Chat Now!   Member Gallery    Member Articles    Games   Member Groups   Member Blogs   Health News  Bored?

Author Topic: Lymphoma fears still going  (Read 293 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline mollyfin

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3811
  • Rec's: 35
  • Personal text
    • Poke This Member
Lymphoma fears still going
« on: April 30, 2014, 01:36:15 AM »
The lump under my arm has gotten bigger and rounder/thicker/fuller.  The underarm itself is tender and itchy, but the lump itself no longer hurts unless I poke it hard.  I give up; I'm going back to the doctor.  I had thought at first that the pain meant it probably wasn't cancer, but the lump itself isn't painful it seems, just the area around it.  My other underarm is tender again as well, though I feel no lumps.  I do think I feel a second lump by the first one, but that could just be breast tissue.  I also have pain off and on in my groin and neck, and the cough I developed with my cold last month never went away.  I also get prickling and itching feelings off and on, but I think those might be in my head. 

I spent the entire day googling about Hodgkin's lymphoma (the kind at my age - 31 next month - I think I'm more likely to have), and weirdly it didn't make my anxiety worse.  Seems that most people with it live, even if it's spread.  But of course I'm still anxious.  I'm more anxious that my doctor is going to blow me off and send me away and miss the cancer I feel sure is there. 

Realistically, I know this is possible, but not likely, because my doctor has never NOT sent me for a test I needed.  He sent me to a neurologist when he agreed that I was having some mild left-sided weakness.  He send me for a thyroid ultrasound when he agreed I had a lump on my thyroid (well, I didn't know it was on my thyroid, just that I had a lump), and sent me for a biopsy when he thought the ultrasound looked suspicious. 

I think this is the most frustrating part of health anxiety - feeling like I can't trust my doctor, even when I know I can and I should. 

I guess I'm looking for reassurance - not that I don't have lymphoma (though if you've got some of that I'll take it, LOL) - but that whatever is wrong with me, cancer OR anxiety, I can get through it.  I feel completely hopeless right now, like whether my illness is mental or physical, I can't beat it.  I do have a psychiatrist but I'm out of anti anxiety medication and won't be seeing her again until Monday, which is making things a bit more difficult for me. 
Bookmark and Share

Offline nole23

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 440
  • Country: au
  • Rec's: 7
    • Poke This Member
Re: Lymphoma fears still going
« Reply #1 on: April 30, 2014, 05:46:35 AM »
mollyfin you are goin to be just fine!

Your doc sounds great, he will send you for all the right tests if need be. But you need to trust him. If he thinks you don't need tests then you don't. If he sends you for tests you have to remember it's because he is being cautious and thorough, not because he thinks you have lymphoma.

Also, all sorts of things cause lymph nodes to swell - infections, bug bits, allergies, cuts... Lymphoma is one of the RARE causes of this.

And of course, try get OFF google. I have been on those lymphoma boards... they are not a happy place. I too have convinced myself I have lymphoma and I promise google makes it so much worse. The reality of lymphoma is not as scary as those boards can make you feel. A friend of mine recently had stage 4 lymphoma. 6 months later he is now cancer free and in remission.

Big hug, I know this fear and it's a bad one. But no matter what you CAN and WILL get through this fear and anything else that is thrown in your path. You are more resilient and stronger than you think. You are going to be fine.

Bookmark and Share

Offline AthenaNY

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 21
  • Rec's: 0
  • Gender: Female
  • Personal text
    • Poke This Member
Re: Lymphoma fears still going
« Reply #2 on: April 30, 2014, 11:06:17 AM »
I'm still going through lymphoma fears... I'm going to the doctor this afternoon for a routine follow-up for something else, but I am going to show it to her while I'm there.  I have a lump the size of a chickpea that I found a week ago near my groin that I assume is a lymph node.  I don't really have any other symptoms of lymphoma but of course I can convince myself that I do if I read about them.  (Itchiness is a big one that if I think about it, it happens.)

I think what makes lymphoma such a scary one is that 1) it is one of the cancers that actually can hit younger people and 2) the symptoms are so vague that it gives our imaginations free rein.

I knew a woman in her 20s diagnosed with lymphoma.  She lost a ton of weight really rapidly, and she had night sweats that literally soaked her sheets.  She also made a full recovery.  So if you DO have it (which you almost guaranteed don't) you are very, very likely to be cured, especially since you have a good doctor and you "found it" early.  :)  That's what I'm telling myself, or trying to.
Bookmark and Share

Offline mollyfin

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3811
  • Rec's: 35
  • Personal text
    • Poke This Member
Re: Lymphoma fears still going
« Reply #3 on: April 30, 2014, 05:53:11 PM »
Turns out my doctor is out of the office all week, and I have friends coming from out of state the entire next week, so it'll be two more weeks before I can get this thing checked again.  Not sure what to do to stay calm in the meantime.

I've been having night sweats again but I'm also due for my period any day now, and in recent months I've noticed that I get sweats with PMS (because, you know, that needed to be more inconvenient and annoying!) so hopefully that's all it is.  And people are telling me I look thinner lately but I changed medication brands specifically to a generic I previously didn't gain weight on, and weight loss was the intended result, so again...I have no real idea what's causing that.  And that's even if I've lost weight at all.  I haven't been keeping track of my weight because constantly gaining got really depressing. 

Thank you for your support.  It means a lot. 

Also, I was worried for a while that my friends visiting, and in general all the good things happening in my life lately, meant that something horrible was on the horizon.  To have this pop up now is making me even more worried.  I know it's silly, that's not how life works outside of the movies, etc, but I was never cursed with an overabundance of rational thinking. 
Bookmark and Share

Offline Hadit

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 7
  • Rec's: 0
  • Gender: Female
  • Personal text
    • Poke This Member
Re: Lymphoma fears still going
« Reply #4 on: April 30, 2014, 07:58:12 PM »
Wow!!! You sound exactly like me! I showed up at my hematologists office twice in a week. I beg him to run tests and he won't. I however have lots of symptoms. Have had them for about 20 yrs now. He is sending me to a rheumatologist bcz he doesn't blv I have lymohoma even though 2 small lymph nodes appeared on my breast sono and I have a palpable one on my stomach. I also have had severe under arm pain for years and years. He seems to think that my blood tests would tell him something different by now.

I totally sympathize with what you. We sound like we are going through the very same thing. I too have convinced myself that if it is in fact lymphoma I can beat it.

I don't sleep. Can't eat. Have such a hard time even taking care of my family lately. It's all I think about.

I'm here if you wish to talk. But I am sure that you are just fine! Positive thoughts.
Bookmark and Share

Offline mollyfin

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3811
  • Rec's: 35
  • Personal text
    • Poke This Member
Re: Lymphoma fears still going
« Reply #5 on: May 01, 2014, 12:22:37 AM »
Also, Athena, I meant to add, but in my self-absorbed panic haze, totally forgot, to add that I'm glad to hear your friend is doing well now!  It does seem to be pretty beatable in younger people. 

Hadit, sorry to hear you're dealing with this too.  The underarm pain is bewildering - at first I thought it was muscular, then that I was getting sick, but it just never went away.  I know that isn't even technically a lymphoma symptom, but it's disconcerting and just plain strange.
Bookmark and Share

Offline nole23

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 440
  • Country: au
  • Rec's: 7
    • Poke This Member
Re: Lymphoma fears still going
« Reply #6 on: May 01, 2014, 07:06:38 AM »
mollyfin I also have the thought "everything is going well in my life, something bad must be on the horizon". To the point where a month before my wedding I went to my doctor and told her I wanted to get routine bloods and an abdominal ultraosund. She asked me what I was worried about and I blurted out "I'm worried that I'm going to die before my wedding!" Like I just couldn't believe that such a good thing should happen to me. But she had a stern word with me and told me that when the good things happen we need to accept that we deserve them to and it doesn't mean something bad will come and counteract!

Now, I think you need to enjoy your week with your friends. Whatever is wrong (and I am NOT implying that I think you have lymphoma) it will not get any worse in two weeks. You are fine. You are going to be fine. Remember, you are resilient and this is just a fear, which can't hurt you in any way.

Bookmark and Share

Offline Trikki

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 38
  • Country: au
  • Rec's: 1
  • Gender: Female
  • Personal text
    • Poke This Member
Re: Lymphoma fears still going
« Reply #7 on: May 01, 2014, 08:14:50 AM »
Hi Mollyfin,  I know a bit about Lymphoma.  My dad has had it twice - please don't be afraid to read on, I'm not here to scare you!  He was first mis-diagnosed and treated for Hodgkins Lymphoma at 60.  Then at 70 we found out he had it again and the oncologist strongly believes that he was mis-diagnosed the first time and it was actually Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma (the nasty one).  If he had been treated with the correct chemo when he was 60 it wouldn't have come back (which is reassuring to know).  He went on to have the correct chemo and it removed any trace of the 14cm mass in his abdomen and he is now 74years old.  He has also had wide excisions from melanoma, battled Prostate cancer with surgery and radiotherapy and is now in hospital after surgery to remove bowel cancer and waiting for pathology to find out if it's in his lymph nodes (if it is he needs chemo but we know it hasn't spread to liver/lungs).  I know that if I were reading this I would be having hot waves of panic hearing of one person having so many cancers and thinking that it could be me next but I want you to be reassured that even someone that has had 5 cancers has won the fight with each and every one of them.

Needless to say I have developed my health anxiety from all the fear of waiting for dads test results and getting shock after shock when they come back bad.  We truly believe that there is some environmental factor to do with this line of work (retired builder) and being exposed to treated timbers and all the stuff we would never use now. 

Two years ago I started to have night sweats which turned into full blown panic attacks, chest pain, swollen lymph nodes under arm and groin (aching too), nausea, weight loss, diarrhoea and couldn't function. I was a mess and was convinced I had lymphoma.  I was at my doctors once a week (I rarely went to the doctors before this) and was terrified.  Eventually I had x-rays, scans, bloods, urine analysis, ultrasounds and every test you could imagine.  Guess what - all negative.  Nothing was wrong except anxiety - I was given a very low dose of Endep to help the anxiety.  Guess what else - after I got this diagnosis I started to relax a little and trust that it was anxiety (I flatly refused to believe anxiety could cause these real symptoms before).  I started to sleep through the night and only wake a few times a week and even then managed to go back to sleep after putting earphones on with a hypnosis session and the panic attacks disappeared.  All of my symptoms slowly went away with the help of my own reassurance and the low dose of Endep I was back to my old self.

My point is, somehow we can convince ourselves we have something.  Even to the point of actually having those physical symptoms.  I believe it now, I would never have believed it before.  I also truly believe that you are ok.  You need to enjoy your time with your visitors and whenever that horrible sense of dread and the hot wave of panic comes over you I want you to remember my story, that I had all the symptoms and a family history, that I was so sick I couldn't get my kids off to school some days and that in the end it turned out to be anxiety causing the symptoms, not the symptoms (of Lymphoma) causing anxiety. Anxiety can make you so sick you think you will never be well again.  You are well, you are going to enjoy your friends and you (like me) deserve nice things to happen to you  :action-smiley-065:
Bookmark and Share

Offline mollyfin

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3811
  • Rec's: 35
  • Personal text
    • Poke This Member
Re: Lymphoma fears still going
« Reply #8 on: May 01, 2014, 04:48:56 PM »
Wow, your dad is hardcore!  I too come from a family of people who kicked cancer's ass (my dad unfortunately passed away during his treatments, but not from the cancer, which was responding well to the treatment.  Fate can be a jerk.) - kidney, prostate, breast and metastatic melanoma back when that was basically a death sentence.  All fine now. 

And yeah, I'm way too familiar with how our minds can create entire diseases based on one symptom.  Yet every time it's so hard to believe that that's what's going on! 

Kinda relieved to know I'm not the only one who assumes good happenings mean bad things later on - I mean, I'm not glad other people have to live with it, but it's helpful to know that it's a symptom of anxiety that other people have. 

I may make my appointment for the week my friends are here, since it likely won't take long.  If I get bad news at least I'll see a specialist sooner, and if I get good news, I can enjoy their visit more.  Assuming I can get an appointment that is - he's usually pretty booked up when he's back from vacation.  He only sees patients three or four days a week (he's nearly eighty, I'd say he's earned that much!)  But I'll call Monday and see what happens.
Bookmark and Share

Tags:
 

Related Topics

  Subject / Started by Replies Last post
7 Replies
1741 Views
Last post March 26, 2010, 11:39:41 PM
by William1232
4 Replies
1019 Views
Last post April 23, 2010, 07:07:58 AM
by sixpack
5 Replies
466 Views
Last post June 05, 2013, 04:19:42 PM
by Butterfly6127
7 Replies
392 Views
Last post July 02, 2013, 11:17:24 AM
by ihsg1001
2 Replies
151 Views
Last post February 21, 2014, 05:41:48 PM
by kjoyce
2 Replies
190 Views
Last post May 12, 2014, 02:21:03 AM
by bittersweetlife

anything