high would be a sign of NHL or HL, but I know its not definitive. With the other tests she ran she told me that she wasn't concerned and that she had my back. The news made me feel much better for a few days until I felt what felt like a second node in my hip area that had become swollen. And now I am freaking out about that.

I feel that if I continue to feed her symptoms its only going to feed my hypochondria and anxiety. It's annoying to feel like everything is fine just to have another sign pop up and stop me in my tracks. 

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Offline Koth1989

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Re: Lymphoma
« Reply #1 on: January 05, 2014, 04:28:42 PM »
Sometimes, at least for me, what seem like "new" signs like lymph nodes are really things thy have been there for a long time, you're just pokin around for stuff now. I think that's what I'm going through, too. It's also super common to have palpable nodes in the groin, fyi
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Offline john55

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Re: Lymphoma
« Reply #2 on: January 05, 2014, 07:30:19 PM »
occasional fatigue and sweating at night are not symptoms. Fatigued as in cant walk up stairs, fall asleep in your car, etc are what they mean. Everyone gets occasional fatigue but they mean as in it doesnt go away. Drenching night sweats mean you need to change your clothes, sheets, and probably get a shower to get warm. If you had those symptoms you would know. I would not consider either of these symptoms.

About your node, if the doctor was a bit concerned, then I would go see a specialist at that point or ask for an ultrasound. The cbc blood test will tell you nothing other than if you have a viral/bacterial infection and can sometimes show luekemia. It will not show lymphoma. A specialist should feel the node and ultrasound it. And ultrasound is not invasive and doesnt release radiation and its like 90% accurate in looking at good/bad lymph nodes. More than likely you discovered a node that is just not down. sometimes they dont go down. we all have them. they scare us but that is it. honestly if you had lymphoma you would know it.
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Offline cravenmobile

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Re: Lymphoma
« Reply #3 on: January 06, 2014, 01:10:46 PM »
Thank you for the reply guys. After reading the other posts on here from people who have the same worries as me, I was able to see everything from a third party point of view.

No my fatigue was nowhere near the point that I couldn't walk up stairs, It was just a feeling of being 'Drained' and only happens about twice or three times a year. (I believe that this is from my low Vit D levels giving me a little anemia). I definitely do not get night sweats that soak my sheets or clothing. The swollen lymph nodes that I am concerned about are about the size of a pea, and as of right now, have stayed the same size. I really don't want to go see a specialist because I don't want to entertain this idea any further. I feel that if something changes, as in a significant change in how my body functions, then I might seek more tests but until then I don't want to feed the beast.

The truth Is that I think there is part of my mind that wants me to have lymphoma. That problem solving back of my mind that wants to be right, no matter how many people tell me otherwise. Every time I get reassurance that I'm fine, that part of my brain will eat away at it until I'm wasting my time worrying about it again.
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Offline john55

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Re: Lymphoma
« Reply #4 on: January 06, 2014, 01:19:49 PM »
honestly waiting is just fine. if it gets bigger i would get it checked. millions of people have lymph nodes the size of a pea or marble that stay that way their whole lives.
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Offline cravenmobile

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Re: Lymphoma
« Reply #5 on: January 12, 2014, 11:45:40 PM »
I was doing really well until today. It felt like the skin above one of the lymph nodes was itchy and of course my mind takes me from the 'if there was something wrong with you, you would know it' logic to the ultimate thought of dying soon and even if I found out I did have something bad, It would have progressed too far by now for any treatment to work. It doesn't help that I work 72 hours straight in a pretty secluded place.

I took a lorazepam and of course all of my imaginary symptoms go away. Maybe I'm going crazy.
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Offline Dje

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Re: Lymphoma
« Reply #6 on: January 13, 2014, 12:06:56 AM »
Seclusion, being with your thoughts, can be so harmful.

I had my first "what if it's cancer/lymphoma" scare when I was in my early 20's. A lump formed on my lower leg and then went away. It wasn't painful. At some point after, I began experiencing this mild, infrequent ache in my right outer quad. My mind came up with all these irrational thoughts of cancer spreading into my bones. Looking back now, I believe that the strange ache appeared during particularly stressful periods.

Over the years since I've had a few scares over lymph nodes.

I think it stems from two surgeries I had when I was 6 and 7 to remove a benign tumor behind my right eye. The fact that my sister had a benign tumor removed from her leg when she was young didn't help.
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Offline cravenmobile

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Re: Lymphoma
« Reply #7 on: January 13, 2014, 12:15:19 AM »
Thanks Dje, I have 24 more hours out here and then I'm going to spend some time with my kids. Its funny how when I'm home I feel fine. The truth is most of the time I do feel fine, all the worries are that I wont feel that way in the future. I know there isn't a whole lot of logic to it, but i don't think our Hypochondria works off logic. When I feel the lymph nodes that I think are a problem when I'm feeling relaxed, they feel smaller, about the size of a bean and haven't changed size since i found them.

It is boggling my mind how many symptoms my brain is able to make up when it's bored. My overall health condition shouldn't be affected by my mood.

 
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Offline Dje

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Re: Lymphoma
« Reply #8 on: January 13, 2014, 12:48:47 AM »
The mind is a powerful thing, for better or worse.

I've been dealing with some stomach issues recently and my anxiety has escalated so much. I keep thinking horrible thoughts. And now that I'm in hyper-alert mode I'm aware of every physical sensation wondering if they are symptoms of what I'm going through. Worse, I think that maybe I've been dealing with this a long time and wasn't aware of the lesser symptoms because I thought they weren't a big deal and/or intermittent.
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Offline LillyVDR

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Re: Lymphoma
« Reply #9 on: January 15, 2014, 08:25:15 AM »
Same here!

When I felt the first symptoms of a cold coming about four weeks ago, I looked in the mirror to check my tonsils and noticed that one was bigger than the other. I had a panic attack and then went to see the doctor who was not at all concerned, and assured me it was nothing other than the assymetry of the body and that both tonsils, although red, were not considered "big"

Ever since, I have been checking my tonsils, two three times a day! I know it's stupid! I know nothing will change magically, I know I might have been this way for a long time. But I have also been diagnosed with carcinophobie, which doesn't make things easier.....
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Offline tsh003

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Re: Lymphoma
« Reply #10 on: January 15, 2014, 08:40:13 AM »
Lymph nodes can stay somewhat swollen your entire life if they react to some sickness or infection might get. I have two, one on each side of my neck which I can palpitate every single day and it's been like that for the last few years. I found one near my groin last year and it eventually got smaller after a few months. It can take some time for these things to go away. I wouldn't worry too much about it, if anything, get a second opinion and leave it at that. :)

and I agree with Dje, the mind is extraordinarily powerful indeed.
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Offline cravenmobile

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Re: Lymphoma
« Reply #11 on: January 17, 2014, 09:08:22 AM »
Thank you guys for your reassurance. I'm trying my best to put it out of my mind and move on with other things in my life, its just irritating that the fears keep popping up.
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Offline cravenmobile

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Re: Lymphoma
« Reply #12 on: October 11, 2014, 02:46:33 PM »
Bump. Its almost been a year and I am still dealing with this fear. The original Node is the same size but I have found others now that are hard. I would think that after this much time I would have severe symptoms that would be impossible to ignore. I wish there was a way to get rid of all this.
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